bengali cuisine · Bengali food · comfort food · fish curry · mum's style

Fish Curry Mom style… (Maa er Macher Jhol)

Maacher jhol or fish curry and Bengali are synonymous.. Bengali families are large or they use to be and the food though you would have a variety of spread, it is simple and fish curry is a staple.. The fish goes very well across the generations, men, older men, younger men, children, grandmas, aunties, every body they all love it…

While I was growing up, my mum, would often cook this curry and she had a name for it, babar jhol (fish curry for dad), It is a curry she learnt from her mother and she use to make it for my Grandfather..

As the story goes, the curry was specially prepared for my granddad and my mum and aunt were only allowed to eat on special occasion.

The best thing about this curry is that it has simple ingredients and it is super aromatic…

I have been in love with this curry for as long as I can remember…

Now there are a million ways and combinations in which you can make the curry..

The curry tastes best when prepared with sweet water fish but here, I would much rather use fresh fillets of sea fish, the ones that have neutral tastes, like swai or tilapia… but try it with fresh sweet water fish if you can..

Fish Curry; Mum style

  • Swai fillets- 7-8
  • termeric- 3 table spoon +1 tablespoon to marinade
  • Chilly Powder-3 table spoon
  • salt- as per taste
  • Green chillies -5-6 (slit)
  • Paanch Phoron – 1.5 teaspoon
  • cauliflower florets- 15-20
  • Mustard oil- Be generous


Take a bowl and marinade the fish fillets, in turmeric (1 tabs), chilly powder, 1 tablespoon and pinch of salt and leave it for 15 mins.. Meanwhile take a kadhai/wok and gently fry the cauliflower florets, take care not to burn them..  Now in a separate wok or kadhai, heat 5-6 tbs of mustard oil fry the fillets to golden colour and put it aside. ..  Add some more oil (be generous) Temper the panch poron (bengali 5 spices) as soon as it starts emitting the flavours, add the turmeric, red chilly powder, green chillies say about 3, saute for a while, add 3 cups of water,salt, now add the cauliflower florets and let the curry simmer for a while and finally, add the fish fillets and leave it on high heat for about4- 5 mins .. Garnish with green chillies, serve with hot steaming rice…


3 thoughts on “Fish Curry Mom style… (Maa er Macher Jhol)

  1. “Babar ghol!”that does bring back wistful memories of our childhood days!how baba usd to relish that wonderful dish ma used to prepare so effortlessly!
    and to put the records straight, my dear kitbag, yor ma and I ALWAYS got a share of this fishy wonder;not just on special occasions.baba wouldnot have heard of it.

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