“Mache Bhate Bangali” (Bengalis by fish and rice) is a saying which is as true as “The Sun Rises in the East”. We have a kind of relation with fish which is beyond just loving it on our plates. For us, fish is not only tasty, it’s also sacred. Growing up, fish was a must have during exam times as it’s considered to bring good luck and success. Not only eating, even a sight of a fish just before the exam is considered lucky. As a child, whenever I refused to eat fish Maa said “mach ke na korte pare na” (you should not say no to fish). Also, fish is must in any Bengali wedding. In short, fish brings us good luck and to start anything good, we rely on our very humble fish.
As I said earlier in my other posts, fish is kind of a regular thing in my home. While Rohu, Telapia or Tengra are some of the fishes that are available easily here, Aar is something which is not very easy to get. Often, the Aar we get here is not very fresh and this is one fish which you cannot and should not compromise with the freshness. Naturally, I avoid buying Aar. Today luck favoured and we got some super fresh Aar in the market and I instantly grabbed 500 gms of it. Happy me on a happy Sunday 🙂
Aar Mach can be cooked in a variety of ways, but one that I love the most is Aar Macher Jhol. This is a super easy and utterly delectable recipe where the humble Aar is cooked with our very mighty potato with a dash of basic spices. It is truly a bliss to have this with gorom bhat (steamed rice). Here I am sharing the recipe with you all and hope you will like it.
- 500 gm aar mach
- 1 big sized potato, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 big sized onion, roughly chopped
- 5 green chillies, slitted from middle
- 1 table-spoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1/2 tea-spoon nigella seeds
- 2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1 + 1/2 + 1/2)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon sugar
- 3 table-spoon mustard oil + as required to fry the fish and potato
- 2.5 cup warm water
- salt, according to taste
- a handful chopped coriander leaves
- Wash the fish and rub with 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder and little salt. Heat required oil in a pan and shallow fry until light golden. Remove and keep aside.
- Rub the potato pieces with 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and little salt. Heat required oil and shallow fry until golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
- Blend the chopped onion and make a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Now, heat 3 table-spoon oil and temper with nigella seeds. Allow them to splutter.
- Add onion paste and ginger-garlic paste and sautè until the mixture changes colour to brownish.
- Now, add 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. Sprinkle some water and stir on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato and stir until the tomato gets blended.
- Now, add water and give a quick mix. Cover and bring it to boil.
- Add the fried potato and cover the lid. On a medium flame, let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Open the lid and add fish. Mix well and cover the lid. On a medium flame, let it cook for 10 minutes or until the fish and potato are properly done.
- Once everything is nicely done, sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and turn off the flame. If you don’t like coriander leaves, you can substitute with 1/2 tea-spoon garam masala powder.
- Your “Aar Macher jhol” is ready to be served now.
This dish along with piping hot rice made my Sunday 🙂 Don’t forget to squeeze some lemon juice while eating. Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.