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Fish with Mustard Sauce

Fish doesn't often make it onto the menu in Indian restaurants so you have to cook it at home. This Bengali recipe is one of my favourites, well anything in mustard is fine by me. Use a firm white fish such as Cod and serve simply with plain boiled rice and a kachoomba. The sauce would also suit chicken or rabbit for a variation. This will serve 4 people.


1.5lb chunky white fish fillets
5 tblspn oil
3 tomatoes pureed
Juice of 1/2 lime
Chopped fresh coriander for garnish

Spice mix
2 tblspn white poppy seed, toasted and soaked in water.
2 tblspn mustard seed
1 tspn turmeric
1/4 fresh coconut cut into small chunks or 2 tblspn desiccated coconut soaked in milk
2cm piece of fresh ginger chopped fine
6 cloves of garlic chopped
2 green chillies chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tspn coriander seed
2 tspn cumin seed
1 tspn red chilli powder


1. Grind all hard spices (poppy, mustard, coriander, cumin, coconut) in a grinder
2. Grind all spice mix ingredients in a food processor with some water to make a loose paste
3. Use a large frying pan or wok and heat oil.
4. Stir fry spice mix, adding water to prevent sticking. Cook for about 7 minutes stirring continously.
5. Add tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes.
6. Add 1/2 pint of water and lime juice and salt to taste. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. The sauce should be pouring consistency.
7. Add fish pieces and simmer until cooked.
8. Serve alongside plain boiled rice and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Bengali Fish Kebabs

450g (1lb) fish steaks
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch piece root ginger
1 small onion, peeled
1 red chilli
150g (5oz) natural yoghurt
salt to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons garam masala

Cut the fish into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes. Wash, drain and dry them.
Liquidize all the remaining ingredients, to form a marinade paste. Marinade the cubes for approximately 2 hours.
Thread the fish on to 4 skewers, and grill for ten minutes.
Serve on a bed of salad.
Serves 4.

Bengali Fish Curry with Yogurt Dahi Mach

1 pound New Jersey flounder or fluke fillets
2 cups yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Salt to taste
Marinate the fish in 1 cup of the yogurt for 30 minutes.

Saute the onions in the vegetable oil until soft. Add the spices, and saute for another 3 minutes then add fillets, yogurt marinade, the other cup of yogurt and salt to taste. Simmer until fish is just done, watching carefully. Serve with rice.

Serves 4 to 6.

(From The Art of Indian Cooking by Monica Dutt, 1972, Bantam Books, Inc., New York, NY)

Calcutta Lobster in Spinach and Yogurt Sauce

1 1/2 pounds uncooked lobster tails, thawed if frozen
1 bunch spinach
1 medium onion
4 large garlic cloves
1 small fresh serrano chile
a 1-inch piece fresh gingerroot
1/2 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (see note, beginning of recipe)
2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

Accompaniment: cooked white or brown basmati rice


With a cleaver or large knife halve lobster tails lengthwise. Discard shells and devein tails. Cut lobster into bite-size pieces.

Discard coarse stems from spinach and chop enough spinach to measure 2 cups. Chop onion and mince garlic. Wearing protective gloves, mince serrano. Peel gingerroot and mince. With a mortar and pestle or in an electric coffee/spice grinder coarsely grind mustard seeds.

In a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook onion, garlic, serrano, gingerroot, and mustard seeds, stirring, until onion begins to brown. Add coriander and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in spinach and cook until it begins to wilt, about 30 seconds. Gradually add yogurt, stirring until combined well, and stir in lobster and salt. Simmer mixture gently until lobster is just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.

Serve lobster and sauce over rice.


400 Grams Cottage Cheese (Paneer)
125 Grams Sugar (Food Processed,Blended)
10 Small Elaichis(Green Cardomom)
3 -4 Silver Foils(Vark : Optional)
Kesar(saffron) Petals.

Method :
Mash Cottage Cheese and Sugar well.
Ground Elaichis and add them to the Paneer Mixture.
Set the Mixture Flat in a Thali and Cut it into Round , square or rectangular pieces .
Apply Silver Foil and Kesar On top of it.

Paneer Barfi

250 Grams Khoya(Reduced and Cooked Milk in the form of a Dough as far as I know!!!)
125 Grams Paneer(Cottage Cheese)
2 Teaspoons of Desi Ghee.
100 Grams fine blend Sugar.
Cashewnuts and Pistachio nuts as Toppings.
Kewra Essence
Silver Foil(Vark)

Method :

Mash Khoya and Paneer well in seperate dishes.
Heat Ghee in a pan and Brown or Saute Khoya .
After 2-3 minutes , remove the pan from heat and add Mashed Paneer to it.
Add Sugar and Nuts .
Add 2 drops of Kewra Essence(subs: Vanilla Essence) to it and set the mixture in a flat dish.
Allow it to cool and apply Silver Foil.
Cut them to round or square pieces as desired and refrigerate for about an hour. (Though the dish is tasty when eaten fresh without refrigerating!!!)

Chicken Tikka Masala

1 pound chicken tikka (marinate chicken in store-bought tikka paste and yoghurt and grill or barbecue until just cooked, or just use fresh chicken!)
1 inch root ginger peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
salt as desired
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 onion finely chopped
quarter teaspoon turmeric powder
half teaspoon ground cumin
half teaspoon ground coriander
half teaspoon garam masala
half teaspoon chilli powder
4 fluid ounces chicken juices from grilling/warm water
10 fluid ounces double cream (I just add what looks right!) [N.B. - English "double cream" is very difficult to find in the States - you can substitute heavy whipping cream]
2 tbsps ground almonds

1. Pulp together ginger/garlic and some salt - melt butter and fry onions until soft - add pulp and cook for few minutes.
2. Stir in all powdered spices and cook for few minutes.
3 Add juices and water to make a thick sauce. Warm through, then add cream and heat through gently.
4. Now add the cooked chicken and cook for 10 minutes in the sauce.
5. Stir in the ground almonds and simmer for 5 miutes or so.

Usually served with saffron rice and naan bread.

Alu Dam

Ingredients :

Potatoes of uniform size
Mustard oil
Grinded onion
Grinded garlic
Grinded ginger
Aludam Masala - Coriander, Turmeric, Chillie, Cumin, Black Pepper, Amchur, Nutmeg & Ginger powders
Cardamom (big)
Salt to taste

For the garnish :

Pure Ghee
Raw Onions cut into rings
Fresh Corriander leaves (optional)

Preparation :
Peel off the potatoes, fry and till golden brown and keep aside.

Make a paste of aludam masala with the help of luke warm water half an hour before cooking.
Fry the ground onion, garlic and ginger pastes in oil properly till brown.
Add the fried potatoes, aludam masala paste & salt in it.
Stir well.
Add water proportionately and salt to taste.
wait till the water dries, stirring occasionally.
Remove to a platter. Sprinkle the garnish on top and serve.
Serve hot with rice or parathas

Kosha Mangsho

Ingredients :

Meat (Mutton)
Tomatoes cut into small pieces
Chopped Onion
Onion paste
Ginger paste
Garlic paste
Chilli Powder
Turmeric Powder
Cumin Powder
Black Pepper Powder
Cardamom Powder
Cinnamon Powder
Corriander Powder
Cardamom, Cloves & Cinnamon (whole spices)
Mustard Oil
Salt to taste


Boil the meat for sometime, strain water and keep the boiled meat in a bowl.
Heat oil and add the whole spices.
Saute the chopped onions till golden brown.
Add the onion, ginger & garlic paste and the diced tomatoes.
Stir well.
Stir in the boiled meat.
Add the remaining powdered spices and salt.
Sprinkle some water and stir well to mix all the ingredients.
Fry the meat and add water as necessary till the meat is cooked properly.
Serve hot with rice or puris

Kanthal Kofta


boiled potato-1big size,
green chillies chop-2tsp,
ginger-garlic chop-2tsp,
onion chop-2tsp,
red chilli pw-2tsp,
garam masala pw-2tsp,
amchur pw-2tsp,
oil-250gm for frying the koftaes.

For making gravy:

whole garam masala-few,
bay leaf-2no.
s,onion paste-1/4th cup,
ginger garlic paste-1/4thcup,
tomato puree-1/2cup,
salt-as taste,
termaric pw-2tsp
red chilli pw-2tsp,
beaten fresh cream-1/4th cup.


Cut and peel the Kanthal properlly and then wash and boiled it with salt and termaric pw.
Then mashed it and add all ingredients of koftaes,and make small balls of it.
Now fry it till golden brown.Heat a pan,and add oil.
Add whole garam masalas and bay leaf into it.Now add all masalas and fry it till oil remove from masalas.
Now add water and turn to boil.After boiling,add the koftaes and cook it in a very slow flame for 10 minutes.
Lastly add fresh cream and remove from heat.Serve hot with any rice or chapaties.

Bengali Tomato Chutney


Red tomato-5oogm,
mustard seed-2tsp
,bay leaf-2no.
dates chop-2tsp,
termaric pw-1tsp,

Heat a pan and add oil.
After temparing add mustard seed and bayleaf.
When it crackles then add chop tomato,salt,and termaric pw in it.
When it turns soft then add chop dates and raisin and lastly sugar into it.
Mix all and make thick.Enjoy it.

Catfish Curry


1 pound 0.5 inch width cut Cat Fish
1 big yellow Onion finely chopped
0.5 x 0.5 Ginger
3 big flakes of Garlic
3 medium size red Tomatoes finely chopped
4 Tablespoon Plain Yoghurt
1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
3 Teaspoon Coriander Powder
3-5 Stems of Coriander Leaves
5 Green Chillies (As per your taste to hot food)
1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
Salt as per the taste

Marinade cut Cat Fish pieces in yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder,
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder,
and salt as per your taste for 30 minutes.
Make a paste of garlic, ginger and coriander powder in a blender.
Make a paste of tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves and water.
In a karahi fry onions in 2 tablespoon of oil till onion turns light brown colour.
Put the contents of blender having garlic, ginger and coriander paste in the karahi with fried onion.
Fry this for about 10 minutes. Make sure that this mixture do not get burnt.
Add blended tomato, green chilli and coriander into this karahi.
Leave this karahi in a simmer heat for about 10 minutes.
If you want you can add little more salt as per the taste.
Add marinated fish into this karahi.
Put this on flame for about 30 minutes in a simmer heat.
Add water if the gravy dries down. Make sure the fish pieces do not break while you stirr it from time to time.
Serve hot with Rice and Cucumber Raita

Masala Crab Curry


Large size crabs-6no,
onion paste-1/4thcup,
garlic-ginger paste-1/4thcup,
tomato puree-1/2cup,
whole garam masala-few,
whole jeera-2tsp,
salt-as taste,
termaric pw-2tsp,
fresh chop corriender-1/4thcup.


Clean the crab and boiled it for 3 minutes.
Use only the fleshy parts to cook.
Heat a pan.Add oil,and after add whole jeera,tejpatta and whole garam masala.
Now after crackling it add other masalas and fry them till oil comes out.
Now add water to boil and add the crabs.
Cover it in a slow flame and cook for 15 minutes.
Garnish it with fresh corriender and serve hot with rice.