Herring Mach Shido (Steamed Fish)

This is a very traditional West Bengali dish that uses copious amounts of mustard oil and mustard paste for a very zingy potent taste with hint of ginger and fresh heat from chillies.


Half a grated onion
1 cm piece ginger grated.
1 cm cut into slithers
4 green chillies, all slit
Quarter cup mustard oil.
2 tbsp Colmans mustard cream
Half cup of water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder

Sprat fish, Herring or traditionally Ilish fish.
I find herrings work really good.


Mix all the above ingredients together in a karahi or pan.
Add to it your cleaned fish.
Place in a well covered/sealed pan and simmer on low for about 15 to 20 mins.
You don’t want too much liquid and the oil should be surfacing.

This is served usually with plain boiled rice. I can’t think of any other way that would do this Bengali classic justice.


As with many dishes, there are variations. You can replace the mustard cream with 3 tbsp of freshly blended brown mustard seed paste for a more authentic ‘Shido’.

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