Margarita's International Recipes


Maccher Sorshe Jhaai

Fish in Mustard Sauce

fish in Mustard Sauce

Bengalis seem quite fond of mustard, not only is mustard oil their preferred cooking oil, but mustard seeds and paste appear in quite a few of their dishes. I found several different recipes for fish with mustard sauce and chose this one because it was relatively simple and yet potentially yummy. I did modify it a little bit in light of the other recipes and the ingredients I had at home.

Obviously, you can't get Bengali fish in the US, I used tilapia instead, though I think you can use any fish you like. The original recipe asked for tsp of "kali jeera" or onion seeds, and as those were not readily available I skipped them. You can add them if you find them. The recipe asks for 4 green chili, I used Thai chiles but you could also use serranos or any other green chiles you like. I was able to find mustard oil in the nearby South Pacific market, but you should be able to find it in any Indian market.

This dish was very tasty, and it kept getting better with every bite. It was slightly, and pleasantly, spicy. You can't taste the mustard as such, so even people who don't like mustard are likely to like this dish. I would definitely make it again, next time for company.

Note that this recipe will serve 4 as part of a larger meal, if you want to serve it as the main dish you may want to double the quantities.

Fish in Mustard Sauce


  • 1 lb fish fillets
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 4 green chiles, slit
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, pureed
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water


    Coat the fish fillet with 1/4 tsp. of turmeric and salt to taste. Leave to marinate while you prepare the sauce.

    Heat mustard oil in a large frying pan, and when hot add the chiles. Turn down the heat to low, and fry for 15-20 seconds. Add the chopped tomato and fry for 15 more seconds. Add the mustard, ginger, 1/4 tsp. of turmeric and salt to taste. Stir and blend together. Add the water, raise the heat to medium, and boil for a few minutes. Add the fish and cook until done (5-7 minutes), turning once.

    Place in a serving plate, pour sauce on top and garnish with cilantro. Serve.

    Adapted from a recipe at the India Cooks website.

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