• 1 large octopus (not calamari!)
  • 1 litre coconut milk
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1tbs tomato paste
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large red onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium ripe tomato (roughly chopped)
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp saffron power
  • 1 tbs mixture of cardamon seeds, aniseed, whole black pepper, clover
  • 20 ml oil
  • 2 tbs water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove the black eye of the octopus found on the “bonnet” or head or ask the fishmonger to do it
  2. Place the whole octopus in a large heavy based pan and cover with water.
  3. Boil on medium heat for 45mins to an hour. Do not be alarmed if the Octopus turns pink or reddish, this is normal. Do not undercook, the time is essential to ensure the octopus meat is soft
  4. Allow to cool and cut into small pieces with a sharp knife
  5. Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan
  6. Add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic, tomato and the 1tbs mixture (cardamom seeds,  aniseed, whole black pepper, clover)
  7. Stir fry for 2 minutes to infuse the oil
  8. In a bowl add the octopus meat and curry leaves and mix well
  9. Add the paprika, saffron and curry to the tomato paste and the 2 tbs water. Mix well.
  10. Add to the octopus in the pan and stir well
  11. Add the coconut milk and reduce the heat
  12. Simmer for 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the octopus meat is soft
  13. Remove from heat, squeeze the lemon (do it over your hand to prevent any seeds from falling in the curry
  14. Add salt and pepper according to taste
  15. If desired, 1 tbs of sweet chutney may also be added
  16. Serve with rice.