My husband, V, and I used to live in another city before we moved to where we are now. Right before we moved, a few friends invited us over for dinner at their home. As always, we had a lovely evening of conversation and laughter. As someone who is mildly obsessed with food, I still remember what we ate: mustard-marinated salmon cooked on a grill. I had never seen mustard used as a marinade before, but I loved it immediately! I found out that using mustard as a marinade for fish and meat is part of classic French cuisine. Fast forward a few years later, to when I learned that mustard fish curry (shorshe maach) is a popular Bengali dish; I knew I had to try it myself!
Mustard is one of the main ingredients in Bengali cooking--whether in seed, paste, or oil form. Traditional recipes for shorshe maach use both mustard paste and mustard oil. Here is the thing: mustard oil is really hard to find in American grocery stores because it is not approved for human consumption by the FDA. I tried the Indian store, but could only find it in one liter amounts! I don't have use for that much mustard oil, and I assume most of you don't either. Not wanting to make myself or any of you purchase mustard oil, I have decided this recipe is Bengali "inspired." There are many authentic recipes for this dish that use mustard oil-and you can find them easily on the Internet. While this recipe isn't necessarily authentic, it is delicious!