Fish Curry with Potatoes and Whole Spices (Bengali Style)

Bengali Style Fish Curry

After having spent five years in the West Bengal region of India, I love Bengali food. My love can also be attributed to the wonderful meals I got to eat in the homes of my Bengali friends and those of you who have Bong friends like me, know that the one thing they love is to feed you :) …. I never complained as I loved eating different types of cuisine. One of my favorites is the simple but tasty Bengali fish curry, which is has many happy memories attached to it. Hope you enjoy it . Happy Cooking :)  Kamakshi !

PS : The authentic taste of this dish comes from using mustard oil. However, you can use the cooking oil of your choice.

Prep Time : 15 mins                                            Cook Time : 25 mins
Serves : 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg of Rohu fish, sliced into thick pieces (or any fish of your choice)
  • 2 Medium size Potatoes, cut into thick wedges
  • 1/2 cup Mustard Oil for frying
To Marinate the Fish :
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
For the Curry:
  • 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 2 Medium size onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 3 Green Chillies Slit lenght wise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 6-8 Green Cardamoms
  • 8 Cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped for garnish
METHOD
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the fish pieces, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, lemon juice and salt and mix well. Let the fish marinate for 15-20 mins
  2. Heat mustard oil in a pan and pan fry the fish. Fry the fish pieces on both side, till it is golden brown. There is no need to fully cook the fish as the fish will be added to a gravy. It is better to keep the fish, a bit soft on the inside and not fully crisp..
  3. Fry the fish in batches. Once it is done, in the same oil, fry the potato wedges until they are golden brown ( but not burnt :) ) !

4.  Add 4tbsp of the same oil into a deep dish pan. When the oil is heated, add the whole spices ( bayleaves, green cardamoms, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cinnamom sticks and cloves) and stir fry on low flame for the spices to be aromatic.

5. Add the garlic paste, stir fry for couple of seconds and then add the chopped onions, and turmeric and salt and fry the onions become golden brown.

6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, ginger paste, slit green chillies, chilli powder, cumin powder and mix well. Cook on medium heat, till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.  Add 1 tsp of sugar  and mix well. The idea is not to make the curry sweet but to balance the sourness of the tomatoes. Don’t be generous with the sugar or you will land up with a sweetened curry which is definately going to be a spoiler.

7. Now add the fried pieces of fish and potatoes and evenly coat all the pieces with the masala . Be gentle on the fish, as it breaks easily. Sprinkle a bit of water and cover and cook for 3 mins on a low flame so that the spices can seep into the fish pieces.

8. Add 2 cups of warm water ( you can use cold water but curries always taste better when you add warm water to a cooked masala)  to the dish. Cover the dish and let it simmer for 10 mins on low flame or until the oil floats on the top.

9. When the fish is ready, sprinkle garam masala powder on top and mix well. Granish with freshly chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice.

ENJOY :) ….. Hope you enjoyed cooking this meal for your friends and family .. Happy Cooking !

Bengali Style Fish Curry

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