Macher Jhol (Fish Curry) #coronadiaries

8 Nov 2020
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Macher Jhol (Fish Curry) #coronadiaries

A Bengali fish curry (or macher Jhol) is rarely seen outside of a West Bengal or East Bengal ( now Bangladesh) home and I could write a war and peace essay on recipes, cuts, types etc all of which will upset someone somewhere !

However taking the lowest common denominator, a Macher Jhol is usually made with Rui or Katla ( a type of carp ), vegetables such as potato and wax gourd. It has a very light and flavoursome Jhol or broth and minimal spices . There are different cuts of the fish used such as peti ( cut from the belly giving you thinner rectangular piece) with less bones or the triangular Gada and even the lowly lyaj or tail. The head or Muro is usually used in dal or Muri ghonto another Bengali speciality.
It is usually enjoyed in the afternoon with steamed rice and a squirt of Gondhoraj lebu – the king of limes found again in Bengal and usually followed by an afternoon nap later ending with a cup of chai s samosa to create a perfect Sunday.
I had some Rui in the freezer and after a very long time, made a Jhol which brought in some sunshine on an otherwise cold day…
Happy to share the recipe if anyone wants it, but be warned you will need to find a specialist Asian fish stockist or (can use tilapia or sea bass) and be prepared to descale the fish and also take out the bones when eating .. The end result is worth it though!⁣

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