If you read the many, many year-end best cookbooks of 2010 lists, you will doubtless be very familiar with Madhur Jaffrey's latest book, At Home With Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Also if you read our recent interview with the prolific cookbook author. It's a great book, and we wish we could run a recipe from it every week until Jaffrey writes another one. Since we do not, sadly, work for Knopf, we will content ourselves with running a last one and leave it at that. Turn the page for Jaffrey's recipe for salmon in Bengali mustard sauce.

Salmon in a Bengali Mustard Sauce

From: At Home With Madhur Jaffrey, by Madhur Jaffrey.

Note: Jaffrey notes that you may eat this with plain rice and make the sauce as hot as you like. In Bengal, the mustard seeds are ground at home, but Jaffrey uses commercial ground mustard, also sold as mustard powder. You may also use halibut instead of the salmon.

Serves: 2-3


To rub on the fish:

3/4 pound skinless salmon fillet

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


You also need:

1 tablespoon ground mustard

¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4  teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4  teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons mustard oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute)

1/4  teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds

1/4  teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

2 fresh hot green and/or red chilies (bird's-eye is best), slit slightly


1. Cut the fish into pieces that are about 2″ x 1″ and rub them evenly with the salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes-10 hours.

2. Put the mustard powder, cayenne, turmeric, and salt in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and mix thoroughly. Add another 7 tablespoons water and mix. Set aside.


3. Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. 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 green chilies, stir, and bring to a gentle simmer.

4. Place the fish pieces in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through, spooning the sauce over the fish all the time.

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