Bengali Fish Curry with yellow mustard

Bengali Fish Curry with yellow mustard

India has so many coastal areas and of course states near the coastal areas have their way with seafood. I believe, like anything in life when we are near the source of any product, we gain lot of exposure and experience about it and imaginations fly to make the basic product evolve as per user’s convenience and desire! I think one such example is West- Bengal (Capital – Calcutta), an Indian coastal state which has mastered their way in cooking fish dishes. And I absolutely love the Bengali fish recipes. This recipe is dedicated to all those hard working fishermen who bring us the best seafood we have ever tasted and made pleasant memories out of them.

Fish has an interesting dictionary meaning: “A limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins and living wholly in water.” Whatever their dictionary meaning is, all I care is that it makes an awesome food relish.

Research suggests that they are an amazing source of important nutrients that our body cannot synthesize such as omega- 3 fatty acids. The exact nutritional value depends on the variety of fish, but overall fishes are considered to be good source of quality nutrients. There is also some metal toxicity associated with every kind of fish which we might want to bear in mind.

For this recipe I used tilapia, I wish I could get specific Indian varieties of fish here in US, in that case this recipe would have been 100% authentic; that being said, I absolutely love tilapia. Moreover, in terms of cooking it is an easy fish to work with. The best thing about tilapia is that it could be the star and also a very good team player ingredient in the same dish. And that's awesome! It’s a very rare blend of characteristics that any chef would appreciate. Tilapia is very quick in absorbing varied blend of spices and it does not have a distinct fishy odour that some fishes do, which am sure everybody could appreciate :).


     Sesame Oil: 2 Tbsp.
     Tilapia: ½ Lb. (Thoroughly cleaned and cut into desired size)
     Coriander leaves: ½ a bunch (I use stem as well the leaves) – Finely chopped
     Fresh Bay leaves: 2
     Thyme: 1 sprig of Thyme
     Dry spices:  ¼ tsp. turmeric powder, ½ tsp. cumin powder, ½ tsp. red chilli powder.
     Salt: to taste  
     Ground Masala mix:
    Tomato: ½ of large size tomato – diced
    Red onion: ½ of large size red onion – diced
    Garlic cloves: 7 cloves
    Dried red chillies: 2
    Annie’s naturals Yellow Dijon Mustard (Organic): 1 Tbsp. 

1. Cut thoroughly cleaned tilapia into desired size and marinate it with ¼ tsp. of turmeric and salt. Put fresh bay leaves and the thyme sprig in this marinating bowl and cover it with lid (this gives the fish a nice herbal aroma). Let the fish marinate for 15-30 minutes.

2. In a wok pour 2 Tbsps. of sesame oil. Once the oil is heated, shallow fry the fish (both sides -1 min on each side), thyme and bay leaves.
3. Get rid of excess of oil by blotting the fried fish on two sheets of paper towel.
4. Meanwhile, blend all the ground mix ingredients in a blender (I have Indian style   mixer-grinder, but any blender should be able to do this job).
5. In the same wok (containing the remaining oil), sauté this ground mix+ ½ tsp. cumin powder + ½ tsp. red chilli powder for 7-10 minutes (until the oil separates) on medium heat. Make sure to cover the wok with lid throughout this process. Keep checking the mix intermittently.  

6. Once the oil separates, add finely chopped coriander leaves and fried fish pieces. Gently fold everything in nicely. Let this mixture sit for a minute on medium heat. (Fish is very soft and nicely cooked by this time, so be gentle). 
7. Add water to your desired consistency (This dish is usually served with rice but you could also pair it with bread- accordingly adjust the consistency).

8. Let the mix come to boil and boil it for 5 mins on medium heat. The dish is ready to serve.   

This dish could be served with Rice or bread. 

bon appetit


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