Rui Macher Jhol Recipe | Rohu Fish Curry

5 from 1 vote
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Rui Macher Jhol, also known as Rohu Fish Curry, is a delightful and aromatic Bengali fish curry that celebrates the flavors of the Rohu fish—a popular freshwater fish commonly found in the rivers of India.

This classic Bengali recipe is beloved for its simplicity and the use of traditional Indian spices that infuse the fish with a burst of delicious flavors.

Hailing from the Indian state of West Bengal, Rui Macher Jhol holds a special place in Bengali cuisine and is often served as a comforting and homely meal.

The curry is known for its light and soupy consistency, making it perfect for pairing with steamed rice.

Rui Macher Jhol

Key Takeaways:

  • Rui Macher Jhol is a delightful and aromatic Bengali fish curry made with Rohu fish, commonly found in the rivers of India.
  • It is beloved for its simplicity and the use of traditional Indian spices that infuse the fish with delicious flavors.
  • Rui Macher Jhol is best served with steamed rice, hot chapatis, or Luchis.
  • The curry has a mildly spicy, tangy, and savory taste with a refreshing and homely feel.
  • If you want alternatives, you can try variations with different fish types like Katla or Hilsa, or even go for vegetarian options using vegetables instead of fish.

The Ingredients

Rui Macher Jhol Ingredients

  • Rui or rohu fish: 500 gm (cut & cleaned)
  • Potato: 2 pieces (peeled, cut wedges & cleaned)
  • Onion: 1-piece medium size (chopped)
  • Tomato: 1 piece (chopped)
  • Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: ½ tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 ½ tbsp
  • Roasted cumin powder: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Bay leaf: 1 piece
  • Green chilis: 3 pieces
  • Coriander leaves: 1 ½ tbsp
  • Mustard oil: 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

How to Cook Rui Macher Jhol (Step by Step Images)?

1. Marinate the Rohu fish pieces with less than ½ tbsp of salt and less than ½ tbsp of turmeric powder. Leave it for 10 minutes.

Marinating the Rohu fish pieces with salt, turmeric powder

2. Add 3 tbsp of mustard oil into the wok. Let it heat up. Gently add the marinated fish pieces into the hot oil and let them fry.

(Expert tip: Be very careful while adding the fishes into the oil.)

Frying fish pieces

3. Flip them over and fry both sides. Take them out on a plate when they are done.

Taking out fried Rohu fish pieces

4. Now add bay leaf and cumin seeds into the oil. Sauté them.

Adding bay leaf and cumin seeds into the oil and sautéing

5. When they start emitting a good smell, add the chopped onions. Stir the onions until they turn a light brown color.

Adding the chopped onions and stirring

6. Add the potatoes and stir them along with the onions.

Adding the potatoes and stirring them along with the onions

7. Add 1 tbsp of salt. Stir it well to mix everything. Add the ginger-garlic paste when the potatoes and onions are fried. Stir it nicely for 2 mins until the raw smell goes away.

Adding salt, ginger-garlic paste and stirring

8. Now add the coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder.

Adding the coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder

9. Mix everything very well. Add a little bit of water and then cook; otherwise, the spices will get burnt.

Adding a little bit of water and stirring

10. When it is stirred nicely, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir it nicely.

Adding the chopped tomatoes and stirring

11. Add 1½ cups of water into the mixture and mix everything. Add green chilis. Now cover it with a lid.

(Expert tip: Add water as per your desired gravy consistency. In fact, add salt as per your taste.)

Adding water, in the mixture and mixing everything and then adding green chilis

12. When the gravy is boiling, add the fried fish pieces. Let the fish get fully submerged. Now cover it with a lid.

(Expert tip: If you want, cut the potato slices as per your choice.)

Adding the fried fish pieces

13. It’s done after a few minutes. Turn off the gas and sprinkle the coriander leaves on top.

Sprinkling the coriander leaves on top

14. Rui Macher Jhol is ready and transfer it hot in a serving bowl.

Rui Macher Jhol is ready and transfer it hot in a serving bowl

Pro Tips for Cooking Best Rui Macher Jhol

To achieve the best and most flavorful Rui Macher Jhol, here are some pro tips to keep in mind:

Use Fresh Fish: Opt for fresh Rohu fish for the best results. Look for firm, shiny fish with clear eyes and a mild ocean smell. Fresh fish ensures a delicate and delicious taste in the curry.

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Marinate the Fish: Before cooking, marinate the fish with a pinch of turmeric powder and a little salt. This helps to remove any fishy odor and adds a subtle flavor to the fish.

Fry the Fish: To enhance the taste and texture of the fish, shallow-fry the marinated fish pieces until they are lightly browned. This step adds a delightful crispiness to the fish, and the fried pieces will hold their shape better in the curry.

Use Mustard Oil: Traditional Rui Macher Jhol is prepared using mustard oil, which imparts a unique and distinct flavor to the curry. Heat the mustard oil until it reaches its smoking point to reduce its pungency.

Sauté the Spices: Take the time to sauté the spices—cumin seeds, and bay leaves —in the hot oil until they release their aromatic fragrance. This step is crucial in building the curry’s flavor profile.

Add Tomatoes: For a tangy kick, add ripe tomatoes to the curry. They not only add a pleasant tanginess but also help to thicken the broth slightly.

Adjust Spice Level: Customize the spice level to your preference. Add green chilies for heat or red chili powder for more spice. Balancing the spices is essential for a flavorful and enjoyable curry.

Use Ginger and Garlic Paste: Freshly made ginger and garlic paste add a zesty punch to the curry. If possible, grind the ginger and garlic into a paste just before using for the best taste.

Don’t Overcook the Fish: Be careful not to overcook the fish as it can become dry and lose its tenderness. The fish should be cooked until it is just done and easily flakes with a fork.

Garnish with Fresh Coriander: Finish the dish by garnishing with freshly chopped coriander leaves. The vibrant green garnish adds a pop of color and freshness to the curry.

By following these pro tips, you can create a delicious and authentic Rui Macher Jhol that showcases the true essence of Bengali cuisine.

What to Serve with Rui Macher Jhol?

Rui Macher Jhol, being a flavorful and comforting fish curry, pairs well with various accompaniments. Here are some traditional and popular options to serve with Rui Macher Jhol:

Steamed Rice: The classic and most common way to enjoy Rui Macher Jhol is with steamed white rice. The light and fluffy rice complement the rich flavors of the fish curry, creating a satisfying combination.

Roti or Paratha: If you prefer bread over rice, you can serve Rui Macher Jhol with Indian flatbreads like roti or paratha. The soft and flaky breads are perfect for soaking up the delicious curry.

Luchi: Luchi, a Bengali-style deep-fried bread, is another fantastic option to serve with Rui Macher Jhol. The crispy Luchis are great for scooping up the fish and curry.

Ultimately, the choice of accompaniment can vary based on personal preferences and regional traditions.

Feel free to experiment and discover your favorite combinations to enhance the enjoyment of this delicious Bengali dish, Rui Macher Jhol!

How Does Rui Macher Jhol Taste?

Rui Macher Jhol is a delicious and comforting fish curry with a unique taste that is characteristic of Bengali cuisine. The taste of Rui Macher Jhol can be described as follows:

Mildly Spicy: Rui Macher Jhol is usually mildly spiced, allowing the natural flavors of the fish and other ingredients to shine through.

The use of green chilies and ground spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander adds a subtle spiciness that enhances the overall flavor.

Light and Refreshing: The curry has a light and watery consistency, which gives it a refreshing quality. It’s not overly thick or heavy, making it a perfect dish for warm days or as a comforting meal on any occasion.

Tangy and Sour: Some versions of Rui Macher Jhol may include tamarind or raw mango to add a tangy and sour element to the curry. The sourness balances the spices and adds a pleasant tang that complements the fish.

Umami and Savory: The use of fried fish pieces and the combination of spices, onion, and tomato create a savory and umami-rich flavor profile. The fish infuses the curry with its own delicate taste, making each bite a delightful experience.

Fresh and Fragrant: Rui Macher Jhol often incorporates fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic, and cilantro, which add a fragrant aroma to the dish. The combination of fresh herbs and spices contributes to the overall appeal and depth of flavor.

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Comforting and Homely: Rui Macher Jhol has a nostalgic and homely feel to it, evoking memories of home-cooked meals and family gatherings. It’s a dish that brings comfort and warmth to the table.

Balanced Flavors: The beauty of Rui Macher Jhol lies in its well-balanced flavors. The mild spiciness, tanginess, and umami notes come together harmoniously to create a satisfying and wholesome curry.

Overall, Rui Macher Jhol is a delightful and versatile fish curry that showcases the subtleties of Bengali cuisine.

Its lightness and balanced flavors make it a popular choice for a comforting meal that can be enjoyed on various occasions.

Rui Macher Jhol Alternatives

If you enjoy the flavors and concept of Rui Macher Jhol but want to explore some alternatives with different types of fish or ingredients, here are some delicious alternatives to consider:

Katla Macher Jhol: Replace the Rui fish with Katla fish, another popular freshwater fish in Bengali cuisine. Katla Macher Jhol follows a similar preparation method, and the taste is equally delightful.

Rohu Macher Kalia: Rohu Macher Kalia is a richer and spicier alternative to Rui Macher Jhol. It includes a thicker gravy made with a blend of spices and is perfect for those who prefer a more robust flavor.

Hilsa Macher Jhol: Hilsa, also known as Ilish, is a prized fish in Bengali cuisine. Hilsa Macher Jhol is a special variation where the fish is cooked in a light and tangy gravy, highlighting the unique taste of Hilsa.

Chingri Macher Jhol: If you prefer seafood, Chingri Macher Jhol is a fantastic alternative. This curry features prawns cooked in a similar light and flavorful gravy, creating a delightful seafood dish.

Pabda Macher Jhol: Pabda fish is another popular choice for making Jhol in Bengali households. Pabda Macher Jhol is known for its delicate and mild taste, making it a favorite among fish lovers.

Koi Macher Jhol: Koi fish, also known as climbing perch, is used to make Koi Macher Jhol. The fish is cooked in a simple and light curry, allowing its unique taste to shine through.

Vegetarian Alternatives: For a vegetarian version, you can replace the fish with vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, or mixed vegetables to make a delicious vegetarian Jhol. The spices and preparation remain similar, offering a satisfying dish for vegetarians.

These alternatives offer a variety of flavors and textures while maintaining the essence of Bengali fish curry.

Depending on your preference and the availability of ingredients, you can try these alternatives to create a delightful and satisfying meal.

Recipe Card:

Rui Macher Jhol Featured Image

Rui Macher Jhol (Rohu Fish Curry)

By Mita Mondal
Rui Macher Jhol, also known as Rohu Fish Curry, is a traditional Bengali fish curry made with Rohu fish, a popular freshwater fish found in the rivers of India.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marination time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 301 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams Rohu fish (cut & cleaned)
  • 2 pieces Potato (peeled, cut wedges & cleaned)
  • 1 piece Onion (chopped)
  • 1 piece Tomato (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1 piece Bay leaf
  • ½ tbsp Cumin seed
  • 3 pieces Green chili
  • tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the Rohu fish pieces with less than ½ tbsp of salt and less than ½ tbsp of turmeric powder. Allow them to marinate for 10 minutes, enhancing the flavor of the fish.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a wok. Take caution while adding the marinated fish pieces to the hot oil, as they may splatter.
  • Gently flip the fish pieces over to fry both sides until they turn lightly browned and crispy. Once done, transfer them to a plate.
  • In the same oil, add bay leaf and cumin seeds. Sauté until the spices emit a pleasant aroma.
  • Add the chopped onions to the wok and stir them until they achieve a light brown color.
  • Stir in the potatoes with 1 tbsp of salt, mixing everything well. Once the onions and potatoes are fried, add the ginger-garlic paste and stir for 2 minutes until the raw smell dissipates.
  • Now, incorporate the coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Thoroughly mix the spices and add a splash of water to prevent burning.
  • Once the spices are well combined, add the chopped tomatoes and stir them nicely into the mixture.
  • Pour in 1½ cups of water and add green chilis. Adjust the water quantity based on your desired gravy consistency, and add salt to taste.
  • Cover the wok with a lid and let the gravy come to a boil.
  • When the gravy is simmering, gently place the fried fish pieces back into the wok, ensuring they are fully submerged. Cover with a lid once again.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the flavors meld together. Optionally, adjust the thickness of potato slices according to your preference.
  • Turn off the heat, and sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on top for added freshness and aroma.
  • Transfer the hot and delectable Rui Macher Jhol to a serving bowl.

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Notes

Fish Selection: Choose fresh Rohu fish for the best taste and texture. Look for firm fish with clear eyes and a mild smell of the sea.
Marination: Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric to remove any fishy odor and enhance the flavor. Allow it to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Frying the Fish: Fry the fish pieces until they are lightly browned and crispy on both sides. This step adds a delightful texture and helps the fish hold its shape in the curry.
Mustard Oil: Traditional Rui Macher Jhol is prepared with mustard oil, which imparts a unique taste. Heat the oil to its smoking point to reduce its pungency.
Sautéing the Spices: Sauté the bay leaf and cumin seeds until they release their aroma. This is essential for building the curry's flavor profile.
Adding Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a tangy kick to the curry. They also help thicken the gravy slightly.
Customize Spices: Adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more green chilies or red chili powder. Balance the spices for a flavorful yet mildly spicy curry.
Fresh Ginger-Garlic Paste: Use freshly made ginger and garlic paste for a zesty punch in the curry.
Gravy Consistency: Adjust the water quantity to achieve your desired gravy thickness. Remember that the curry is typically light and soupy.
Fish Cooking Time: Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become dry. Cook the fish until it's just done and easily flakes with a fork.
Garnish: Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on top for added freshness and aroma.
Serving Suggestions: Rui Macher Jhol pairs well with steamed rice, roti, paratha, or luchi (Bengali-style deep-fried bread).
Experiment with Alternatives: You can try different fish types or vegetables to create variations of the dish, like Katla Macher Jhol or vegetarian options.
Enjoy Fresh and Hot: Rui Macher Jhol tastes best when served immediately after preparation. Reheating might affect the fish's texture and overall taste.
With these recipe notes in mind, you can confidently prepare a delicious and authentic Rui Macher Jhol that reflects the essence of Bengali cuisine. 

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Rui Macher Jhol (Rohu Fish Curry)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
301
Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
10
g
Cholesterol
 
83
mg
28
%
Sodium
 
979
mg
43
%
Potassium
 
694
mg
20
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
24
g
48
%
Vitamin A
 
927
IU
19
%
Vitamin C
 
10
mg
12
%
Calcium
 
103
mg
10
%
Iron
 
5
mg
28
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Rui Macher Jhol or Rohu Fish Curry is a lovely Bengali dish made with easily available rohu fish and common kitchen spices.

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This dish, when paired with steamed rice and other usual veg recipes, makes a complete non-veg fish meal.

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