Bengali Fish Curry


For many people, a good curry is as comforting a food as they come but what separates a good curry for other comfort food is that it is loaded with beautiful and healthy ingredients and this Bengali Fish Curry is no exception!


During my time spent in India I developed a new appreciation for the way spices are used and in true tradition my Bengali curry features lightly spiced tender chunks of marinated, pan fried fish complimented by a warming, lightly spiced yogurt curry thanks to mustard seeds and mustard seed oil - both essential components of this wonderful dish!


MY TIPS

  • If you prefer a slightly thinner curry for eating with rice like I do, then add up to 1 cup of vegetable or chicken flavored stock into the yogurt curry little by little until you get the desired consistency (you may not need all of it) and then gently add the cooked fish and garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro before serving.

  • A mild flavored fish is best for this recipe

  • This recipe can be easily adapted for vegetarians by leaving out the fish and using only vegetable stock because the curry is very flavorsome on it's own and tastes great with the same accompaniments as mention below.

YOU WILL NEED

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of lime juice

500g | 1lb fish fillets of any mild white fish cut into 5cm /2 inch long pieces

3 tablespoons mustard oil or suitable vegetable oil

½ -1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (I like the full amount but some people find it bitter)

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped

1 rounded tablespoon good quality curry powder

Salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1-1+1/4 cup pouring cream (not heavy cream)

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of plain flour or corn flour (this thickens the curry)

Up to 1/2 tablespoon lime/lemon juice (optional)

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander/cilantro for garnish

Oil for frying fish (you can use mustard oil or vegetable oil for a milder flavor)

METHOD

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix together the turmeric, black pepper, chilli powder, salt and lime juice.

  2. Add the chopped fish pieces and cover all pieces thoroughly with the spice mix. Cover and set aside in fridge for about 30 minutes (up to an hour is also fine).

  3. In a medium sized cooking pot, heat three tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.

  4. Add the mustard seeds and cook, stirring until they “pop” and are fragrant, this takes about a couple of minutes.

  5. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent and have softened, about 3-4 minutes.

  6. Add the curry powder, salt, and ground cumin and cook for another 2 minutes, mixing regularly.

  7. Mix the yogurt with the flour and add to the pot.

  8. Add the cream and allow to simmer on a low heat for 2-3 minutes more.

  9. Taste curry and add the lime/lemon if needed, re taste and add more salt, spice or lime/lemon as needed. Turn off and cover until needed.

  10. In a non-stick pan, add enough oil to properly coat the base of the pan evenly and heat over a medium-high flame.

  11. Fry the fish until golden brown on both sides and no longer transparent. Be gentle when turning to avoid breaking your fish. Set aside on a plate.

  12. Reheat the curry if needed and gently add the fish into the curry and garnish with fresh coriander/cilantro if using.

  13. Serve with your choice of naan, rotis, rice, katchumber (onion salad), poppadum and salad if desired.

SERVES 6


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