Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Bengali Maach er Jhol / Fish Curry

Maach er Jhol is a fish curry made with mustard oil and Bengali Spices. This curry is mildly spiced, very flavourful and pairs well with steamed rice.
I am making Bengali Style fish curry for the very first time and I am already in love with the taste. Secret ingredient that adds flavour is the mustard and the nigella seeds. Nigella seeds gives this curry a unique sweet and nutty flavour.



For Marinating the Fish

  • Fish 8 Pieces ( I used a locally available fish called 'Madava' ; You can use any fish of your choice)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • Salt to taste

For the Curry

  • 2 Medium sized Potatoes - Cut lengthwise ; Cut each potato into 6 wedges
  • 3 Tablespoon Mustard Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Seeds / Kalonji / Nigella Seeds
  • 2 Medium Onions ( grind to fine paste)
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste / finely chopped Garlic
  • 1 Large ripe tomato chopped finely
  • 3 Green Chillies - Slit half way through
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish
  • Vegetable oil for Deep frying the fish pieces


1. Wash fish pieces and pat dry with paper towel. In a large plate, place 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, salt to taste and mix everything. Toss this spice mix over the fish pieces and coat them evenly. Set aside




2. In a wok / pan, heat vegetable oil for deep frying the fish pieces. Once oil is hot, slide the fish pieces gently in hot oil and fry on medium flame for a minute. Remove from oil and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towel and drain excess oil. Set aside



3. In a pan, heat 1 Tablespoon mustard oil. When the oil is hot, add the potato wedges and sauté them on high flame until they have nice golden crust on top. Set aside




4. In the same pan, add 2 more tablespoon of mustard oil. When the oil is hot, add onion seeds/ nigella seeds


5. When it splutters, add onion paste and fry till the paste turns light golden color


6. Add Garlic paste and sauté for a minute

7. Add chopped tomatoes, slit green chillies, garlic paste and sauté nicely on low flame until the mixture gets dry and oil starts leaving from the mixture. This step is very important. Do not rush and increase the flame. let it be on low and let the masala get sautéed nicely. Otherwise the curry will have raw ginger, garlic smell

8. Then add coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder along with 1/4 cup water and fry on low flame. The mixture will become thick and it will start leaving oil

9. Add potatoes and 2 Cups of water to the mixture. Add salt to taste. Increase the flame to medium and let the curry cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through

10. Add fried fish pieces into the curry and cook for just 2 minutes

11. Switch off the flame and garnish the curry with chopped cilantro leaves

12. Serve hot with steamed rice

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