This is an unusual curry born out of my experiment using leftovers one day.
I tried out the combination of English mustard, cream, and honey, and the outcome was this recipe, which is a medium-hot curry with the punchy piquancy of mustard and Bengali spices balanced harmoniously by honey and a little vinegar. Cream is added to create a smooth rounded flavour through which all the flavours can surface.
I gave this dish its name from the word ‘shorshe’, the Bengali word for mustard.
Use any main ingredient you like – any form of protein works well in it. The recipe is from my second book, Indian Restaurant Curry at Home Volume 2.
- 3 TBSP Oil (45ml). Optionally use up to 1 TBSP of Mustard Oil as part of the total for extra tang
- 1 tsp Panch Phoran (Bengali 5 spice seed mix)
- 2 Cloves
- ½ tsp Coriander Powder (toasted and freshly ground is best)
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper Powder (toasted and freshly ground is best)
- 1 tsp Mix Powder
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Chilli Powder (optional)
- 4 TBSP Special Mustard Paste (see below)
Special Mustard Paste
This makes a bit more than the amount needed (4 TBSP) for this recipe. All the following ingredients are chopped and blended to a paste:
- 2-3 tsp Yellow Mustard Powder or 2-3 tsp ready-made English or Dijon Mustard from a jar
- 1 tsp Kasuri Methi
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 40g Onion
- 1 TBSP fresh Coriander Stalks
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic
- 2-3 tsp Vinegar (e.g. cider, white wine, malt). If using ready-made mustard, reduce this quantity to 1 tsp as it will most likely contain vinegar already
- 1½ cm chunk of fresh Ginger
- ½ tsp Elachi Powder (cardamom seed powder), or the whole seeds from within the pods (Optional)
- 2-3 Green Chillis (optional)
- 2 TBSP Water (to help blend)
Watch the Video
- Firstly, toast and grind the coriander seeds and black peppercorns to a powder, and then make the special mustard paste (see above).
- Add the oil to a frying pan or korai on medium high heat.
- When hot, add the panch phoran and cloves. Stir until the black mustard seeds within the seed mixture start to pop.
- Add the coriander and black pepper powders, mix powder, salt, and the optional chilli powder.
- Fry for 20-30 seconds, stirring diligently. Add a small amount of base gravy (e.g. 30ml) to help the spices fry without burning.
- Turn the heat up to high and add 4 TBSP of the special mustard paste prepared earlier. Stir and leave to fry for 20-30 seconds.
- Add the pre-cooked chicken, pre-cooked lamb, vegetables, etc., and mix well into the sauce.
- Now add the first 75ml of base gravy, stir into the sauce, and leave on high heat (not stirring) until the sauce is reduced a bit and tiny craters form near the edges of the pan.
- Add a second 75ml of base gravy, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan once when first added, allowing the sauce to reduce once again.
- Now, add 150ml of base gravy and the honey or sugar. Stir and scrape once when first added.
Leave to cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes, or until the desired consistency is reached (medium thickness). Add a bit more base gravy if desired to thin the sauce out. Allow the sauce to stick and thicken on the bottom and sides of the pan – avoid stirring unless you think it might burn.
- A couple of minutes before the end of cooking, turn the heat down to low temporarily and stir in the single cream. Taste, and add extra salt, mustard and/or honey/sugar if desired.
- Locate and remove the two cloves. They should be easy to spot as the curry is quite light in colour.
- If you are calorie-conscious spoon off excess oil from the top of the curry.
- Serve, sprinkling fresh coriander on top.
- Varieties of ready-made mustard differ greatly in strength. Go easy on how much you add to the paste. You can always compensate with extra later when tasting.
- There are two slight adaptations from the corresponding YouTube video recipe – the option of using some mustard oil, base gravy increased from 280ml to 330ml+, and the amount of mustard powder decreased from 1¼ TBSP to 2-3 tsp.
- All spoon measurements are level, i.e. 1 tsp=5 ml, 1 TBSP=15ml.