Fish is one of the staples at the Bengali’s table. Chicken and mutton are delicacies for special occasions. Although, chicken has become quite popular with the younger generations, fish hasn’t lost its standing completely. In a previous recipe, Mustard Plaice , I’ve already mentioned the popularity of using mustard with fish. In this recipe, I will be using another favourite from the Bengali’s kitchen, Coconut milk. The sweetness of the coconut tempers the eye-watering strength of the mustard. With the help of modern food preservation techniques, this is one of the simplest dishes to make. My mustard comes out of a jar and the coconut milk out of a can. Opening the can was quite difficult!

Fish in coconut milk and mustard gravy
Fish in coconut milk and mustard gravy


  • Any white fish (I’ve used 750 grams of River Cobbler. Cod and Haddock will do quite well too.)
  • One large onion (the size of the onion depends on the amount of fish.)
  • A handful of coriander
  • A teaspoon full of ginger paste or freshly grated
  • 100 ml of coconut milk
  • Mustard powder, or paste, or a sauce (avoid sauces which have corn flour added to them)
  • A teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • Green chilli sliced and seeded
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • A few tablespoons of any cooking oil (As mustard oil has been declared unfit for consumption by the EU, you probably shouldn’t use it. But if you are from a country that still consumes mustard oil, please feel free to heat it to smoking point before cooking with it.)

Preparation and cooking time 30 minutes

Lightly fry the fish till it loses its pinkness and keep aside. Next, fry the onions, dried red chilli and the mustard seeds. When you start getting a nutty flavour add the ginger and stir around to avoid it sticking. Mix the coconut milk and the mustard paste and pour it in the pan. Stir it well, add the fish and let it simmer. Garnish with the green chilli and coriander leaves. You will end up with a thick gravy, to lighten it add some warm water. However, the thicker the gravy the stronger it will taste.

Serving suggestions: Serve with freshly steamed Basmati rice or a rice pilaf.

Written by Amrita Dasgupta - Visit my blog for more food and travel stories
I love to travel, discover new things, experience new cultures and then I get back home and experiment with the new food and recipes I discovered on my travels. My blog is about all those life experiences. If you’ve enjoyed this post, keep in touch with Drifting Traveller on Twitter and Facebook or by adding my blog to your RSS feed. Follow my blog with Bloglovin or Networked Blogs! If you really like reading the Drifting Traveller why not share it with people you know who'd like to read it too.