Salmon with Bengali mustard sauce

What to do with salmon? This dish is adapted from a Madhur Jaffery recipe. I’ve added lemon juice to the marinade, I used salmon with skin attached (unlike the original) and pan fried the salmon, skin side down, to make it crisp before cooking it in the sauce.  The mustard sauce is made up of two parts: dry spices which are fried to release their flavour and a wet mix, which is added to make the sauce.  Very tasty


For the Fish Rub

6 salmon pieces with skin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Juice of a lemon

For the Mustard Sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil)

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (brown)

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds (yellow)

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

2 hot green chilies, slit slightly, or 1/2 teaspoon  dried red chilli flakes

chopped coriander to finish


Rub the fish pieces evenly with a quarter teaspoon each of salt, ground turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to eight hours.

Put the mustard in a small bowl with a quarter to half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Add one tablespoon of water and mix the paste. Add a further seven tablespoons of water and mix. Set aside.

Put the oil in a medium frying-pan and set over a high heat until the oil is smoking. Add the fish pieces, skin side down and crisp the skin for about a minute. Carefully turn the fish pieces over with a spatula, scraping the skin off the pan as you go. Remove to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, 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 back in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about five minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spoon the sauce over the fish regularly as it cooks.

Serve sprinkled with coriander with steamed rice, daal, and yoghurt on the side.