Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kalo Jeera die Macher Jhal / Bengali Spicy Fish Curry with Nigella Seeds

As my husband grew up eating Sorshe Maach and rice almost every day...I on the other hand was more accustomed to Sobjir Jhol / Vegetable curry and simple fish curries which are prepared with simple spices. No onions...no tomatoes...and definitely not garlic!! The curries are strictly light in texture and taste, to suit everyday simple lifestyle. Of course we knew about Sorshe Maach but in our family Mustard used to become important only during the season of Hilsa. Mother cooked only Hilsa with mustard seeds. Sorse Paturi...that’s what we called them. Rich and lush....a match almost made in heaven.

bengali style preparation kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures

bengali style kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali style spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe

simple macher jhal recipe / bengali style nigella seeds fish curry recipe

Such a simple spicy fish curry is this Macher Jhal where a good amount of red chilli powder is used to get that hotness and redness into the curry. A delightful change from the everyday menu if eating spicy is your forte. And even if you don’t then use red chilli powder according to your heat tolerance. Tempering the mustard oil with nigella seeds is the key to the flavour of this “macher jhal”...and don’t miss out those potato wedges. They are must as they add flavour and texture to the curry... plus you know us Bengalis...we can’t live without potatoes.

kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe
Marinate the fishes and potatoes with salt and turmeric powder. Fry the potatoes until golden.
how to cook kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures
Fry the marinated fish until golden,
how to cook kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures
Temper the remaining oil with nigella seeds and pour in the prepared spice mixture.
how to cook kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures
Cook the spice mixture for 1-2 minutes or until the oil starts to separate at the edges.
how to cook kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures
Then add water, salt and the fried potatoes. Cover and cook until the potatoes are done.
how to cook kalo jeera die macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures
Then add the fried fish and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until the gravy reaches your desired consistency.
This fish curry is particularly one of my favourite. The flavours imparted from nigella seeds and the simple spices...are mind blowing. In one hand the nigella seeds lend their flavour to balance out the simplicity and on the other hand its only their flavour that gives this curry a rather different taste!! Go simple this time and you will realize piling up spices does not necessarily mean good cooking.  

bengali fish curry preparation / bengali spicy macher jhal recipe

Kalo Jeera die Macher Jhal / Bengali Spicy Fish Curry with Nigella Seeds
Serves 4

how to cook macher jhal recipe / bengali spicy fish curry with nigella seeds recipe with step by step pictures

Ingredients:
4 pieces of fish
1 medium potato – cut into thick wedges
2 and ½ tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (optional)
1 tsp nigella seeds / kalo jeera
Salt
2 tbsp mustard oil
A little fresh coriander leaves – chopped

Method:
Sprinkle 1 tsp turmeric powder and some salt over the fishes and potato wedges. Leave them to marinade for 10-12 minutes.
In a cup take ½ cup water and mix in the rest of the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and kashmiri red chilli powder. Stir them well so that no lumps remain.
Heat the oil in a pan / kadai and fry the potatoes in small batches until golden.
Once done take them out of the pan and keep aside.
Then fry the fishes separately in that oil until golden. We do not need them to be crispy.
Once done take the fishes out of the kadai and keep aside in a bowl.
Reduce the flame now add the nigella seeds to them.
Sauté for some seconds and pour in the prepared mix of the spices.
Stir them continuously for 2 minutes or until the raw smell of the spices are gone and the oil starts to separate at the edges of the pan / kadai.
Now pour in 2 cups of water, salt and add the fried potato wedges.
Cover the pan / kadai and cook until the potatoes are all cooked.
Then add the fried fishes to them and simmer for another 5-6 minutes or until the curry reaches your desired consistency and oil starts to float on top of them.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Finally sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves on top of them and put off the flame.

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