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Fish in Bengali mustard sauce / sorshe diye macher jhaal

 Saffronstreaks wishes its readers who stops by “Very happy Bengali New Year” .

poila baisakh

If you are planning a Poila baisakh house party this weekend then do check our exclusive Bengali Cuisine Archive, and I am sure it will end your search for all the authentic Bengali recipes. This is just not an archive but repository of all the classic Bengali dishes that I have learnt and inherited from my mother and some are experimental too, and am sure it will be able to guide you to plan a full course Bengali Luncheon.

Unlike the previous years, this time we prefer to keep it simple, no extravagant lavish luncheonbut plain and simple good old fish recipes with its characteristic mustard sauce which is perhaps the best reward after so much travel, vacationing and incessant shopping – eating….

fish in bengali mustard sauce

Going by the saying that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” , here we present this simple fish recipe in mustard sauce spiced with green chillies and off course cooked in mustard oil. At the end of the day fish curry rice or macher jhol is all a Bong need, can we say this as “a true homecoming” !

Recipe: Fish in Bengali mustard sauce

Summary: Fish curry in bengali mustard sauce and spiced with green chillies


  • Fish fillet or steak cut : 4
  • Yellow mustard seeds (soaked in water for an hour or more): 3-4 tbsp
  • Green chillies : 4-5 or as required
  • Ginger paste : 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder : 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder (optional) : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Mustard oil : 2-3 tbsp
  • Cilantro to garnish


  1. Wash the fish fillet or steaks and rub the turmeric and salt over it. Keep it for half an hour.
  2. Grind the soaked mustard seeds with half of the green chillies in mixer to a smooth and creamy paste.
  3. Heat the mustard oil in a pan till it reaches the smoking point.
  4. Carefully place the fish fillet in hot mustard oil and fry the fish lightly till you get a golden brownish hue.
  5. Take out the fish and blot it on tissue papers.
  6. To the same oil, add the ginger paste with little salt and saute for few seconds.
  7. Next add the mustard paste, lower the heat and fry it for few minutes.
  8. Add the remaining green chillies, all the spices along with sugar and salt.
  9. Fry on medium heat for couple of minutes.
  10. Add the water, drop the fish pieces and let it simmer for few more minutes.
  11. Check the seasonings and garnish with cilantro.
  12. Serve the fish in mustard sauce over bed of rice.

Quick notes

Oil should be smoking hot otherwise fish will stick to the pan. Think ahead – Mustard paste can be prepared a day before, and can be kept in a jar up to one week.


I have tried this recipe with cod fillet but back home in India we generally prepare this with bekti fillet. You may try any fish you love. Mustard oil gives extra flavouring to the dish, but you can use other oil too.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Indian (Bengali Cuisine)

My rating 5 stars: ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

fish in mustard sauce
Bangalore has many Bengali themed restaurants like Oh Calcutta and on this special occasions most of them arranged some grand lunch buffet too, but before going there and splurging out, do not forget to check out our restaurant reviews.

Two days back I received these newsletters from 6 Ballygunge place and Esplanade, so thought of sharing these with you, in case you might be interested to join their buffet.

poila baisakh buffet

Enjoy and have a blessed day



  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 2:53 am

    When could be a better time to share this awesome recipe? 😀
    Shubho Noboborsho, Sukanya. Onek onek aador o bhalobasha niyo. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Omg, cant take my eyes from ur clicks, makes me hungry..

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Nababarsher anek shubhechha Sukanya. darun hoeche jhal ta. ki bright colour.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Yummy!!! Love sea food, and this looks absolutely delicious!!! The pic are so very inviting!

  • Reply
    April 16, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Fish curry looks yum,..perfect with a bowl of plain rice,,,

  • Reply
    Ranjan Padhi
    April 24, 2012 at 7:51 am

    delicious… its one of my favorite dishes, and that the reason i love to visit bengal. Just look at the color its so good. 🙂

  • Reply
    Nalini Savara
    January 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Either there is an incorrect entry for the amount of whole mustard,(ONE CUP) in this fish dish or I just cant handle so much pungency in one curry. I followed the recipe to the T and to exaggerate a little,both my old man and I just about died while trying to relish it.More over it was bitter as hell.Where did I go wrong. Please let me know Thanks.

    • Reply
      January 31, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      I seriously apologise Nalini for any inconvenience that the recipe caused to you, it was not typo error but I forget to mention – use just 3-4 tablespoon of that mustard paste. What we usually do is that I make a mustard paste of 25 gm or 1 cup and store it for future use, as it is difficult to grind small quantity of mustard seeds.

      I have correct the error and updated the post, and we use only yellow mustard seeds, which is not bitter and less pungent. On the contrary if you use black mustard seeds it will be highly pungent and bitter too.
      And if at all you find mustard is too pungent for your palate then you can mellow it down bty mixing it with 1 tbsp of yogurt.

      Once again I apologise to you and thanks for pointing out the errors and trying the recipe.


  • Reply
    Nalini Savara
    January 31, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    We all make mistakes from time to time.Your intentions to share your favourite bengali recipes is honourable.Thank you for the new post. I will try it again;and yes ! I did use the yellow mustard. I am encouraged by all the other comments.How did all of them know only to use a portion of the paste,because they read the same recipe I did. Oh well.!!!

    • Reply
      February 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Nalini for trusting us and keeping your faith in our recipes. We appreciate it. Do let us know how it turned out. Hope you will enjoy it.


  • Reply
    May 13, 2013 at 1:59 am

    We were in Kolkatta for good 7 yrs n loved it ,but since my husband had tasted the authentic mustard fish there he is not satisfied by one prepared by me ,today once again ,after reading your recipe Iam attempting to make it -let me see I shall post u the result
    sangeeta (Delhi)

    • Reply
      May 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you so much Sangeeta for trying out the fish in mustard sauce. We Bongs just love to make it. Be sure to grind the yellow mustard seeds well before adding it to the dish. And also use it according to your palate. Hope the results will be good. Good or bad, let me know !


  • Reply
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    Ranna korlam…vlo I holo

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