Mamta's Kitchen

Fish Curry in Yoghurt Sauce

Dahi Machchi

Maya Sen (Nani Maya)

CurryFree From GarlicFree From GingerFree From OnionFree From TomatoFishIndianMainSeafood

Note from Mamta: This is another simple but delicious fish dish from Bengal. Nani Maya, as my children used to call her, is the mother of one of our late friends. She used to visit England regularly when her daughter was alive and treated us all to some fabulous Bengali meals.

You can cook this dish with cod, salmon, tuna, trout,prawns, haddock, mackerel or any other local fish of choice.

Serves 4


  • 500 gm. Rohu (a type of Indian carp) or any other firm fleshed fish, filleted and cut into steaks. In UK, any firm white fish fillets will work, like cod, haddock or halibut.

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • For the Tarka for Cooking

  • 2 tbsp. mustard or rapeseed oil

  • 1 tsp. mustard seed

  • 10-20 curry leaves, fresh are best

  • 5-6 green chillies, whole (omit for a mild curry)

  • To cook the curry

  • 1 cup thick, natural yoghurt* (dahi) at room temperature

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric or huldi powder

  • 1 tsp. chilli powder (increase or decrease to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

  • 1 level tsp. salt, adjust to taste


  1. Cut fish into approximately 4 inch pieces

  2. Place fish pieces in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder over it. Gently turn over to cover the fish in turmeric. Leave aside for 30 minutes.

  3. Mix yoghurt, rest of the turmeric, chilli powder, salt, sugar and green chillies in a bowl.

  4. Heat oil, preferably in a non-stick pan.

  5. Add black mustard seeds and curry leaves.

  6. Stir for 10-15 seconds, until mustard seeds pop.

  7. Add the yoghurt and spice mix, stir for a few minutes, until oil begins to separate.

  8. Add the fish and gently fold it into the spice mix.

  9. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of water and gently stir it in. For a thinner gravy, you can add a little more water.

  10. Bring to boil and gently simmer for 6-8 minutes. Do not overcook fish, it will break apart.

  11. Serve hot as part of an Indian meal or simply with Boiled Rice.


  • You can garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

  • *Tips for cooking with yoghurt:

  • Always use full fat yoghurt, if possible. Skimmed milk yoghurt sometimes curdles during cooking. If you wish to use low fat yoghurt, add 1 heaped teaspoon of plain or corn flour per cup of yoghurt.

  • Make sure that the yoghurt is at room temperature. If yoghurt is cooked straight from the fridge, it may curdle.

  • When adding yoghurt during cooking, take out a few tablespoons of the hot food in a bowl, mix yoghurt, warming it a bit and then stir it back into the hot dish.

  • Substitute sour cream for yoghurt, using only half the amount.

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