Bengali Fish

Aman Dosanj’s perfectly cooked sablefish has a slightly smoky flavour offset by a Bengali-style mustard and yogurt sauce. 

  • By Aman Dosanj
  • September 26, 2018
Image Author: Evaan Kheraj


    4 fillets Ocean Wise B.C. sablefish
         (black cod), about 4 oz each

    2 tbsp + 1 tsp black mustard seeds

    3 tbsp white wine vinegar

    2 tbsp canola or camelina oil,
    plus extra for searing fish

    1 medium red onion, finely sliced

    1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted or gently
    toasted in a hot pan, then ground

    1 tsp red chili powder (optional)

    Salt, to taste

    2 roma or field tomatoes, quartered

    ⅔ cup water

    Pinch sugar

    ¼ cup plain yogurt, stirred to remove lumps 


    First, make a Kasundi-style mustard: soak 2 tbsp mustard seeds in white wine vinegar for a few hours or overnight, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

    In a heavy medium saucepan, heat oil until very hot, then add 1 tsp mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop (you want them to have a little dance party). Add red onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes until transluscent.

    Add Kasundi mustard and sauté for another 5 minutes. Stir in cumin seeds, chili powder and salt. Stir in tomatoes, mixing well (the acidity will deglaze the pan). Add water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Add sugar, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Reduce heat and gently stir in yogurt, stirring to keep it from curdling. Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth (start off slowly and gradually increase the speed).

    Season sablefish fillets with salt and pepper and set a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of oil and, when pan is hot, sear fish for around 3 minutes per side or until just cooked (note: 8 minutes for such a delicate fish will be too much). Serve with the sauce over Swiss chard and white/salad turnips (recipe below) or rice. Serves 4.

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