Machar jhol is a classic Bengali spicy fish curry flavored with the goodness of mustard. The best way to eat this dish is with plain white rice. Here is a really excellent recipe. You must use a good mustard oil to make this dish as that is what gives it flavor. Generally mustard oil is available at any Indian grocery store.
Sumeet’s Machar Jhol
2 lbs firm white fish, cubed
1 tsp. panch phorun (available at any Indian grocery store)
1 tsp. turmeric powder (haldi)
Salt to taste
Soak these in water for 6-7 hours or overnight:
1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds (dhaniya)
1 tbsp. whole cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tbsp. black mustard seeds (rai)
1 whole red chili
6-7 cloves garlic
2 green chilies
1 large onion
3 plum tomatoes
1 tsp. deghi mirchi – Kashmiri chili powder (opt)
- Grind the soaked spices with garlic, ginger, chilies and onions with ¼ cup water until it reached a fine paste consistency.
- Set aside.
- Heat 4 tbsp. mustard oil to smoking point in a cooking pot.
- Add 1 tsp. panch phorun.
- Add the ground masala paste.
- Add 1 tsp. haldi and salt.
- Cover and cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of hot water and 1 tsp. deghi mirchi.
- Cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the fish and allow curry to come to a boil.
- Let it cook for 10 minutes uncovered.
- Add the juice of ½ a lime and cilantro.
- Remove from fire and serve hot with white rice.