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Kari Kepala Ikan Masin
Salted Fish Head Curry Recipe

Kari Kepala Ikan masin - Salted Fish Head Curry Recipe comes from Sabah, it is an interesting variation from the better known fish head curry or kari kepala ikan.

The use of yoghurt and low fat milk in this recipe makes it healthier than using coconut cream. You may use any kind of salted fish head in this recipe but the most commonly available is red snapper. As with all curry, after a day cooking it and reheating several times, the flavor will infuse further and improve the taste. It is also very common to find the fish head curry being prepared in a claypot. Claypots supposedly make the curry taste so much nicer. It is an above average expensive dish. Not unusual for you to have to fork out over RM 25.00 (US$6.50) for only a bowl of this special curry.


  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbs fish curry powder
  • 200ml fish stock (prepared from seasoning powder)
  • 1.5 kg salted fish head (cut into two, wash and rinse well)
  • 1 liter low fat milk
  • 300g orange and apricot yoghurt
  • 3 eggplants, quartered
  • 3 tbs tamarind paste (mix 1 tbs tamarind pulp with 3 tbs of water)


  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 3 bunches coriander leaves, chopped


  • Heat oil in a wok over medium fire.
  • Stir fry garlic, onion and shallots until fragrant, about three minutes.
  • Add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek and black pepper. Mix well for 1 minute.
  • Add fish curry powder and fry for another one minute.
  • Pour in fish stock, stirring all the while.
  • Add salted fish head, milk and yoghurt. Allow to simmer over slow fire fore 5 minutes.
  • Add eggplant and cook another 5 minutes.
  • Allow the gravy to reduce before adding tamarind paste.
  • Mix well and bring to a boil.
  • Serve hot, garnished with chilies and coriander leaves.

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