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Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Indian, NonVeg | 2 comments

Bihari Fish Curry

Bihari Fish Curry

I have vivid memory of my mom making fish curry.I think i can still sense the pungent, spicy aroma which lingers long after it has been cooked(and for many that leaves the bad taste but for us,it didn’t).I called it ‘Bihari’ after the name of the state,i grew up (which later divided and my family no longer lives there)

Growing up,we ate fish frequently with rice.It didn’t held the special status as ‘chicken or mutton’.My dad will get the freshest,live, local fish from the market and he himself will clean it at home.It will be simply chopped to pieces,not fillet like here,so getting bones was very common and we didn’t think too much about it.

I remember it almost always cooked in spicy mustard gravy, served with plain white rice and tomato-cucumber-onion salad drizzled with lemon juice.We sat on the floor,on ‘dari'(Indian rug)/’chatai(indian mat) as a family with our ‘thali’ in front of us,eating with our hands. No forks and spoons.To some it may sound very primitive and what not but it is traditional Indian way to eat even today.Now that i am accustomed to forks and spoons and eating with hands has become a thing of past for me(unless its a finger food),looking back it seems so simple and so earthy.Very nostalgic.

Talking about this curry is making my mouth water.To this day,that’s my most favorite way to eat fish.However,i am very lazy and what i have tried here using Tilapia and Catfish fillet,it never tastes the same.I guess Indian fish which my dad cleaned up,bones-in and  my mom’s touch  is what makes all the difference,ha !

Rice,Indian Salad with fish curry

Rice,Indian Salad with fish curry

My sisters Pooja and Pritha shared this dish with us.Fish used in this dish is ‘Rohu’.Fish is available live,fresh,frozen,iced whichever you want it,all work done for you.

Bihari Fish Curry


  1. 1 medium size fish cut in pieces
  2. 2 Tablespoons oil
  3. 1 cup chopped tomato
  4. 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves
  5. 2 Thai Chili sliced
  6. Salt to taste
  7. water
  8. Seasoning
  9. 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
  10. 1/2 Teaspoon Red chili flakes
  11. 1 Bay Leaf
  12. 1/4 Teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  13. Wet spices
  14. 4 Teaspoon Mustard powder
  15. 3 Teaspoon Chili powder
  16. 1 Teaspoon Black pepper ground
  17. 1 Teaspoon Cumin powder
  18. 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
  19. 4 Teaspoon Garlic paste
  20. 2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder


  1. In a bowl,add fish and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.Let is sit for 10 mins.
  2. In a shallow iron skillet,add 1 tablespoon of oil,spread around.
  3. Add cut fish pieces.Cook it in each side.
  4. You can cook it all the way,if you are not adding it in gravy.
  5. If you are adding it in gravy,then just crisp the fish on each side.
  6. Take it out.
  7. In a 'Kadai'/Pan,add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
  8. Add seasoning to hot oil.
  9. Once seasoning are blooming,add wet spice mix.
  10. Cook it for 5-7 mins at medium.
  11. Add chopped tomatos and sliced green chili.
  12. Add water,add the shallow fry fish back to it.
  13. Bring it to boil and then simmer it down for 10 mins.
  14. Cook it until desired gravy consistency is reached.
  15. Add cilantro leaves to it.
  16. Enjoy it with plain rice,Indian salad.


Indians use skillet,made of aluminium,heavy bottom for everyday cooking,called 'Kadai'. It resembles chinese wok shape wise but it is different then wok.Indian Kadai does not need to be seasoned like 'wok' prior to cooking.


  1. Its written so nicely…very nostalgiac..mine does not come like this here…may be musturd oil does the trick…I also remember eating with Amla nimki..(gooseberry pickle).

  2. nive, yummy & so well written !! yeah nishchala, i also think, the mustard oil used in our bihari cooking, is what makes the dishes (this n others) taste so different, even when we use the same other ingredients and methods in our kitchens…

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