Growing up in a Bengali household we ate a lot of traditional Bengali food, which I loved. One thing I remember was this mackerel dish. It was one of the first things I learnt to cook as soon as I started making food for my own family. Primarily because it’s so easy, but also because the fish doesn’t taste ‘fishy’. My son loves this, so when I cook it for him, I cut back on the green chillies.
This is a variation of my mother’s recipe, where she uses fresh fish. Her version takes a lot longer as the fish needs to be cooked and deboned. I use tinned fish because they’re easier to work with, but also, I can keep them for a last minute recipe idea. Like most dishes, this is pretty versatile; you can use either mackerel or sardines in either tomato or oil.
1 Medium Onion, chopped finely
250g Mackerel Fillets (I use tinned fillets in tomato sauce).
4-5 Green Chillies, roughly chopped
1 Medium Potato, peeled and cut into small batons
½ Tbsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Oil (less if the fish is tinned in oil)
Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander
¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 ¼ Tsp Curry Powder
½ Tsp Coriander Powder (Dhania)
½ Tsp Chilli Powder
1. In a pan, heat the oil and fry the onions, chillies and salt until the onions become soft.
2. Add the spices to the onions and mix. Cook this on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the fish to the pan. You may have to break the fish up into flakes, using a fork. Add the potatoes and cook on low heat until the potatoes are cooked and most of the juices have dried up. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
4. Add the coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes.
This dish is best served with plain rice.