Sindhi Green Fish Curry - Sao masalo - Eating Cultures
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Sindhi Green Fish Curry – Sao masalo

Sindhi Green Fish Curry – Sao masalo

As mentioned in my other blogs too, Sundays was supposed to be a day filled with a variety of veg / non-veg food. Apart from being a holiday and play day it was also largely a food day. A few years this was a Friday as Dad used to work in the gulf and we were staying in Bahrain with him. Either ways, the holiday always had the exciting food element.

My mother is a great exponent of Sindhi cooking (very few left possibly). She came from a family where everyone loved their non-vegetarian food. Not sure, if it is fortunate or unfortunate, but she got married into a family who were strict vegetarians where the senior ladies had a separate kitchen for themselves.

As kids we always ate vegetarian but once we were taken to the gulf and my mother got the freedom of her own kitchen, she gave us the best of the best non-vegetarian experience. Fish was one of the things that she and Dad both loved.

Pallo to Surmai

Pallo is the fish Sindhis love eating. Pallo is the sindhi name for Hilsa or Ilish from Bengal. It’s a bony medium sized fresh water fish known for its taste. Most of the popular seafood preparations are made using coconut as a base and often Tamarind for the sourness. This is the way it is found in most of the coastal areas.The way SIndhis make it is slightly different. Sindhis make it Sehal(with onions and tomatoes and some dry masalas) or taryal(fried fish) or then is saomasalo (green masala) and all 3 of them do not use coconut or tamarind.

Fish is made in a lot of manners again, but this Sindhi recipe is another classic from the Sindhi cuisine. This is made from a green masala so called because of the colour of the dish. This masala can be used as a base for a lot of the other sindhi cooking. I am using Surmai instead of Hilsa, as this fish is difficult to get in Pune.

What follows is the recipe for  Sindhi Green Fish Curry – Sao masalo

Sindhi Green Fish Curry - Sao masalo

Print Recipe
By Serves: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 500gm Surmai Slices
  • 2 cups of Spring onion greens
  • Keep the bulbs of the Spring onions separate
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 cup of chopped coriander leaves
  • 3-4 mint leaves
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 7-8 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for sauteeing, recommended 2-3 tbsps


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt

Dry masalas

  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder



Wash and Clean the fish slices and put them in a bowl


Pour the lemon juice and sprinkle the salt on the fish.


Spread it well on both sides of the slices and leave it to rest for 30 minutes


Blend Spring onion greens, coriander leaves and green chillies to a fine green paste. Add some water if required to make a thick paste


Blend the Spring onion bulbs along with the garlic and ginger into a coarse paste.


Put a frying pan on the burner and add the oil


Put the garlic ginger onion paste in the oil


Sautee for 2-3 minutes and ensure that the onion is cooked and transparent. It should not get coloured


Add the dry masalas and fry for another minute


Add the marinated fish and mix the masalas to cover the fish well


Put a lid on and let the fish cook till half done


Add the green paste and mix well with the fish


Cover and let it cook for 8-10 mins till the fish is completely cooked.


This will turn out to be a thick gravy, you could add more water if you like.


Like any other fish curry, this dish goes well with plain steamed rice.

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