This light fish curry is a staple in the eastern states of Bengal and Orissa. Flaky white fish fillets are cooked in aromatic mustard oil before they are simmered in a panch phoran-spiked tomato broth.
Panch phoran means 5 spices, and is a blend that is essential to Bengali cooking. The spices typically included are cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek, and nigella seeds. Each seeds adds a different flavor profile, from smoky to bitter to sweet, and results in a complex yet balanced taste. This recipe is quick and comforting, especially when served with hot Basmati rice.