Eat this with plain rice and make the sauce as hot as you like. In Bengal the mustard seeds are ground at home, but to make matters simpler I have used shop-bought mustard powder. Halibut may be used instead of salmon. This very traditional dish is best served with Plain Basmati Rice and My Everyday Moong Dal plus a green vegetable

Serves 2–3

340 g/12 oz skinless salmon fillet
Ground turmeric
Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 tablespoons mustard oil or
Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon whole brown
Mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 fresh, hot green chillies (bird’s eye are best), partially slit


Cut the fish into pieces about 2.5 x 5 cm/1 x 2 inches and rub them evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Put the mustard powder in a small bowl with 1/4–1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix to a paste. Add another 7 tablespoons water and mix. Set aside.

Put the oil in a medium frying pan and set over a 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 chillies, stir and bring to a gentle simmer.

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, turning the fish over once and spooning the sauce over it all the time.

(Recipe from Curry Easy/At Home with Madhur Jaffrey)