Mustard Fish


Bengali Mustard Fish

Together with Kingfisher Beer, we've been exploring India's lesser known dishes for National Curry Week. Intrigued by how georgaphy, history and ethnicity has shaped regional food, we found our way to the Bay of Bengal and combed its' shores for the taste of Bengali Mustard Fish curry. 

The state of Bengal overflows with yellow mustard fields - giving the land a yellow sepia, earning it the moniker – Sonar Bangal – Golden Bengal. Even the Brahmins of Bengal (Brahmins are traditionally vegetarian) eat fish, calling it Jal Toria or fruit of the ocean. Bengal's many rulers over the years – the Mughals, the British, the Chinese, have brought variation to the cuisine.

However, Bengali cuisine is known for its substantial use of mustard seeds, warming and piquant. Mustard oil is also widely used in Bengali cooking lending a very distinct taste, this dish is full of flavour and the earthy mustard profile works a treat.

 

Bengali mustard fish

How To Make Bengali Mustard Fish

Serves 4

Fish marinade

  • 750g skinless salmon fillet (or a firm thick white fish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mustard gravy

  • 1 tbs ground mustard (powder)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 2 fresh green finger chillies

Step 1

Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2" x 1" and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes - 2 hours.

Step 2
Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons of water and mix. Set aside.

Step 3
Pour the oil into a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, pop in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir once and quickly pour in the mustard paste. Add the green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Step 4
Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time. Serve straight away with flatbread or rice.

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