Salmon in spicy mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)

Bengali style Salmon(Baked)When it comes to eating fish, I don’t think any other state in India can beat the Bongs (bengalis) or the Mallus (Keralites) 🙂 I am so relieved that my naturopath has asked me to continue eating fish as it is beneficial for me. So be prepared for a deluge of fish recipes! Nothing can stop this fish eating mallu now Ha Ha 🙂

Over the past few weeks I have made some variations of the traditional Kerala fish curry, which I will post soon. But today’s post is on the Bengali fish curry where mustard is the star. My friend Samita suggested this recipe to me recently one evening amidst all of us ladies bantering as usual at a recent gathering at her place. Samita, cooks up lovely lip-smacking dishes in a jiffy in her easygoing, carefree manner. She is not the one to fuss over recipes. Nor is she the one to note down exact recipes. And so what she told me went something like this – ‘Indu, why don’t you try making it Bengali style – just make a paste of mustard and green chillies and mix it with the salmon(elaborate hand gesture here showing how the paste is to be applied) and bake it. Mast hoga re! ‘

After that description from Samita how could I not give it a try! Plus it looked too easy! I checked out some online recipes for bengali curry and some of them used tomatoes which my diet does not permit. So in the end I really did what Samita had suggested. It came out wonderful and so tasty. Thank you Samita!

After that I have made it a couple more times now and I additionally strain the paste to get a fine texture for the curry plus it takes away the very pungent mustard taste.  I have also made it over the stove top. And this is one curry that I am sure has come to stay in my kitchen. And you know the best thing about this curry? – it is so darned easy to make!


Salmon in spicy mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A delicious and 'easy to make' curry of Salmon with mustard and other flavorful spices!
  • 6-8 Salmon pieces (boned-in or filets), about 1 inch thick
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 tsp mustard seeds(I used brown mustard only but you can use mix of brown and yellow)
  • 4 green chillies
  • ¾ tsp red chilli pow
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup water plus 1 cup more water
For tadka(oil garnish)
  • 2 tsp olive oil(or mustard oil)
  • ½ trp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp kala jeera (nigella seeds)
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
If using Stovetop:
  1. Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
  2. In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with ½ cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again. Strain this mixture using a strainer and keep aside.
  3. Take a medium size wide bottomed cooking pot and add the oil (under tadka). heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Add the salmon pieces to the oil and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes on side. Make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan (Do not Flip them before 2 minutes).
  4. Add the strained mustard mixture to the fish now. Cover and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Cook uncovered for last few minutes until you get curry of desired consistency.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves! Serve with some cooked plain rice.
If using oven:
  1. Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Take an oven proof baking dish and place the salmon in it in a single layer.
  2. In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with ½ cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again.
  3. Strain this mixture and pour over the fish.
  4. Bake at 400 deg F (200 deg C) for 20 mins. (Covered for first 15 minutes and then uncovered for last 5 minutes)
For the final garnish(tadka):
  1. In a small pan, heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Pour this garnished oil over the baked fish.
  2. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with some cooked plain rice.


Bengali style Salmon(Baked)


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  1. Another beautiful dish I must try. I LOVE the easy ones that look otherwise. Thanks again (to you and to Shiva).
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • yeah this is a good curry to have in your repertoire if you are a fish lover. I love kerala fish curry any day but this one is a close second! 🙂

  2. One day, Indu, I’m going to cook fish curry and ALL members of my family will eat and enjoy it!! And I think if I cook fish regularly, eventually I’ll get there. What d’ya think? I really, really try to eat more fish, honest! I’m saving this for inspiration, thanks darlin!

    • Hi Angie, is it just your family that doesn’t like fish or do you not like it either? Fish does take a bit of time especially if you haven’t had it much since childhood. I will suggest starting with some fresh water fish like tilapia where the fishy taste is not very intense. And if you make it really spicy, it will absorb all the flavors of the spices! You can try with fish tacos – or Fish pakoras. I have posted both of these recipes. Good Luck! yeah fish is indeed very healthy especially salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovies etc

      • Actually we all would eat fish if, like you said, the taste is not intense. My kids, though, prefer it fried. But as they get older they are more open to different dishes, including teriyaki salmon, etc. So I think it’s only a matter of time before they like fish curry. I made chicken curry just a couple of days ago that they absolutely loved! Isn’t that just a step away? ? Thanks, Indu!

    • thank you Patty! yes it is indeed very tasty. the mustard imparts it so much flavor without it being too overpowering.

    • yes absolutely Mollie. The straining does tone down the pungency considerably and also makes the texture of the curry better.

  3. I have been having a craving for fish curry this month and seeing your delicious mustard sauce fish curry, my craving has intensified. A pity we don’t cook fish or any non-veg food at home but will look out for Bengal fish curry when I eat out.

  4. Yum yum !! True no one can beat the bengalis and mallus! But there is one more fish eating community…that’s the Goans? as long as they don’t get fish everyday they are not considered as happy souls??…. excellent recipe….. myself being a bong, fish with mustard sauce is my favorite! Can’t live without it?

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