Bengal-style mustard fish

As Bengal is on the coast, fish and rice form much of the diet and this dish, Sorshe Maach, by Jayanti Bhattacharyya is an all time favourite
By Gary Rhodes
Bengal-style mustard fish
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 g white fish, such as pollock or turbot tails, cut into 4cm fillets
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 green chillies, split down the length, seeds removed
  • Squeeze lemon juice

Tips and Suggestions

in India, river fish are traditionally used for their sweet flavour.

About Jayanti Bhattacharyya
Jayanti Bhattacharyyas Bengali cooking is renowned in Delhi and beyond. Famed for her traditional prawn curry, her culinary skills also extend to international cuisines. Jayanti works in Public Relations representing many worldwide firms.


1. Season the prices of fish with salt and a pinch of the turmeric. Heat the mustard oil in a karahi (wok) and lightly fry the pieces of fish, skin side down first, until almost cooked. Remove and set aside.

2. In a bowl mix the remaining turmeric and chilli with some water to make a paste. Top up the oil in the karahi if necessary, and set over a gentle heat. Add nigella seeds to the oil, cook for about a minute then add the turmeric paste, stir for a few seconds and add some more water to loosen the sauce.

3. Blend together the mustard seeds and 1 green chilli with a pinch of salt to make a paste.

4. Return the fish pieces to the pan. Add the mustard paste and stir into the sauce without overworking the fish. Season with a little more salt and add the remaining split green chillies. Drizzle over some mustard oil and cook on a gentle heat for another 2 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

5. Remove the fish from the pan and continue cooking the sauce to thicken it a little. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve with boiled basmati rice.

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