I said many times earlier, yet again I am telling, I Love Fish. Fish curry is my ultimate go for dish. We Bengalis believe that every day is a fish day. We need fish for any occasion, we need fish for any mundane day. We need fish when we are on the top of our health, we need fish when we are down with illness. To cut the long story short, we need fish for life to live.
Although, Ilish or Hilsa is considered to be the Macher Raja (the King of Fishes), Rui Mach or Rohu Fish is probably the most widely and easily available one. This is a versatile fish and you can actually prepare a party dish as well as an regular everyday dish with this fish with equal ease. Rui Mach never disappoints anyone.
Today’s dish is Rui Macher Jhol. My blog already has the super rich and vibrant Rui Macher Rosha recipe. While Rosha is a spicy curry with thick gravy and typically prepared in Bengali wedding parties, Jhol, on the other hand is a simple and regular dish with runny gravy. The lifeline of any Bong house is Macher Jhol and this is it. Every family has its own signature Macher Jhol. While some prepare it with cumin seed paste, some with panch phoron, I prefer to cook with kalojeera (nigella seed) tempering. Here’s how my simple recipe looks like.
- 6 piece Rui Mach (Rohu Fish)
- 2 standard size potato, peel and cut vertical pieces
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 5 green chilli, slitted from middle
- 2 dried red chilli
- 1/2 tea-spoon nigella seed
- 1/2 tea-spoon grated ginger
- 1.5 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon kashmiri red chilli powder
- 2 table-spoon mustard oil for cooking + some more to shallow fry fish and potato
- 1.5 cup warm water
- salt, according to taste
- 1 handful chopped coriander leaves
- Rub fish pieces and potato pieces separately with 1/2 and 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and some salt respectively. Keep aside.
- Heat required oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces on both the sides until they turn brownish golden. Remove and keep aside.
- In the same pan and in the same oil (heat some more oil if required) shallow fry the potato pieces for 3-4 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
- Now, heat 2 table-spoon oil in the same pan and temper with dried red chilli and nigella seed. Allow them to splutter.
- Add grated ginger and stir for few seconds.
- Add remaining turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Sprinkle some water and stir for a minute or so. Keep the flame low as we can’t burn the spices.
- Now, add tomato and salt. Stir until the tomato becomes mushy.
- Add potato pieces and green chilli. Give a nice mix.
- Add water and give a mix again. How much water you should give depends on how much gravy you want. 1.5 to 2 cup should be reasonably enough.
- Cover the lid, lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes or until the potato pieces are nicely done.
- Now, add fish pieces and mix properly with a light hand. Cover the lid again and over medium flame cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Once done, sprinkle coriander leaves from above and turn off the flame. Cover and let the curry rest for 5 minutes.
- Your Rui Macher Jhol is ready to be served now.
Bengali Macher Jhol (fish stew) and gorom bhat (piping hot rice) is like a match made in heaven. There is probably nothing more soul satisfying than this. Squeeze a piece of lime and enjoy your meal.
Enjoy this authentic Bengali fish curry and 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.