Maacher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry)

Spice-coated fish, simmered in zingy sauce makes this Bengali fish curry from Manju Mahli a great choice for a flavoursome meal
By Manju Malhi
Maacher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 500 g haddock fillets, skinned
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil

For the sauce

  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp brown orblack mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped


1. Cut the fish into pieces, about 9cm long.

2. Combine the turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, chillies, salt and half the coriander leaves. Coat the fish evenly with this spice mixture.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat and fry the fish for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside.

4. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they pop, add the garlic, ginger, onion, and tomatoes. Fry gently for 8 minutes.

5. Add about 200ml boiling water and stir to combine it with the masala.

6. Return the fish to the pan and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened and the fish is cooked.

7. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve hot with naan or pitta breads.

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