Easy Bengali fish curry
- May 2019
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min
This hot and sour fish curry is the kind of easy-to-prepare yet impressive dish every cook should have in their repertoire. Delicately spiced, aromatic and rich with Bengali flavourings, it’s a bowlful to fire up the senses – and satisfy the soul.
Recipe from My Kind of Food by Valli Little (ABC Books), published in Australia.
See our South Indian-style fish curry too for an easy, healthy and colourful midweek meal.
- 4.9g (0.8g saturated)
- 11.6g (8.1g sugars)
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded (leave the seeds in if you like it hot) and roughly chopped
- Bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stems chopped separately, a few leaves left whole to garnish
- 1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
- 12 dried curry leaves
- 1 tsp panch phoran (see Know-how) or black mustard seeds
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 500g skinless boneless firm white sustainable fish (such as ling, cod or haddock), chopped into bite-size pieces
- Steamed basmati rice, dosas or naan bread and chutneys to serve
You’ll also need…
- Food processor or blender
- Put the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander stems in a food processor or blender, then whizz to a rough paste.
- Heat the oil or ghee in a heavy-based frying pan (with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the curry leaves and panch phoran or mustard seeds, then fry briefly until fragrant. Add the onion and coriander paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the dry spices and cook for a minute more, stirring to stop them catching.
- Add the tomatoes, tamarind paste (see tips) and 250ml water, then cook
for 3-4 minutes until the liquid has slightly reduced. Add the fish and season. Partially cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes until the fish is just cooked through. Gently stir in the chopped coriander leaves, then serve with basmati rice, dosas or naan bread and chutneys, with coriander leaves to garnish.
If you can’t find tamarind paste you can re-create its tangy/sour taste by adding the juice of 1 lime.
Make the onion and coriander paste up to 2 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge.
Panch phoran (or phoron) is a Bengali five-spice seasoning (mustard, nigella, cumin seeds, fennel and fenugreek seeds). Buy it from Waitrose or souschef.co.uk.
A cold, crisp, aromatic New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
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