Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Macher Jhuri / Bengali Crumbled Fish Curry

I was more familiar with the concept of bata rather than jhuri. “Bata” is a dry curry resembling the consistency of a thick paste and can be made with any kind of fish or vegetable. The concept is very similar with “jhuri” but the process is rather simplistic. Just garlic and some spices, and that is all you need to make bata. But Macher Jhuri though similar in their attire consists of the entire curry making process with onion and garlic and tomatoes...if you are adding them, and the whole Bengali process of simmering on low heat for a long time, in short “koshano”.

how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures

 Traditionally Macher Jhuri is made with “Loita” maach or “Bombay Duck Fish”, which is usually full of small thin fish bones....literally impossible to take out individually. This is one of the main reasons that this fish is not used in big chunks in a curry. Although abundant in supply these fish bones of the loita maach or Bombay duck fish becomes incredibly soft and tender during cooking and disintegrate easily with the curry and does not sting the throat or tongue while eating. In case of unavailability replace the Bombay duck fish with any fish of your choice or the fish you like to eat on its own. Trust me...even with rohu / bhetki / katla...this dry curry will rock.

how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Prepare all the ingredients.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Heat oil and add the dry red chilli and garlic and green chilli paste. Fry until the garlic turns golden and then add the chopped onions to them.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Fry the onions until golden brown.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Add the chopped tomatoes.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Cook the tomatoes until mushy and the oil separating at the edges. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Mix well, add little water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Add the fishes and s
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Mix and cook the fish until properly cooked. Crumble the fish with the cooking spoon to disintegrate them with the curry as mush as possible.
how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures
Cook another 5 minutes more or until all the water water evaporates leaving the curry dry and thick and the oil separating from it.

Macher Jhuri / Bengali Shredded Fish Curry
Serves 6

how to make Macher Jhuri recipe and preparation with step by step picctures

Ingredients:
500gm fish fillets (traditionally loita fish used in making jhuri. But you can use any fish you like. I have used Bar fish, which is a cross between bhetki and rui / rohu.)
1 and ½ onions – finely chopped
6 fat cloves of garlic – finely minced / paste
2 green chillies – paste
1 tomato – finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
2 dry red chillies – broken into half
Salt
3-4 tbsp pure virgin mustard oil

Method:
Since I have used normal pieces of fish, I had to shallow fry them to loosen the flesh from the central bone. You can also boil the fishes with some salt and turmeric powder and pick out their bones and skins. So, using fillets is a much better option.
Heat the oil (keep a little to drizzle at the end) and add the dry red chilli and garlic – green chilli paste.
Sauté on medium heat until the garlic turns out to be golden.
Add the chopped onions to them immediately.
Sprinkle some salt and cook the onions stirring often until they turn golden brown.
Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates. Generally there is no need to add water, but if your tomatoes start to stick to the pan then add a little to continue cooking.
Once the oil separates add the turmeric powder and red chilli powder to the prepared curry. Mix them well and add a dash of water and cook for a minute, allowing the flavours of the spices to mature.
Next add the fillets and stir to coat the fillets with the curry.
Put cover and let the fillets cook.
After 4-5 minutes open the cover and smash the fishes and mix those with the curry.
Keep stirring until you see all the fishes kind of disintegrating with the curry and forming a paste like consistency.
Keep stirring as the curry will thicken now and if not taken care of properly they can stick to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until you see the oil separating at the edges.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Finish off with a little chopped coriander leaves and the rest of the mustard oil and serve hot with some plain hot rice.

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