Savory Cod with Spinach in Coconut Milk Sauce

Baked Cod with Spinach in a Coconut-Curry Sauce

Select the center cut of cod fillets; 1 1/2 inches thick.

Between the recipes that Achla Karmani shared at her Northern Indian Cooking Class, such as Chicken Biryani, and Sid Sharma, a reader who generously shares favorite recipes from his mother country, such as his Curried Striped Bass, I’m amassing quite a array of authentic Indian recipes that are relatively easy to reproduce in your own home kitchen.

Aromatic sauce of stock, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and cilantro for poaching cod.

The following recipe was sent to me from Sid, who explained the dish comes together quickly and  is delicious. Sid was right; the slow simmer of thick cod fillets in a bath of curry, coconut milk and aromatics was sublime.

The original recipe was penned Alaska Cod Saag Curry, saag being a catch-all for describing a green-leafed dish in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Make sure you cook up a pot of rice to soak up the sauce.

I eliminated the heavy cream from the original recipe, and used whole milk coconut milk instead of lite.  As well, I reduced the sauce longer, to insure it was thick enough, and didn’t find the sauce needed more than 5 ounces of spinach. Finally request a thick cut piece of cod.

Kudos to Sid!  A 5-star recipe, indeed.

Recipe: Savory Cod with Spinach in Curry-Coconut Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1/2 teaspoon garam marsala
  • 14 oz. chicken or seafood stock
4 thick (1 1/2-inch) cod fillets (apx. 6 oz. each)
5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • Cayenne pepper, optional


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir in shallots, garlic, ginger and curry.  Cook, occasionally stirring, until shallots are soft, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, cilantro, garam marsala and stock.  Simmer over medium heat 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and add cod fillets to liquid. Return heat to a simmer, cover pan and cook 3 minutes on each side. Remove fillets and reserve.
  3. Turn heat to high and reduce liquid by half, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in spinach  and return fish to pan; reheat fish briefly in sauce and serve.

Time: 40 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

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