Katla Macher Chorchori (fish in tomato mustard sauce)

A chorchori always bodes well with Bengalis and I think this will tick many boxes as a variation.
Its a favourite for my middle daughter and hubby! Its also a crowd pleaser and for the fish course you can’t go wrong.

There are many variations of a chorchori which is essentially a curry using mustard.

I’ve used onions and tomatoes in this for a richer sauce with the slight tang coming through from the tomatoes and sweetness from onions.

Its a flavoursome dish and goes well with pretty much any type of fish you choose to use. I have used a large Bream. Its oily richness is balanced beautifully by the use of tomatoes and potent mustard.

A word of advice. Please use English Colmans mustard cream in this as other brands have too much acid and will actually ruin the taste as the tomatoes and acid clash.

The key is to cook down the tomatoes till virtually invisible. Ensure you get the oil splitting afer you have cooked the tomatoes.

All measurements using level spoon or measuring cup.

Method for fish prep:
Fish of your choice, I used Katla fish (large bream).
Clean and place your fish in a bowl.
Add 1 tsp turmeric.
1 tsp chilli powder.
Half tsp salt.
Mix well with spices/salt then shallow fry the fish in frying pan on both sides, gently, till just golden. Drain and put aside.

For curry:
Quart cup mustard or veg oil
1/2 tsp Fenugreek/methi seeds
1 large onion really finely sliced
1 green chilli chopped.
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 slit green chillies
2 tomatoes finely chopped.
2 tbsp English Colmans mustard

Powdered spices:
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp cumin powder


In the above pan add the quarter cup oil.
When the oil is hot add methi seeds and wait till they go dark brown and you get that smoky aroma. Add the finely sliced onion, salt and the chopped green chilli.

Fry this for a few minutes till just getting some colour then add half cup of water, cover and cook on low till the water has evaporated and you are left with softened onions and the oil splitting. At this point add 4 tbsp water and to this your powdered spices and stir well.

Continue to cook this now stirring frequently until your water is cooked off and you can see oil splitting again.
Add 4 more tbsp water and cook again till the oil splits. Make a well in the middle, if the oil runs in add your tomatoes and sugar. Give this a good stir and cook covered, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have fully become integrated into the sauce and you have the oil splitting again. You should not see any tomato chunks.

Next you add 2 cups of water. Add your mustard cream, fish and green slit chillies.
Reduce heat and cook partially covered on med heat till the oil is surfacing.

You want a slightly thick sauce. Bare in mind the mustard will absorb and reduce the sauce a little further post cooking.

Taste for salt and seasoning, adjust if required.

Serve with hot plain rice and green chilli and enjoy your efforts.

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