Rub the Fish, Bengali Fish Curry Recipe via 50 Easy Indian Curries from Smith Street Books by Penny Chawla

Rub the fish!

Here are second dibs from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney.

Bengali Fish Curry

Serves 4

Bengalis love their fish. Whether it’s served for lunch or dinner, at an engagement or wedding, fish will always appear on the menu. This recipe is one of the simplest to make. The mustard paste gives the dish a slight wasabi-like kick, without overpowering the delicate fish. The best way to eat it is to ditch that cutlery and use your fingers.

Ingredients:

4 x 150 g–200 g (5 1/2 oz–7 oz) mackerel steaks

sea salt

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 small onion, roughly chopped

6 small green chillies or 4 long green chillies

60 ml (1/4 cup) mustard oil or vegetable oil

4 fresh or dried bay leaves

lemon wedges, to serve

Steamed basmati rice to serve

Bengali Fish Curry

Directions:

Rub the fish with a sprinkling of salt and half the turmeric.

Grind the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Blend the ground mustard seeds, onion and half the chillies in the small bowl of a food processor or blender to a smooth paste. Add a small amount of water to get the mixture moving, if necessary.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the fish for 1–2 minutes each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion paste, remaining turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the bay leaves to the pan, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add 375 ml (11/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then return the fish to the pan and add the remaining chillies. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, covered, for 5–6 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Season with a little more salt, if necessary.

Serve with lemon wedges and steamed basmati rice.

(* Reproduced with permission from 50 Easy Indian Curries (Smith Street Books, March 22) by Penny Chawla, the self styled 'curry queen' of Sydney. Photo copyright: Emily Weaving)

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