Hot & Sour Fish – Bengali Style Fish Curry


  • 400 g firm white fish – cut into 4 even fillets
  • 2 tbspn rice
  • 1 tspn dried onion and/or garlic flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • Vege oil for frying the fish
  • 5-6 medium tomato’s, cores removed & rough quartered
  • 2 – 3 green chillies, rough chopped
  • 2-3 shallots, peeled & rough chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled & rough chopped
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 tbspn vege oil
  • 2 tspn yellow mustard seeds, lightly ground in a mortar & pestle.
  • 1 tspn nigella seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole green chillies (or as many as you like – mainly decoration)
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tspn grated palm sugar
  • Sea salt


  • Dry fry the rice, dried onion and/or garlic flakes, salt and pepper in a hot pan until the rice is light-medium brown. Grind the rice in a mortar & pestle to a fine-medium course powder
  • Food processor the tomato’s, chopped green chillies, shallots, garlic and turmeric
  • 1 tbspn vege oil in hot pan. Quick fry the lightly ground mustard seeds and the nigella seeds of about 15 seconds. Add the tomato mixture and bring to boil. Simmer until liquid has gone leaving a medium thick “paste” (approx. 5 minutes)
  • Add the bay leaves, whole green chillies, lemon juice & water – bring to the boil again.
  • Simmer until liquid has reduced to half
  • While the sauce is simmering – coat the fish in the rice powder and gently fry on medium heat . Fish should be only just cooked to keep it soft and moist.
  • Season the sauce to taste with the palm sugar (more or less to taste and salt.


  • Place 1-2 spoons of sauce only in the bottom of wide bowls and spread around
  • Place the fish on top
  • Pour the remainder of the sauce including the whole chillies over the top 


  • Serves 2

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