Salmon With Bengali Mustard Sauce Recipe

This traditional Indian seafood dish is best served with plain basmati rice, dal and a green vegetable.

3/4 lb. skinless salmon fillet*
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mustard Sauce
1 tbsp ground mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)
1/4 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/4 tsp whole fennel seeds
2 fresh hot green and/or red chilies (bird’s-eye is best), slit slightly

* You may also use halibut instead of the salmon.


Step 1: Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2″ x 1″ and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 10 hours.

Step 2: Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tbsp water and mix. Set aside.

Step 3: Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Stir once and quickly pour in the mustard paste. Add the green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Step 4: Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time.

Reprinted with permission from Madhur Jaffrey’s At Home With Madhur Jaffrey (2010 Knopf Canada).

Photo At Home With Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook Indian


Christopher Hirsheimer