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Macher Jhol (Fish In Bengali Sauce)


800 gms white-fleshed fish 
1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
1/2 tsp salt 
2/3 mustard oil or vegetable oil 
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds 
1 tsp ground cumin seeds 
1 1/2 tsp finely grated ginger 
1 tsp ground turmeric 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp kalonji 
4 whole red chillies dried 
2 bay leaves 
1 large onion peeled, chopped 
3 whole green chillies

How to make bengali fish fry:

  • Cut the fillets in about 4cm size.
  • Rub the fish well with the 1/2 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium flame. If you are using mustard oil, let it get smokingly hot.
  • Now put in the fish pieces and brown lightly on all sides without cooking them through.
  • Gently lift the fish out of the oil and put it on a plate. Turn off the heat.
  • Combine the ground coriander seeds, the cumin, ginger, 1 tsp turmeric,chilli powder (cayenne pepper) and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl. Add 3 tbsp of water and mix.
  • Remove all but 5/6 tbsp of oil from the frying pan. Heat the frying pan over a medium flame.
  • When hot, put in the nigelia seeds. A few seconds later, put in the red chillies.
  • As soon as they darken a bit, put in the bay leaves. When the bay leaves start to darken, put in the onion.
  • Stir and fry the onion, lowering the heat, if necessary, until it is translucent and lightly browned. Add the spice paste. Stir and fry it for about 1 minute.
  • Now put in the fish in a single layer as well as 1 cup of water. Lay the green chillies over the fish.
  • Simmer over a medium heat for 2 minutes, spooning the sauce over the fish pieces as you do so. Now cover, turn the heat to low and cook the fish for 10-15 minutes or until it is just done.
  • Serve machher jhol (fish in bengali sauce)with rice.