Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds

This Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds is an absolute triumph!

I'm always on the lookout for something out of the ordinary and this Bengali preparation delivers just that. Using the holy trinity of ingredients associated with the Bengali region; mustard oil, poppy seeds and coconut, you'll be treated to an authentic and truly amazing fragrance and flavour.

An rich and creamy sauce which is out of this world delicious, coats the meltingly tender fish pieces. It's a lighter, brighter sauce, not as rich as say, my Madras Lamb Curry or Imperial Chicken Curry, but don't think for a second that it doesn't deliver on flavour.

If you're in the mood for a different kind of curry, not often seen outside of India, then sample my Bengali Fish curry.

How to make my Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds

Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds

Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds

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Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 462


  • 500 g 1.1lb white fish - cut into pieces
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • 4 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds (black or white)
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 hot green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste (or 1/2 lime/lemon - juice of)


  • Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan until hot. Add the dried chillies and curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, scoop out the chillies and leaves and place into a pestle and mortar along with the cumin seeds, poppy seeds, turmeric, coriander, fresh green chillies, salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon water and pound for about 5 minutes into a smooth paste.
  • Pour off half of the oil from the wok, then heat over a moderate temperature until hot again. Add the paste along with another tablespoon water and fry for 1 minute. Pour in 1 cup water and stir well. Bring to a bubble and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half and the oil separates.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered for 10 minutes until reduced to a consistency of whipping/double cream.
  • Add the fish chunks and simmer for 5 minutes until cooked through. Very gently stir in the tamarind paste and adjust salt & sugar levels to your taste.
  • I serve mine with lots of fluffy Basmati rice. For this curry, I created a fresh and crunchy garnish of chopped spring onion, celery, radishes and fresh cilantro/coriander.


Nutrition Facts
Bengali Fish Curry with Coconut and Poppy Seeds
Amount Per Serving
Calories 462 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 19g119%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 811mg35%
Potassium 632mg18%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 321IU6%
Vitamin C 106mg128%
Calcium 108mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course | Main Course
Cuisine | Indian, Italian
Keyword | Curry, Fish
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