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May 20

Macher Jhol

Fish had always been my love at the dining table. Fish of all types and fish of all kinds does always bring that extra smile to my face. This is the reason why I am just enjoying my stay here in Bengal. I feel that it is for all Bengalis wherever they are, fish is the best way to end the meal. My mom used to cook a very simple but the most delicious fish curry, when I used to go to school. I still like that fish curry. Here it is for all you readers. To tell you one simple trick to make this curry a bit more spicy, cook it with any kind of fresh fish brought from the market that same day.

Ingredients:

Fish (Maach): 4 pieces

Potato (Aalu): 2 , cut like finger chips

Onion (Peyaj): 1small, chopped finely

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1/2 teaspoon

Chilli powder (Sukno lankar guro): 1 teaspoon

Cumin powder (jira guro): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoons

Bay leaf (Tej pata): 2

Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Half fry the fish pieces, potatoes separately and keep aside.
  • Take oil in a wok and sauté the onions, and the bay leaves.
  • Add all the spices to the sautéd onions and fry a bit.
  • Add 2 cups of water and to it add the fried potatoes.
  • Cook the broth till it starts boiling and then add the fish pieces, take care so that those do not break.
  • Cook till the potatoes get fully cooked.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy eating.

I prepared this dish with Rohu (rui maach), you can do the same with any fleshy fish.

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24 comments

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  1. Louise van der Marel

    HI SUDESHNA,

    MAILED THIS RECIPI TO MY DAUGHTER, BUT MY PRINTER IS NOT HERE.
    BUT I CAN’T “PIN”” IT.
    I HOPE I CAN FIND IT AGAIN.
    WHY DON’T YOU HAVE PIN?????

    REGARDS,LOUISE

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      I have the pin buttons on the blog posts. If you hover over the photos you’ll see the big “P” for pinning the recipes.

  2. manisha

    THNX SUDESHNA, FOR HELPING ME OUT HOW TO COOK KATLA MAACH,I GOT RECENTLY MARRIED AND MY HUSBAND LOVES TO EAT REHU AND KATLA FISH BUT I DID’NT KNW HW TO COOK THEM,I HAVE MANY OF MY FRNDS HELPNG ME OUT HOW TO COOK BT I DID’NT FOUND IT INTERESTING.
    BUT AFTER TRYING OUT UR RECIPE I FEEL HAPPY AND DELIGHTED B’COZ MY HUSBAND LOVED IT AND HE WAS SURPRISED D WAY KATLA MAACH WAS COOKED BY ME. THNX ALOT.
    JUST ONE SIMPLE ADVICE CAN I USE 2-3 GARLIC PODS FOR THIS RECIPE?

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Manisha,
      I don’t use garlic in fish, but you are welcome to use it. :)

  3. Coco

    Instead of mustard oil ,can I use cooking oil? Cz I’m nt sure of mustard oil.this I’m cooking first tym bengali fish since I’m a South Indian. My best friend is bengali and I love her mums bengali fish curry which is with potatoes

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Definitely you can use any other cooking oil.

  4. Debjani

    This is a wonderful simple recipie that I relish so much..love all your recipies and have tried them too..

  5. Anindya

    Thanks for such an easy recipe.

  6. subhra das

    thanks for the instruction to prepare rui macher jhol .. i followed it and i make it …. thanks again …

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Thanks for your comment, it means a lot to have feed backs from our readers. Do come back.

  7. subhra das

    thanks for the instruction to prepare rui macher jhol .. i followed it and i make it …. thanks again …

  8. Aseem Saxena

    Dear Sudeshna,

    Let me thank you for walking me through the instructions! This came out wonderfully well…. and I was cooking for some bengali friends at that!

    I have eaten a rui macher jhol which has lots of vegetables like tomatoes and cauliflower… and green chilly… and I could taste some garlic and ginger too… Although the jhol was a bit thicker than the rather soupy jhol…

    Any idea what that would be?

    Thanks,

    Aseem

  9. Aseem Saxena

    Hi there,

    Need some help:

    1. Does this not use panch poran?

    2. I see a red chilly in the picture? Is it really there or is it just my whim?

    3. I have seen Bengalis use a lot of green chillies (kaccha logka) in their cooking… Not required here?

    4. I see my bengali friends always applying turmeric and salt to fish and the potato before frying. Is that not needed?

    Thanks,

    Aseem

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Hi Aseem,

      Panch phoron though used often in Bengali cuisine, is not used here. It depends on the preparation and is mainly used in vegetarian recipes.

      The one that you think is red chilli is just a part of the bay leaf immersed in the gravy

      As we are using the dry chili powder here, kancha lanka (green chili) is not needed. You can use it to prepare the less spicy fish curries like this Hilsa preparation.

      Yes, it is required to apply turmeric and salt to the fish before you fry those.

      1. Aseem Saxena

        Dear Sudeshna,

        Thanks… this helped…

        1. How much turmeric and salt must be used to rub the 4 pieces of fish and potatoes? Please tell us the quantities separately…

        2. I assume that the 1/2 tsp given by you for adding to the broth. When is that to be added?

        3. When do we add salt? I am told that the salt must be added before the fish

        4. Please advise as to how much salt do you add (although I understand that salt is a matter of taste)… My idea is to replicate the recipe the way you made it…

        Thanks,

        Aseem

        1. Sudeshna Banerjee

          Hi Aseem,

          4 pieces of fish require about 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt before frying.
          While you fry the onions you can put 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1tsp cumin powder to a small bowl and make a smooth paste with 4 – 5 tablespoons of water. Pour this paste to the fried onions in the wok and then fry a little more and pour in the 2 cups of water. This technique is advised as I presume you are new to cooking and you may probably burn the dry spices while frying.

          As you add the potatoes and water, add the salt (around 1 tsp). Don’t hesitate to taste and add little more salt if required :).

          I hope this helps. Please do let me know if you any more assistance.

  10. pinki

    i just cant say how much i liked this recipe… same was the story with mee… my mom cooked this for me during my school days.. i wanted to have that recipe but its was almost 2 am at kolkata and was too late to call up mom for the recipe… i coudnt believe i would find the sameeeee recipe here.. i cant thank u enuff… the picturee of the jhol is sooooooooooooooooooooooo very nostalgic.. thanku thanku thanku soo much

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Pinki,
      Its an honor to feel that I could reach your heart through my recipes. Macher jhol really brings back loads to memories from past. Even I crave for the same at times :)

  11. Abhishek

    Thanks for providing the recepies, we really required in uganda. Good job u people doing.

    thank you

  12. HappyBou

    hello
    The first stage when you say half fry the fish and potatoes, do we put any spices on them? and do we fry in extra oil to the amount you have stated?

    Thank you

    1. Sudeshna Banerjee

      Monika,

      When you fry the fish and potatoes, its not required to put any spices at all. Spices are added only while preparing the gravy, so don’t worry about that. I like to cook in very little oil, as my family members are very averse to oily food. If you like you can cook it with little more oil than specified.

      1. HappyBou

        This dish turned out fantastic!! The smell of the jhol evoked many happy memories of being in Bangladesh. 10/10 I cant praise enough. This recipe will be a keeper in our household xxx

        1. Sudeshna Banerjee

          Bengalis can’t just feel happy giving a 10/10 for machel jhor. When I was a kid, I had to have at least one piece of fish a for each meal, so even if there was chicken or anything else at home, my mom had to cook fish everyday :).

  13. Anushree

    Thanks a lot!!!!! This tastes exactly like my Maa’s recipe.

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