Friday, December 12, 2014

Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol / Fish Curry With Nigella Seeds

There used to be a time when every thing in the market, from fruits to vegetables were seasonal. You could not get cauliflower in the summer, as it would have been next to impossible to find mangoes in the winter. But now, with the advent of technology and globalization, nothing is beyond reach and availability. Every fruit and vegetable is available throughout the year.

how to cook bengali style Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol

But still, some vegetables are so much synonymous with its season that their smell can always bring back their beautiful memories. Two such vegetables are tomatoes and coriander leaves. Even a few years ago, tomatoes, coriander leaves were so much of a winter item. The beautiful smell of coriander leaves used to bring the winter charm with them. On those chili winter nights, maa often made aloo paratha and dhania chicken. Winter was not complete for us without them, as monsoon was incomplete without khichuri and omelette.
how to cook bengali style Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol

For me winter means Christmas, New Year, Santa Claus, picnic, get together, hot coffee, chiling nights, and much much more. Its the only time when I can pull out those beautiful blankets, and sweaters from their boxes and use them. Its a carnival of celebration, and the star attraction is the Kolkata Book Fair. Nothing gives me immense pleasure than roaming the book stalls and collecting my loots. And then there is Saraswati puja, Bengal's own Valentines Day. Winter is not only a season for us, its a joy ride for every family, where every one meet up at the end of the year and create beautiful memories to last till Durga puja. The time is very long in between, and we need something good to hold on.

how to cook bengali style Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol

Although living in a troipcal monsoon region left me with practically no option of enjoying winter, but I went ahead and made this beautiful fish curry with tomato and nigella seeds. And their smell....reminded me of my good old days, my Kolkata days, when maa used to cook this curry, and I used to wonder that why the dish was so winter specific.
how to cook bengali style Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol

Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol / Fish Curry With Nigella Seeds
Serves 2-4

how to cook bengali style Kalo Jeera Die Macher Jhol

  • 4 pieces of fish
  • 3 ripe tomatoes - puree
  • 1 medium potato - sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 2 inch ginger stick - paste
  • 2 green chilies - silted
  • 1 tsp kalo jeera / nigella seeds
  • 1 + 1/4tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 cup of choppdd coriander leaves
  • salt
  • Marinate the fish with salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder. Keep them aside for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes heat oil in a kadai / wok / pan and fry the fishes in them until they are nicely golden from both the sides. Strain the oil and keep them aside.
  • Add some oil if the oil had reduced much or otherwise in the same oil add the nigella seeds / kalo jeera and silted green chilies. Let them sizzle for 5-7 seconds.
  • Now add the tomato puree and cook the tomatoes on medium flame until they ooze out oil.
  • Add the ginger paste and saute till the raw flavor of the tomatoes are gone. You will know they are done when the mixture will not smell like tomatoes anymore.
  • Add the potatoes,salt, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder to the tomatoes mixture. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Now add 2 cups of water and mix well. On medium flame let them come to boil and cover them for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes open the cover and add the fried fishes.
  • Cook them on low to medium flame until the potatoes are fully cooked and the gravy / curry reaches your desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and put off the flame.
Note : If you want to make the curry richer or cooking it on some occassion, add some extra mustard oil to the curry, when you are adding the fishes. 

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