Indulgent Fish Curry

… Post Admin / September 6, 2023 / Photo Credit:

Fish Curry

Bengali Fish Curry or Macher Jhol, is an all-time favorite dish because of its perfect balance of tastes. As a reflection of Bengal’s cultural past, this dish is revered in Bengali homes. At its core is a delectable assortment of fresh fish, often Rohu or Hilsa, cooked in a savory broth till tender. Mustard seeds, turmeric, and red chile are just a few of the spices that contribute to the curry’s enticing scent.

Tomatoes and potatoes give the meal body and harmony, and their varied textures make for a delicious contrast. The curry gets its signature spiciness from mustard oil, a common ingredient in Bengali cooking. Macher Jhol’s charm comes from its capacity to bring loved ones closer together, in addition to the dish’s unique ingredients. Over a pot of simmering curry, friends and family may get to know one another better. When paired with steamed rice, this fish curry is a satisfying and comforting meal. The soft fish chunks are perfect for soaking up the fragrant broth and taking your taste buds on a voyage that is reminiscent of a trip to Bengal. Bengali Fish Curry is a beloved meal that has been passed down from generation to generation thanks to its rich history, enduring popularity, and masterful use of spices.

  • Origin: West Bengal, India
  • Category: Fish Curry is a Bengali Non-veg Main Dish which is considered Main Course
  • Ingredient: Fish, Mustard Paste, Tomato, Spices are treated as main ingredients for this recipe. Other ingredients used are Mustard Oil, Bengali Spices
  • Time and Flavour: This recipe takes approx 30-40 mins and the flavour is Spicy and Tangy
  • Nutritional Information: Fish Curry contains 150 kcal calories per 100 g serving. This serving contains 7 g of fat, 20 g of protein and 5 g of carbohydrate. The latter is 3 g sugar and 2 g of dietary fiber, the rest is other nutritional component. [ These values may vary based on ingredients used and its quantity ]

Table Of Contents

Bengali dish - Fish Curry

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Fish Curry, a beloved Bengali dish, embodies the rich culinary heritage of West Bengal, India. This flavorful and aromatic dish is a staple in Bengali households and showcases the region's deep connection with seafood.

Typically, the star ingredient is fresh fish, often Rohu or Hilsa, which is marinated with turmeric and salt before being gently fried. The curry base is created using a blend of spices such as mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, and red chili, giving the dish its distinct tangy and spicy profile. To enhance the flavor, a paste of mustard and poppy seeds is often added.

The dish is elevated by the use of tamarind pulp, tomatoes, and green chilies, which add layers of tartness and heat. Additionally, Bengali fish curry showcases the exquisite balance between flavors with a hint of sweetness from sugar or jaggery. The curry is slow-cooked until the fish absorbs the robust flavors and becomes tender, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.

Served with steamed rice, the fish curry exemplifies the traditional Bengali meal that delights the senses with its complex taste and cultural significance. It represents more than just a dish; it reflects the region's passion for seafood and its artful mastery of spices, making it an emblem of Bengali cuisine.


  • Fish Fillets [ मछली के फिलेट ], 500 Grams
    → Cleaned And Cut Into Pieces. Use Bone-In Fillets For Added Flavor Example, Rohu Or Katla.
  • Mustard Oil [ सरसों का तेल ], 3 Tablespoons
    → Use For Marinating And Cooking, Use Any Oil Of Your Choice.
  • Mustard Seeds [ सरसों के बीज ], 1 Teaspoon
    → To Be Used For Making Mustard Paste.
  • Poppy Seeds [ खसखस ], 1 Tablespoon
    → To Be Used For Making The Spice Paste.
  • Green Chili [ हरी मिर्च ], 2 to 3 Pieces
    → Slit Lengthwise. Adjust To Taste.
  • Turmeric Powder [ हल्दी चूर्ण ], 1/2 Teaspoon
    → To Be Used For Marination.
  • Red Chili Powder [ लाल मिर्च चूर्ण ], 1/2 Teaspoon
    → Adjust To Taste.
  • Salt [ नमक ], As desired
  • Ginger [ अदरक ], 1 Piece
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Garlic [ लहसुन ], 6/8 Cloves
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Tomato [ टमाटर ], 2 Medium
    → Finely Chopped.
  • Mustard Paste [ सरसों का पेस्ट ], 2 Tablespoons
    → Use Black Mustard Seeds For Authentic Flavor.
  • Spice Paste [ मसाला पेस्ट ], 1 Tablespoon
    → Tablespoon Each Of Poppy Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Add Some Water, Use For Cooking.
  • Water [ पानी ], As desired
    → To Be Used For Making The Spice Paste And Adjusting Gravy Consistency.
  • Sugar [ चीनी ], 1/2 Teaspoon
    → Optional, To Balance Flavors.
  • Coriander Leaves [ धनिया पत्ता ], A few Grams
    → Freshly Chopped.


Method for preparing Fish Curry

  • Marinate the fish fillets in a mixture of turmeric, red chili powder, and salt. Set aside for around 15-20 minutes.
  • Make a paste by crushing mustard seeds and poppy seeds separately in a little amount of water.
  • In a pan, heat mustard oil until it begins to smoke, then reduce the heat.
  • Fry the marinated fish fillets in hot oil till golden brown. Take out and set aside.
  • Add the chopped ginger and garlic to the same pan. Cook until aromatic.
  • Cook until the chopped tomatoes soften.
  • Combine the mustard paste, spice paste, green chilies, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cook till the oil separates from the masala.
  • To reach the appropriate gravy consistency, add water. Allow for a few minutes of simmering.
  • Slide in the fried fish fillets and simmer for another 5-7 minutes on low heat, allowing the flavors to mingle.
  • As required, adjust the salt and spices. Garnish with coriander leaves, if desired.
  • With steamed rice, serve the Bengali Fish Curry hot.

Health Benefits

  • Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their cardiovascular benefits and supporting brain health.
  • High-Quality Protein – Fish is a high-quality protein source that helps in muscle repair and growth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Fish, especially fatty fish, is rich in vitamins D and B12, iodine, and selenium, which are important for various bodily functions.
  • Heart Health – The omega-3 fatty acids in fish curry contribute to reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and lowering the risk of heart disease.
  • Brain Function – The omega-3s in fish are beneficial for cognitive function and can help improve memory and concentration.

Although these components may offer some health benefits, it's crucial to keep in mind that everyone's experience may vary, and they must be consumed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet. If you have any specific health issues or concerns, it's recommended to speak with a healthcare provider.

To Conclude

In conclusion, Fish Curry from Bengal exemplifies both culinary mastery and respect for tradition. This prized dish is more than simply food; its an exploration of Bengals rich culinary heritage. The harmony of flavors created by the fresh seafood, locally obtained spices, and fragrant herbs is intoxicating. Similar to the dish, Bengali culture is a delicate balance between the old and the new.

Each bite tells a story of decades of culinary passion, from the powerful mustard oil foundation to the delicate balance of tanginess and spice. The prevalence of Fish Curry at community events, holidays, and ordinary dinner tables is evidence of the dishs ability to bring people together. The crown gem of Bengali cooking, Fish Curry not only satisfies hunger but also nurtures the spirit, carrying on the tradition with each delicious morsel.

Thank You

The pictures displayed on this website are usually royalty free stock photos taken from Unsplash, iStock, Pixabay, Pngtree, and other sources. We appreciate the work of the individuals who own them. This is to thank them for their work and let them know how much it is appreciated.

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