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Fish in a light curry

Machher Jhol 

fish jhol

A simple fish curry eaten almost daily in many homes in West Bengal


Sliced Fish –1/2 kg
Tomatoes -2 (to be made into a paste)
Onion-1 small; Garlic-2 pieces; and  Ginger-1 inch (Onion+ Garlic + Ginger to be made into a paste in a blender)
Salt–1  teaspoon (or to taste)
Sugar–1/4  teaspoon
Coriander powder–1 teaspoon
Garam Masala- 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric (Haldi)–1 and 1/2 teaspoon (1 teaspoon for marinating the fish and half for the curry).
Red Chilli powder– 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh green chillies whole–4 (Whole chillies only impart a lovely flavor to the cuisine and will NOT make it spicy)
Mustard oil –3 tablespoon (If you want that classic taste, otherwise whatever oil you normally use) 
Cumin-1 teaspoon
Water-2 glasses (One glass roughly 300 ml)


Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the turmeric on the fish to coat it. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil (the third tablespoon to be used for making the curry ) in a non stick pan and gently fry the fish @ only 2-3 pieces of fish at a time. After the fish turns a nice golden brown, remove to a plate and add the next batch to the oil. Please ensure that the fish does not burn. In a kadai (wok, add the oil left from frying (make sure the oil is clean and no pieces are in it) as well as the fresh third table spoon of oil.
Add the cumin to the hot oil and let it brown. MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT BURN. Add onion+ garlic + ginger paste and stir well. Add the salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and sugar. Keep on stirring till the paste is fried and you can see the oil glistening on the sides of the wok.
Add the tomato paste and stir well till the tomato is cooked. Add 2 glasses of water. Add the fried fish to this mixture and also add the whole fresh green chillies.  When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the flame to a minimum (sim/simmer) and cook it for 2 minutes.
Your fish is ready.
© Copyright Prasenjeet Kumar 2013

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