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Bengali style fish curry with nigella seeds

Fish Curry With Nigella Seeds

Fish curry with nigella seeds is inspired by the Bengali Cuisine and lovely flavors of Nigella Seeds, red chili powder & garlic. The Nigella seeds add a pungent flavor and heat and warmth from the other spices makes this curry quite flavorful. The fish remains flaky, delicate, and tender, the spices used in the curry add a bright flavor that is quite simple to prepare even for a weeknight dinner. This is best served with steamed rice.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 3-4 oz each Salmon Fillet (See Recipe Notes)

To marinate the fish

  • ½ teaspoon Tumeric Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt; or to taste


  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Nigella Seeds
  • 10 grams 2 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoon minced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder; or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Water
  • Salt to taste


  • Nonstick pan or any well-seasoned pan/Kadai will work
  • Bowl to marinate the fish not required if you are using pre-marinated fish
  • Cooking Spoons
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Chopping Board & Knife if you have to cut fish fillet to the desired size use, two different chopping boards, to avoid cross-contamination
  • Microplane/mortar & pestle to mince/crush the green chilies
  • A small plate/tray to set aside the fried fish



  • Marinate the fish with turmeric powder and salt.
  • Thinly slice the garlic and mince green chilies
  • Gather all your other ingredients.
  • Heat oil in the pan and add fish skin side down. Cook for one to two minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
  • Flip the fish to cook the other side. Cook for one to two minutes. Remove from heat.
  • To the same pan, add nigella seeds and cook for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any fish bits sticking.
  • Add thinly sliced garlic and minced green chilies and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add Kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric powder and cook for 30-45 seconds. Lower the heat if required. Do not let the spices burn.
  • Add ½ cup water and cook until the sauce thickens. This would take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Now add 1 cup of hot water, salt and bring to boil.
  • Add the fish pieces, cover, and cook for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  • Make a smooth slurry with all-purpose flour and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Add slurry to the curry and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Serve hot garnished with finely chopped cilantro.



  • 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish)
  • 12 oz fish is approximately 350 grams.
  • FDA recommends a serving size of 3-4 oz per person. Adjust the serving size to suit your dietary needs.
  • Adjust the spice used to suit your taste.
  • If you are using pre-marinated salmon fillets, you can skip the marination step. Use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to make the curry to get a bright golden hue in the curry.
  • You can use Sweet Paprika instead of Kashmiri red chili powder.