Season fish with, salt, curry powder, white pepper, ½ teaspoon garlic and set aside. You may do this overnight and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a Cast Iron Skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot, and then add the fish and brown on both sides - about 3-5 minutes until fish is brown. You may omit this part, if desired.
Remove fish and set aside. Drain oil and leave about 2 tablespoons.
Add onions, followed by minced garlic,ginger, thyme, curry powder and bay leaf, stir for about 2-3 minutes for the flavors to blossom, then add tomatoes cook for another 3 minutes.
Pour in coconut milk and water, continue cooking for about 3-5 minutes. Then throw in hot pepper, if using any, bell pepper, basil leaves and smoked paprika. Return fish to the pot with accumulated juice. Bring to a boil, salt and cook for about 10 minutes. Add chopped parsley.
Adjust sauce thickness and seasoning with water or broth.