Monday, August 12, 2013

Traditional Bengali Recipe - Bori diye Macher Jhol ( Light fish curry with lentil dumplings)

After a foodilicious( not sure if that is a valid English word) Eid weekend all that I craved for today was a light fish curry and rice - translated in bengali as we say 'patla macher jhol and bhaat'. Of course with some gondhoraj  lebu. We Bengalis love our fish, that everyone knows but what we also love are these light fragrant fish or chicken curries that cleanses up the palate as well as our minds. I am however very finicky when it comes to fish and there are just a few variety of fishes that I cook and eat. Rohu/Rui/Rou are the different names given to one fish that I like. It belongs to the carp family and is the non oily white fish. Staying in Assam all my life I have eaten the best quality of this fish always. And it is something I love. It tastes best when made into a non-spicy light curry.In my family it is made with cauliflower - potato or many a times with bori - dried lentil dumplings. The dumplings lends a very unique taste to the gravy and is best devoured with rice.We all have our version of the fish is my super super easy recipe of Bori diye patla macher jhol.


Rohu fish - 6 pieces

Potato - 1 medium (cut lengthwise)

Tomato - 1 medium (cut lengthwise)

Bori ( dried lentil dumpling) - a handful ( i used the urad dal bori here)

Mustard oil - 2 tbsp for frying + 1 tsp for the curry

Nigella seeds (kalojeera/kalonji) - a pinch

Cumin paste (Jeera) - 1 big tbsp (soak whole jeera seeds in warm water and then grind into a fine paste)

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp + 1 tsp

Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tsp ( i use it mainly for the colour)

Salt - to taste

Warm water - 2 cups

Green chillies - 8-10 nos 


Wash and clean the fish pieces . Smear with turmeric and salt and keep aside.

In a pan heat 2 tbsp mustard oil. Once the oil heats up, add the boris (lentil dumplings) and fry till light brown in colour. Keep aside.

In the same oil , fry the fish and keep aside.

In the same pan add the remaining mustard oil. Once the oil reaches smoking point , reduce the heat and add the nigella(kalojeera) seeds.Once it splutters add the cut potatoes and tomato. 

Fry till the potatoes turn light brown in colour. Next add the ginger paste , cumin paste , turmeric , red chilli powder and salt.

Mix well and roast the masala mixture well adding some warm water in between.

Once the masalas are fried add 2 cups warm water, cover the pan and let it simmer for 10 mins till the potatoes are cooked through.

Next add the fried boris, fish pieces and the green chillies and mix well into the gravy.

Give it a quick simmer and remove from heat.

Serve with hot rice and some lemon wedges.


  1. Thank you for this great recipe. I saw it on Facebook and tried it out with tengra maach and tilapia fillets. You can see it on my blog