I have a very deep connection to the city of Calcutta, which is in the eastern part of India. My grandmother – Mataji, lived there for most of her life and she always served the simplest but most amazing food.
I just love the food in Calcutta – everything is delicious from the street food to home food. The fish especially is truly something to die for! Here is my family’s version of a very popular fish curry dish called Macher Jhol ( which means spicy fish). In our home, we call it Mustard Fish.
You can substitute chicken for fish , if you would like.
2 pounds of any whitefish cut into thick 2 inch cubes or chicken cut in cubes
1 tablespoon panch phorun ( available at Indian grocery stores)
Pinch of asofetida (hing)
2 bay leaves
2-3 whole red chilies
1 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
1 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder)
3 tablespoons mustard oil ( available at Indian grocery stores)
1 cup chopped cilantro
6 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
4 plum tomatoes
¼ cup white mustard seeds (rai)
1 tablespoon jeera
3 tablespoons water
- Heat mustard oil to smoking point
- Add the panch phorun, bay leaves and pinch of asofetida.
- Add whole red chili
- Cook for a minute.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add 1 teaspoons turmeric.
- Add 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhaniya).
- Add 1 teaspoon amchur and chili powder to taste.
- Fry the mixture well.
- Add the ground tomato and onion paste.
- Cover and cook well for about 15 minutes.
- Add the ground mustard paste.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the cubed fish.
- Add 2 cups of water.
- Cook well until the fish is cooked and the curry thickens a bit.
- Add chopped cilantro and serve hot with white basmati rice.