This may be one of the simplest fish curry recipe you have come across as well as an extra ordinary one.It is also highly customizable and you can add your favorite ingredients creating amazing range of varieties.I had learnt this dish after my marriage ,watching my mother in law cooking ,as it seemed to be my husband’s one of the most favorite dishes he grew up with.Though the preparation is really simple I had spent months and years with trial and error before I could finally make perfect curry which I am satisfied with.This one is a great savior and handy during time constraints and a blessing to the fish lovers ,served with steamed rice.
Bengali fish curry
My mother in law used to call this “lal jhol” meaning red curry but my curry would never become red, as the moment I used to put the seasoning of nigella seeds in oil followed by red chilly powder ,my curry will become either dark brown or blackish and I did not know where I was going wrong.In Indian curries it is a practice to fry the spices in oil before making gravy like we do for all the other dishes.Now I understand that the red chilly powder ,one should never directly fry in oil,it will give a blackish tinge to your dish.You can try this recipe with any fish ,here I prepared with carps.
Machher kalojire jhol
Simple Bengali style fish curry with nigella seeds seasoning
- 4 to 5 Carp pieces
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Nigella seeds
- 1/2 cup Mustard oil
- 1 tbsp Red chilly powder
- 2 Green chillies slit
- 1/2 cup Onions sliced optional
- 1/2 tsp Sugar As per taste
- 1/2 tsp Salt As per taste
- 1/2 cup Water
Marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric for 10 minutes
Heat 1/4 th cup mustard oil in the pan till it smokes
Lower the heat and fry the fish pieces one by one,till they get light brown on both sides
Take out the fish pieces.Discard this oil
Add the remaining oil in the pan.
Fry the nigella seeds
Dissolve the red chilly powder and a pinch of turmeric in the water and add it to the oil.Let it boil .
Add salt and sugar to taste
Add the fish pieces and let it simmer over slow heat,covered for 5 minutes
Add the slit green chillies and saute
Add sliced onions
take it off from heat and serve it hot garnished with coriander leaves with steamed rice.
You can add vegetables like aubergines,broad beans or even radish to make it more filling and nutritious.
To make it less spicy use kashmiri chilly powder which will give color minus the heat.