Bengali fish curries are hearty affairs, with prawns, mussels and barramundi cooked in freshly toasted spices and dressed with coriander.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (4 votes)


  • 100 ml mustard oil
  • 200 g red onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 green chillies, or to taste, finely chopped
  • 50 g ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 10 g mustard seeds, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes, drained
  • 500 g ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
  • generous pinch salt
  • 4 raw prawns, shelled, heads and tails in-tact, intestinal tract removed
  • 8 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 fillet barramundi, about 220 g  
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or mustard oil
  • 5 g nigella seeds
  • coriander sprigs, 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.


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add half the mustard oil and when hot, add the onion and cook, stirring regularly until golden. Add the chopped chillies and ginger garlic paste and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the chilli powder and mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until the seeds start to pop. Add the tomatoes, stock and salt and cook for about 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat. Add the barramundi, skin-side down, reduce the heat to medium–low and cook for 7 minutes or until the fish has cooked ¾ through and the skin is crisp. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until it just cooked through.
  3. Once the tomatoes have softened, use a stick blender to blitz until smooth. Place over medium heat, add the mussels and prawns, cover and cook for a few minutes or just until the mussels have opened and the prawns have cooked through. Transfer to a large serving bowl with the barramundi.   
  4. Heat the remaining 50 ml mustard oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the nigella seeds and cook for 30-60 seconds or just until they begin to pop and are fragrant. Pour over the seafood and top with coriander to serve.


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Photography by Andrew Dorn.