Tilapia Macher Jhal – Fish in Onion Gravy

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How long can a Bengali live without fish? Since I came here to Austin, I had been living on chicken and eggs. But, a meal without fish is almost like a no-meal. So, the search for fish began. My first choice was of course rohu or catla or something similar to that.

The search led me to Whole Foods. There was a big array of fishes there, the names of which I have never heard of excepting for salmon. I asked the guy there about rohu, his reply was something I never expected – “Is there any other name for the fish you are searching?” not much a fan of salmon or sardines I got a frozen packet of tilapia from Walmart and tried making it the Bong way.

The result was definitely good. Having macher jhol after so long was really a reward by itself. And, the tilapia jhal from Soma’s blog really influenced a lot for preparing this dish.

Tilapia Jhal

Indian, Side, Bengali fish curry, Tilapia spicy gravy
Cooks in    Serves 2
  • 1 whole tilapia, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1cup water
  • 3 tablespoon of mustard oil
  • 2 sprigs of coriander, finely chopped
  • • Clean the fish well and mix with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt
  • • Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in a thick skillet and fry the fish till it turns golden brown in color
  • • Heat about a teaspoon of mustard oil in a wok and throw in the onions, fry till they turn translucent
  • • Add all the spices, season with salt and pour in water
  • • Cook covered till the gravy thickens
  • • Add in the fried fishes and cook for about 2-3 mins more
  • • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves
  • • Serve with warm white rice

Hot Tips- You can use potatoes also in the gravy, chop the potatoes into wedges, fry a little and add to the wok just before adding the spices. Instead of mustard oil canola or other vegetable oil can also be used.

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