Mustard and Bengalis have a long standing relationship, its tongue tickling heat just suits us. We use it for tempering the oil forvarious veggies, mainly its paste for preparing various fish curries and vegetables....from Shukto to Drumstick Masala....On reaching Kolkata, the first thing in my to-do-list is visiting the fish market the next morning......Oh how happy I feel to be among a variety of fresh water fish....and the warmth of the fish sellers...."Didi when did you come? Come, we have the best Hilsa/katla for you."Perhaps they say it to every patent customer, but the warmth in their tone is jenuine and that touches me.
I shall be lying if I say I don't get this warmth in my present abode altogether. A Saturday/Sunday morning at the Wet Market....with lot of fish loving Bongs from WestBengal n Bangladesh....religiously are present there....can hear these few broken Bengali words.....sister/brother....bhalo illish achey........with similar warmth in their tone.... It is then the pain of staying far from your own land lessens a bit. Yet I do miss my kind of fish here. Among all variety of sea fish, I can only have few like Salmon or Snappers. Not everyday we get to eat Salmon given its price but I like having it ....the typical Bengali way. What you need for this is few green chillies, mustard seeds, salt, turmeric and salmon. I learnt this recipe from a dear friend Sanak Chottopadhay who loves to cook and gives best to it. Let us enliven his recipe together.
Salmon : 4 pieces
Mustard Seeds : 1tbsp[ if you are averse to too much heat, use the yellow mustard seeds]
Salt : As required
Turmeric : 1/2tsp
Green Chillies : 4[adjust as per your taste]
Mustard Oil : 3 tbsp
Wash the fish pieces well and place in a metal bowl with cover. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile make a paste with washed mustard seeds and green chillies adding some salt and water. Be careful about the amount of water, the masala should not be watery.
Add the paste to the fish along with the mustard oil. Mix well as in the below picture.
Close the box tightly with its cover. Keep marinated for another half an hour. Now place a wok on heat with an amount of water that will make the box half immersed while placed on it. Just as in the below picture.
Let it boil at medium to low heat for about 50 minutes. Pour in water little by little if the water tends to dry. Once you switch off, let the box cool down. Now open and drizzle little oil over it. Its done.
Please note....this is the traditional way of doing it just as our mothers did it. Alternatively, you can use the convectional mode. In that case cover the tray with aluminium foil and cook for 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven @160 deg.C.
Once done, take the container out, open cover, transfer carefully to a serving bowl. Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice.