Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bengal Fish Curry (Fish In Mustard Curry)

Bengal Fish Curry
Fish is a staple food in coastal areas of India. Being  rich source of Vitamin A fish is good for eyes, skin and hair. In Western and southern part of India fish is made in coconut gravy where as in west Bengal it is made in Mustard gravy. As I am partial to fish in Bengal mustard gravy so before fish in coconut gravy I am going to write the recipe for fish in mustard gravy, famous fish preparation of Bengal in India. This preparation has minimum amount of oil, low in calories, Mustard not only adds taste but is very good for digestion and blood flow, and of course it is yummy. Plain boiled rice is its best companion. That is why Bengalis refer the combo as Machi-Bhaat. It can also be had with Indian breads like Nan/kulcha/Tandoori roti/Chapati.

Preparation Time: 15-20 min.
Cooking Time:15-20 minutes.
Servings: 4 Large Servings

Ingredients Required For Making Bengal Fish Curry:
  • 750 Gm Rohu/Surmai Fish cut to 1 cm thick round pieces.
Fish pieces for Bengal Fish Curry
  • 100 gm. Onions
  • 100 gm. Red ripe Tomatoes
  • 2 Tea spoon Yellow Mustard seeds
  • 1 Tea spoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to Taste
  • 5-10 ml. Mustard Oil
For Marinade:
  • 10 ml. Fresh Lemon juice
  • 4 Teaspoon Garlic Paste
  • 3 Teaspoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Coriander seed Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Amchur (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 Teaspoon Yellow mustard seed powder
Fish and Ingredients for Marinade
Marinating the Fish:
  • Wash the fish gently under flowing water.
  • Pat dry with a cloth.
  • Spread lemon juice evenly on each piece and allow to stand for 5 min.
Fish cleaned with lemon juice on it
  • Wash in flowing water and pat dry again.
  • Mix all the ingredients of marinade and apply liberally on both sides of the fish.
Marinade for Fish
  • Keep the fish for marinating for 15 to 20 minutes only. It can be kept in fridge during marinating.

Marinated Fish
Cooking the Fish
  • Sprinkle 1-2 ml. mustard oil on a thick non-stick pan and heat it.
  • When the pan is hot keep the marinated fish on the pan and cook on low flame till light brown on both sides.

Marinated fish cooking on Pan
Fish Ready For Curry mixture
  • Take care while turning the fish, it is delicate. So use broad spatula for turning the fish.
Making the Curry:
  • While the fish is marinating and then being cook on pan start preparing the gravy mixture.
  • Soak mustard pieces in water.
  • Peel the onions and cut to pieces.
  • Cut tomatoes to pieces.
  • In a grinder take
  • Tomato pieces
  • Onion pieces
  • Soaked Mustard seeds
  • Grind to paste.

Ingredients for making paste for Curry
Paste of Onion-Tomato and Mustard seeds
  • In a thick bottom wok take 2-3 ml. of mustard oil and heat till it starts smoking.
  • Reduce the heat and add the paste of onion-tomato and soaked mustard seeds.
  • Cook on low flame till all water evaporates and the mixture starts leaving the edges of wok.
  • Add turmeric powder and red chili powder cook for just one minute.
Cooked mixture for mustard Curry
  • Gently transfer it in wok with cooked gravy mixture coat the fish with cooked gravy mixture by turning the fish gently with broad spatula.
Fish coated with Curry mixture before adding water
  • Cover and cook for 3-4 min. so that the Currymasala seeps into the fish and flavors of fish and masala mixes nicely.
  • Turn once or twice while the fish is in wok.
  • Add 300 ml. water and salt to taste. Bring the heat to high. When it comes to boil bring the heat to medium and cook for just 2 minutes.
Fish in boiling gravy 
  • Take out the cooked Fish in mustard gravy garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.
Bengal Fish Curry
  • While following any recipe test the hotnes of chilies and chili powder as the same varies from one variety to another, then adjust the amount accordingly.
  • Fish has its own saltiness and has some salt during marination so add salt carefully in the last when water has been added.
  • The soaked mustard seed may not be converted to fine paste do not worry use it like that only.
  • Do not overcook the fish it will lose its juiciness and will become chewy.
  • Cook the fish in gravy for just two minutes as all ingredients are cooked. We just require bringing the flavors in the gravy and allowing them to seep in fish.
  • Amount of water can be varied according to the thickness of gravy one wants.
Alternate Suggestions:
  • Onions can be avoided from the gravy they are added to make the gravy thick.
  • Mustard taste and zing will come out great if onion is not used. Tomatoes should be made to fine paste and soaked mustard seeds should be made to coarse paste when onion are not being used.


  1. Absolutely mouth-watering recipe! Non-veg dishes such as Butter Chicken & Konkani fish curry have been on my bucket-list. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  2. Wow! The recipe looks extremely delicious & easy to make at home. I am fond of nonveg, especially chicken and fish recipes. I have grown up eating various kinds of chicken and fish finger recipes that my granny used to prepare for me.



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