• Bengali barramundi curry (China Squirrel)

This is an Australian-influenced Bengali curry. I'm showcasing our great seafood, using barramundi, prawns and mussels.






Skill level

Average: 1.1 (1719 votes)


Tomato raita

  • 200 g natural yoghurt
  • 2 ripe Roma tomatoes, finely chopped 


Ginger-garlic paste

  • 100 g ginger
  • 100 g garlic cloves 



  • 100 ml mustard oil (see Note)
  • 500 g Spanish onions
  • 35 g long green chillies, chopped
  • 50 g ginger-garlic paste (from above)
  • 15 g black mustard seeds, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes or until semi-soft, drained
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 kg ripe Roma tomatoes 



  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 15 g nigella seeds 



  • 6 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 6 medium raw (green) prawns, shelled
  • 100 g sugar snap peas
  • vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 2 x 100 g skinless barramundi fillets, pin-boned
  • coriander leaves, to garnish


  • steamed basmati rice, to serve 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


For the tomato raita, combine the yoghurt and tomato in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the ginger-garlic paste, peel the ginger and garlic, place in a food processor and process to a paste. Set aside. 

For the sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onion and cook until lightly golden.

Add the chilli and ginger-garlic paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the mustard seeds and chilli powder and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.

Add the tomato and cook until softened.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the tempering, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the nigella seeds and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pureed sauce and season with salt.

Add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook until they just open.

Add the prawns and sugar snaps and simmer until the prawns are cooked. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

For the fish, heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat, add the fish and cook on both sides until just cooked.

Transfer the fish to a shallow plate, spoon over the mussels, prawns, snap peas and sauce and garnish with coriander. Serve with the rice and raita on the side.


Chef’s notes

• Mustard oil is available from health food stores and Indian grocers.


Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel


Adam D'Sylva cooks his fish curry in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan. 

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.