A weekend afternoon and the aroma of fish curry and rice in the house is absolute bliss. In Odisha, fish is probably loved by one & all and among all the varieties of fish preparations, fish curry in light mustard sauce is one of the most popular dishes. This week on FoodFindo Bloggers Zone, we feature Food Blogger Swayampurna Mishra’s version of Fish Curry in Light Mustard Sauce.
Swayampurna Mishra blogs at La Petit Chef and La Petit Chef is one of the most followed blogs in the blogging sphere. A banker by profession, chef by passion, self taught food photographer and food stylisyt, Swayam thanks her mother for the passion that has now become her way of life . We wish Swayam all the best and look forward to many more spectacular dishes from the kitchen of La Petit Chef.
Following is the blog originally posted on http://lapetitchef.in/recipe/fish-curry-in-light-mustard-sauce.
Fish curry in light mustard sauce is the curry of my dreams. Succulent tender fish cooked in a spicy and tangy mustard gravy in the traditional Oriya way, just the way my mom and grandma used to. This curry is best eaten with simple steamed rice.
Everytime I make this fish curry in light mustard sauce I get transported back home. To that simple land of Odisha with its swaying palm trees and rice paddy field studded highways, a thousand temples and the blue beaches of Puri, of the art of Pattachitra and the mesmerizing beauty of the Odissi dance, of simple salt of the earth people and lip smacking yet completely unassuming food. This is a family favorite. Growing up we used to eat fish three times a week and the day mom made this spicy fish curry in light mustard sauce was certainly the best of the week.
As much as I hate tradition being followed for the sake of tradition, there are some that are golden.I love India, but sadly it is a beautiful gem of a land driven to madness by the loud cacophony of incessant noise one hears in the name of tradition, a country that is sagging under the burden of a majorly patriarchal society. That is the tradition I am against.
But I love tradition of a special kind. I love the tradition of touching the feet of our elders, of treating our guests as Gods or “Atithi Devo Bhawa”, the belief in the sanctity of marriage, the tradition of sounding the conch shells and lighting diyas in the evening, of a sister tying her brother’s love in a simple thread during Rakhi, the love of a wife as she fasts for her love on Karwachauth, the tradition of our poojas and festivals, of invoking Lord Ganesha before starting a new task, of Holi and Diwali, the Sindoor Khel of Durga Pujo, the gloriousness of Lohri and I especially love the tradition of mom’s passing on some gems from their kitchens to us!!
This particular fish curry in light mustard sauce needs no introduction to most Indians. Its a simple,time tested curry that’s been passed on from generation to generation. Although Bengalis and Oriyas make it the way I have done here, most regions have their version of a similar mustard curry and I am sure it must be just as delectable. The original recipe of fish curry in light mustard sauce,the way my mom makes it uses “ambula” or dried mango. I cant find them in these parts, so I amended it to use standard tamarind paste.and my version works very well too!
Once you open up the lid of the pot , your senses will be intoxicated with layers of flavor and fragrance.There’s the strong hard-to-mask pungent fragrance from the mustard, the earthy aroma of garlic,the heat from green chilies, tang from tamarind and the special magical aroma of curry leaves!
As for the fish, you can eat the fried fish as it is. They are perfect with just a squeeze of lime. But the fish in the fish curry in light mustard sauce? Oh My! Now that one can sing a song, croon a soft melodious tune in your ears as its breaks open at the lightest touch to reveal a shiny white inside that’s utterly deliciously flavored from the spices of the gravy!
If you want to make just one fish curry, this fish curry in light mustard sauce is it. No second thoughts!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins
Servings : 4
Make the paste by following the recipe provided in the link below in the notes. Marinate the fish in the ingredients listed above for 15- 30 mins max.
Heat some Mustard Oil in a kadhai or pan. When hot, add the fish to the pan making sure its away from you, coz it will definitely splatter. Do not overcrowd. Do not move the fish immediately. Let it fry on one side for 3-4 mins, turn it over to the other side and cook for another 5 mins till done. It should be golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside the fried fish on a plate.
Heat a little mustard oil in a kadhai or pan.I use the same oil the fish was pan fried in to incorporate even more flavor. Add black mustard seeds, pop a red chillie, once it splutters add some curry leaves,saute for 30 secs. Now add the onions and cook till pink and translucent.
Next add the prepared ground mustard masala/paste to the onions, adjust turmeric and red chili powder as per taste. Cook well, stirring for 3-4 minutes.
Add in the chopped tomatoes,a pinch of salt and cook the masala till oil leaves from the sides. If the masala sticks, splash a little water and continue stirring it. Add the tamarind paste , mix well and cook for a min.
Once the masala is done, add in sufficient water to make a gravy ,around 2 cups. Once the water is bubbling, add in the fried fish pieces. (I reserve some fried fish to eat as it is) Lower the flame and let it simmer for 15 minutes till thick and cooked beautifully. Once done, turn off the gas.
In a small tadka pan, add a little mustard oil, mustard seeds, dried red chilies and the curry leaves. Let it splutter. Then simply pour this over the curry and immediately close the lid and let rest for 10 mins. When ready to serve, add chopped coriander to your curry and srev with plain rice and lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!