Patla Macher Jhol

The monsoon here, and the humidity rising. All those days when it doesn’t rain in those tropical areas, I presume it is absolutely painful to live. More so when it comes to have food. Living in the heart of Kolkata for a long, long time, I understand the feelings of those people now in the mid of June. In those humid weathers you don’t even feel like eating anything spicy and for those the ladies in the kitchen its painstaking to stand and cook for hours together.

So, here I am with a little recipe of my own to beat the heat in the kitchen as well as at the dining table. You can prepare this with any kind of fish that is fresh and is not stinking much. You can get the taste of it with any fleshy fish, better if it is fresh water fishes.

When I was young and used to go to school I would call this fish preparation as “Kara kari jhol”(Bengali for snatch it curry), because my mom used to cook it so well that it felt like the best thing in the world, and still it remains one of my favorite dishes.


Fish (any fresh water fleshy fish): 200gms

Black cumin (Kalo Jeera): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1 teaspoon

Green chilli (Kacha Lanka): 2 / 3 pieces

Salt to taste



  • De-scale and wash the fishes well, add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of salt to the fish and mix them well.
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the fishes. Don’t over fry, Take them out of the flame just after little frying.
  • Add black cumin to the oil in which you have fried the fishes. Add turmeric powder, green chilli, salt and 2 cups of water.
  • Let it boil for 2 minutes, add the fried fishes and cook for some more time, till the water takes up the yellowish color.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy this non-spicy fish preparation in the humid weather of this summer.


Those of you who still don’t care about that extra fat on your tummy can add two or three pieces of potato to the preparation also.

Cut the potato like those of French fries. Fry it and keep separately. Add the potato soon after you add water to the wok. When the potatoes are almost cooked add the fried fishes to it.


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.


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


  • 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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