Fish curry with Mustard


  • 2 Pounds firm-fleshed fish such as salmon, swordfish, mahi-mahi, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 2 Teaspoons turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon black mustard seed
  • 1 Teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 Teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 3 green chiles, 1 left whole, 1 halved lengthwise, and 1 seeded and slivered thinly
  • 1/4 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 piece (1 1/2 inches) fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil


1. In a bowl, combine the fish, 1 teaspoon of the turmeric, and the salt.

2. In a coffee grinder or a spice grinder, combine the black and yellow mustard seeds and poppy seeds. Grind them until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

3. In a food processor, combine 1 green chile, the coconut, and water. Work the mixture until it is a paste. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and generous pinch of salt.

4. In the food processor, work the onion and ginger to a rough paste. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and generous pinch of salt.

5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the mustard or sunflower oil. Add the fish and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the fish turns opaque. Add the halved green chile. Continue cooking for 30 seconds. Add the mustard paste, onion paste, and mustard oil, if using.

6. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 2 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Garnish with slivered chiles and serve with rice.

Fish Shopping Tip

A fresh fish should not smell fishy nor have milky, opaque eyes; it should have bright red gills, firm flesh, and a tight anal cavity.

Fish Cooking Tip

Whole fish should be stored upright in ice in the refrigerator.

Fish Wine Pairing

Most white wines (especially albariño) and rosé with most fish dishes. Muscadet, sancerre, or New Zealand sauvignon blanc with cold fish dishes; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, or pinot blanc with grilled or roasted fish; sauvignon blanc or gewürztraminer with baked fish; grüner veltliner with fish pâté; vintage or non-vintage champagne or sparkling wine with light fish dishes; fino or manzanilla with small fried fish; junmai, junmai-ginjo, or junmai-daiginjo with teriyaki fish.