Monday, February 26, 2007

Fish in Mustard Sauce.

This is a Bengali staple/favourite, and is cooked with a large variety of sweet-water/river fish that is common in Bengal (Koi carp, carp, Hilsa, Pabda, Bata and so on). Living in a coastal seaside city like Chennai means I don't get these fishes in local markets, and am instead faced with more salt-water varieties such as tuna, mackerel, and perch.

However, I tried the traditional Bengali style fish in mustard sauce on the Emperor/Seer Fish of Chennai - known as the Indo-Pacific mackerel in the West and Vanjaaram in local markets - and found that it was equally successful. Here is the recipe.


Seer/Emperor Fish - 6 slices
Cooking Oil
Mustard Seeds (quarter cup)
Green Chillies - 8 (cut into slits)
Onions - 2-3 medium, chopped finely
Coriander Leaves - a sprig
Salt to taste


Wash and clean the slices of emperor fish and marinate with turmeric and salt. Shallow fry the pieces in oil, turning both sides until well done. Keep aside.
In the food processor, mix mustard seeds, 4 green chillies, a little water, and grind until it forms a thick paste. Add vinegar to take away some of the pungence of the ground mustard.
Heat oil in a wok and fry onions and chillies until the onions are transclucent. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric powder and stir fry. Add the mustard paste and stir. Add water slowly and bring to boil.
Add fish pieces and let the gravy thicken.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


verve said...

Boy, oh boy, or rather Go Girl Go! I am SOOOO impressed! You actually have a cool cuisine corner, and am I salivating in anticipation of chingri sorshe ;-)

RS said...

Wow, thanks for visiting, and yes, that chingri treat is due for some time now.

adnan said...

good recipe...tried it today, I think I would use less mustard, say, half of what you used. Otherwise the bitter taste overpowers.
Thanks again!

RS said...

Thanks Adnan, and valuable input about the mustard. You know writing out the recipes is actually tougher, because I'm never really sure about the exact measurements of the ingredients. When I'm cooking, I go more by 'handfuls' and 'spoonfuls', trusting instinct more than math :-)