Pomfret Macher Jhal (Bengali Pomfret Curry) is a spicy and lip-smacking onion-tomato based Bengali fish curry flavoured with nigella seeds (kalo jeera), garlic and green chillies. It is easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes. Serve this pomfret curry with rice to make a perfect weeknight meal.
“Macher Jhal” refer to spicy fish curry in Bengali, a soul food of every Bengali (except for my husband 🙄). Hence you don’t see many fish recipes on my blog. I on the other hand am a diehard fish lover but due to non availability of fresh Indian fish and the Mr, my consumption of the same has reduced a lot.
But last week I laid my hands on some gorgeous Silver pomfret/paplet fish. My happiness and excitement had no bounds. All I wanted to do was get back home, prepare this spicy pomfret macher jhal and consume it all by myself. And that is what I did. Husband not a fan so it was all for me. Hot steaming rice along with this curry and I am sorted.
What are the ingredients used to prepare Bengali pomfret macher tel jhal?
Let’s check out what the ingredients used are.
- Green Chillies
- Nigella seeds
- Turmeric powder
- Kashmiri red chilli powder
- Cumin powder
- Oil/Mustard Oil
- Coriander leaves
This pomfret macher jhal is very easy to make. No chopping involved to make this curry. I have used medium to small sized pomfret so have just cleaned the guts and kept it whole and made some slits. If you find large fish you can slice it into pieces.
Can I use any other fish if I can not find Pomfret?
Yes you can! If pomfret is unavailable you can make it with salmon, rohu, sea bass, basa fish.
Here are few Bengali Fish recipes that you can try.
Pomfret Macher Tel Jhal
Pomfret Macher Tel Jhal | Bengali Pomfret Curry
- large thick bottomed pan/ large Kadhai
- 4 Pomfret/Paplet *** washed and cleaned,I have cleaned the gut and kept the fish whole
- 1 medium Onion roughly chopped
- 1 medium Tomato roughly chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 3-4 Green Chillies
- 1/2 tsp Nigella seeds/ kalo jeera/ Kalonji
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder plus half tsp for marinating the fish
- 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder
- 1/2 Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp Sugar/sweetener
- Salt (as per taste)
- 3-4 tbsp Veg Oil/ Mustard oil
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves for garnishing chopped
- Marinate the fish with salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and keep it aside for some time.
- Next make a coarse paste of onion, tomato and garlic and keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan on medium heat, when hot add the fish and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. strain and take it off the heat.
- Add the rest of the oil in the same pan and temper with nigella seeds/ kalo jeera/ Kalonji and slit green chillies.
- When they start to splatter add the onion-tomato paste and saute on medium high heat stirring for 4-5 minutes until the water is evaporated and you you see oil seeping through the masala.
- Add turmeric powder, cmin powder, chilli powder and salt along with 2 tbsp of water and mix it well. Continue cooking on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until you see the oil seeping through the masala.
- Now add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Slowly slip in the fried fish along with some coriander leaves and simmer for another 3-4 mins.
- Sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves and enjoy it with hot rice.
I hope you enjoy this Pomfret Macher Jhal as much as we do.
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