This is traditionally a Bengali dish but I have changed the recipe a little in order to make it a tad bit healthier however with no compromise on taste. This dish is baked in the oven!…which earns extra points on health factor. The flavor and aroma is over-the-top impressive. This is a very easy way to cook Bengali style mustard fish curry. You just need to have the right ingredients at the right quantity.
I know of many people who cannot take the smell of mustard. They find it either too strong or too overpowering. But once you get used to the fragrance and flavor of mustard, the rest becomes history!! You will fall in love with the essence of mustard. Bengalis have a strong connection with mustard. The authenticity and originality of Bengali cuisine is maintained by a vital ingredient called mustard oil. Bengalis tend to use mustard oil for most of their cooking in order to give the dishes an authentic taste.
Even DH was never a big fan of mustard before our marriage. The first time he got introduced to this curry, he was taken aback because of the dominant aroma and taste of mustard. However, good for me that gradually he got used to it to the extent that now he absolutely loves it.
This is a deliciously spicy fish curry, healthy and quick enough to cook in a jiffy with minimal hassles. Since this dish has fairly strong flavors and a good amount of heat, you will love this curry if you like mustard. That is the bottom line! In Bengal this is an extremely popular dish prepared in households on a regular basis. Usually it is made using Hilsa fish or Ilish, but you can use any white fish fillets. In this recipe, I have used Halibut fillets as getting good quality Hilsa in Singapore is quite a fight.
Halibut fillets – you can use any good quality white fish
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Ginger – 1 large piece
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Green chillies – 5-6 (you can use more if you can really take the heat)
Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Yogurt – 2-3 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp (If mustard oil is not available, you can use any regular cooking oil)
Preheat the oven to 200 degree celsius.
Layer the fish fillets on an oven-proof baking dish.
Soak the mustard seeds in a little water for about 30 mins.
Then grind the mustard seeds into a fine paste using very little water.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except mustard oil) into the grinder and make a very smooth paste. (i.e add ginger, garlic, few green chillies, grated coconut, yogurt, turmeric powder and salt).
P.S. Do not add any extra water while grinding the paste. Unless if the paste gets too dry you can add 1 -2 tbsp of water.
Drizzle some mustard oil on top of the fish.
Then pour the paste on top of the layered fish and coat the fish gently with the paste. Add few green chillies.
Cover the baking dish with an aluminium foil and pop it into the oven preheated to 200 deg. celsius.
After 10 mins, remove the aluminium foil. Then bake the fish uncovered for another 10 mins.
Oven baked Bengali style mustard fish curry will be ready to serve.
Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. I served it with some steamed white rice and sliced cucumbers and carrots.