Recipe: Maachere Jhol (Bengali Fish Stew)

Maacheri Jhol

Maacheri Jhol (Bengali Fish Stew) made with cod, which is a little flakier than some other fish you might use

Maachere jhol is a classic Bengali fish meal simmered in a rich curry sauce. This gravy is called jhol. You can use almost any type of fish. Salmon and mahi mahi are popular choices. Sea bass, cod, tilapia and flaky white fish can be used if they are handled gently. Serves 4.

Ingredients for the fish:
1 lb fish fillets
1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
2 T mustard or other cooking oil

Ingredients for the sauce:
2 tsp Panch Phoron
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
1/2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 inch pice ginger root, grated
1 c water

Method: Rub the fish fillet with the salt and turmeric. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then cut into 1-inch bite size chunks. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the fish. Then, turn the heat to medium. Flip the pieces when they turn opaque around the edges. Finish cooking the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Set the fillets aside.

To make the gravy, add the panch phoron to the oil remaining in the skillet. (You may need to add a bit more oil.) Add the chopped onion pieces. Fry until translucent. Add the tomatoes along with the turmeric, cumin, grated ginger and water. Season with salt to taste before returning the fish to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Serve over steamed rice.

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