Friday, November 7, 2014

Rui Macher Jhal......Rohu Fish in Mustard Sauce (My go-to Fish Curry)

Maach-Bhaat (Fish and Rice) is every Bengali's comfort food. A Bengali's love for fish is endless. There is a popular saying too "Mache Bhate Bangali" i.e. Fish and Rice makes a Bengali. We eat so many different fishes starting from fresh water ones like Rohu, Katla, Pabda to salt water fishes like Hilsa, Pomfret etc. But to be very frank I like only specific fishes maybe because I grew up mainly in Central India where we would get only 2-3 varieties. Whatever the reason is, the varieties I eat I just love them.

Here in Portland, Oregon we get Rohu, Hilsa, Pabda, Tangra etc in a Middle-Eastern shop but all in frozen form. Thanks to an Asian store out here where we get fresh fishes like Shrimp (Prawn), Pomfret, Bhetki and Tilapia (lately I started eating that). 

The recipe which I am going to share today is generally prepared with Hilsa or Ilish but I have seen my Mom to make it with Rohu too but with a slight twist. She adds cumin seeds along with the mustard seeds which not only reduces the pungency of mustard seeds but also gives a nice flavor to the dish. I like to make it the way she does. So, let's dig into the recipe:


1. Rohu/ Katla Fish (medium sized): 6 pieces
2. Mustard Seeds: 2 tbsp
3. Cumin Seeds: 1 tbsp
4. Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
5. Salt to taste
6. Mustard Oil (preferable, you can use vegetable oil too): for cooking
7. Green chilies
8. Cilantro (Coriander leaves): for garnishing


1. Wash the fish pieces and pat dry them with a paper towel.

2. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder and keep it aside for 10-15 mins.

3. In the meanwhile make a paste with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, salt, turmeric powder and green chilies. 

4. Heat oil in heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat. If you are using mustard oil then heat the oil till smoking hot, this will help in reducing its pungency. Now reduce the heat to medium and add the marinated fish pieces and fry them on both the sides. Don't fry them too much just 1-2 mins.

5. In the same pan (you don't need to remove the fish pieces) add the mustard seeds paste. Add the desired amount of water. Cover the lid and let it cook for 2-3 mins. Once the gravy thickens to the desired consistency add just 1 tsp of mustard oil and turn off the heat.

6. Rui Macher Jhal is ready, serve hot with steamed rice.


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