Rui Macher Kalia Recipe | Rohu Fish Kalia

5 from 1 vote
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Rui Macher Kalia or Rohu Fish Kalia is a popular Bengali seafood dish that originated in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the state of West Bengal.

Macher Kalia is a rich and flavorful preparation made with fish, typically freshwater varieties such as Rohu or Katla, cooked in a spicy and aromatic gravy.

The term “Kalia” refers to a cooking style in Bengali cuisine where the fish is simmered in a thick, well-spiced sauce.

The dish is known for its vibrant reddish-brown color and a harmonious blend of various spices and ingredients. So, let’s dive in.

Rui Macher Kalia

Key Takeaways:

  • Rui Macher Kalia is a popular Bengali seafood dish with fish cooked in a spicy and aromatic gravy.
  • It is known for its vibrant reddish-brown color and a harmonious blend of spices and ingredients.
  • Marinating the fish with turmeric, salt, and lemon juice enhances its flavor.
  • Rohu Fish Kalia is traditionally served with steamed rice, but it can also be enjoyed with naan, roti, or pulao.
  • If you’re looking for alternatives, consider dishes like fish curry, grilled fish, fish tikka masala, shrimp curry, or steamed fish with herbs.

The Ingredients:

Rui Macher Kalia Ingredients

  • Rohu Fish: 700 gms (cut into 5 chunky pieces and cleaned)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Onion: 1 Big Size (Sliced)
  • Onion: Paste of ½ of a medium sized onion
  • Tomato: Paste of ½ of a medium sized tomato
  • Yogurt: 2 tablespoons (Properly Whisked)
  • Cashews: Paste of 12 cashews
  • Turmeric Powder:1/2 tablespoon
  • Red Chili Powder: 1/2 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1/2 tablespoon
  • Coriander Powder: 1/2 tablespoon
  • Cumin Powder: 1/2 tablespoon
  • Dry Chilies: 2-3
  • Bay Leaves: 1-2
  • Cinnamon Sticks: 1 (Medium Size)
  • Cloves: 2
  • Green Cardamoms: 4
  • Black Cardamom: 1
  • Green Chilies: 4
  • Mustard Oil: 3 tablespoons
  • Salt to Taste

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

1. Marinate the Rohu fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Leave it for 10 minutes.

Marinating the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder

2. Put a pan on the gas stove and turn it on.

Putting a pan on the gas stove

3. Pour oil into the pan.

Pouring oil into the pan

4. When the oil starts smoking, slide the fish pieces slowly one by one. Reduce the temperature to medium.

Placing fish pieces to the hot oil to fry

5. Fry the fish pieces till light brown. Flip them when one side is done.

Frying the fish

6. Take them out on a plate once fish pieces are fried.

Taking out fried fish pieces

7. Add some oil if required to the cooking pan and then add Bay leaves, dry chilies, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms and cloves.

8. The dry spices will start releasing aroma. At this time, add sliced onions and give it a good stir.

Adding sliced onions and stirring

9. After the onions turn light brown, add onion paste and sauté.

Adding onion paste and sautéing

10. After the water from onion paste is dried up, add tomato paste and let it cook.

Adding tomato paste

11. After the tomato is done, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 5 minutes.

Adding ginger-garlic paste

12. Make a paste of red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder with a little amount of water in a separate bowl. Keep it aside.

Making a paste of red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder and cumin powder

13. Add the mixture of spices paste to the cooking pan. Add turmeric powder and salt. Give the mixture a good stir.

Adding the mixture of spices paste

14. Add ½ cup of water, give the mixture a stir and put a lid on the pan. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

Adding water to the paste

15. Remove the lid. Add cashew paste. Mix it well.

Adding cashew paste

16. Add whisked yogurt and continue stirring so that it does not form any lump. Add water if required.

Adding whisked yogurt

17. After spices start releasing oil, add 1 cup of water and let it come to a boil.

Adding 1 cup of water

18. Place the lid.

Placing lid on cooking pan

19. After the gravy comes to a boil, remove the lid and add already lightly fried Rohu fish pieces one by one to the gravy. Reduce the flame to low. Cover the pan for 10 minutes.

20. Reduce the flame to low and add green chilies. Cover the pan again.

Adding green chilies

21. Sprinkle coriander leaves. Turn off the oven after 5 minutes. Rohu Fish Kalia is Ready.

Rohu Fish Kalia is Ready

Pro Tips for Cooking Rui Macher Kalia

Here are some pro tips to enhance your cooking experience while preparing Rui Macher Kalia:

Choose Fresh Fish: Opt for fresh and high-quality Rohu fish for the best taste and texture.

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Marination Time: Allow the fish to marinate for at least 30 minutes with turmeric, salt, and lemon juice. This step helps to remove any fishy smell and infuses the flavors into the fish.

Use Mustard Oil: Traditional Fish Kalia recipes often call for mustard oil, which adds a distinct flavor to the dish. Heat the oil well before frying the fish to ensure a crispy exterior.

Control the Heat: When frying the fish, maintain a medium heat to achieve a golden brown crust without burning it. Adjust the heat as needed throughout the cooking process to prevent sticking or overcooking.

Blend Spices Well: Take extra care in grinding or blending the spices for the gravy. This ensures a smooth texture and better integration of flavors. Consider using whole spices and grinding them freshly for optimal taste.

Sauté Onion Paste: While making the gravy, sauté the onion paste until it turns golden brown. This helps to develop a rich and flavorful base for the dish.

Add Tomatoes Wisely: Tomatoes are often used to balance the flavors in Fish Kalia. Add them after the onion paste is well-cooked to avoid a raw taste. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and blend well with the other ingredients.

Simmer with Care: Once the fish is added to the gravy, simmer it gently to ensure that the fish absorbs the flavors without breaking apart. Avoid stirring too much, as it can cause the fish to disintegrate.

Adjust Spices and Seasoning: Taste the gravy as it simmers and adjust the spices and seasoning accordingly. Add a little more of any required spice or salt to achieve the desired balance of flavors.

Rest and Serve: After the Fish Kalia is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes. This helps the flavors to meld together. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.

Remember, cooking is an art, and personal preferences may vary. Feel free to experiment and adjust the recipe according to your taste.

What to Serve with Rui Macher Kalia?

Fish Kalia pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes that complement its rich flavors. Here are some traditional options to consider:

Steamed Rice: Rui Macher Kalia is often enjoyed with plain steamed rice. The fluffy and neutral rice serves as a perfect base to absorb the flavorful gravy.

Pulao: A fragrant and mildly spiced pulao, such as Basmati rice cooked with whole spices, can be a delicious accompaniment. The aromatic rice adds an extra layer of taste to the meal.

Naan or Roti: Indian breads like naan or roti can be served alongside Fish Kalia. Their soft texture and ability to scoop up the gravy make them a great choice.

Luchi or Poori: These deep-fried, puffed breads are popular in Bengali cuisine and go well with Fish Kalia. They add a delightful crunch and can be a treat for special occasions.

Remember to choose side dishes that harmonize with the flavors of Fish Kalia and suit your personal preferences. The combination of Rohu Fish Kalia with complementary sides will make for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

How Does Rui Macher Kalia Taste?

Here’s a breakdown of the taste elements you can expect:

Spicy: Rui Macher Kalia typically carries a moderate to high level of spiciness. The combination of spices like red chili powder, cumin, coriander, and garam masala imparts a warm and aromatic heat to the dish. The level of spiciness can be adjusted to personal preference.

Aromatic: The blend of spices used in Fish Kalia contributes to its aromatic profile. The dish often features flavors of roasted cumin, earthy coriander, and the distinctive aroma of mustard oil. These fragrant elements create a tantalizing and inviting scent.

Tangy: Rohu Fish Kalia often includes tangy ingredients such as tomatoes or lemon juice in the marinade. This tanginess helps balance the richness of the dish and adds a bright, acidic note to the overall taste.

Savory: The combination of spices, onions, and garlic in the gravy lends a deep, savory flavor to Fish Kalia. The fish itself absorbs the flavors of the sauce, resulting in a delightful umami taste that complements the spices.

Fish Flavor: Rohu fish contributes its unique taste to the dish. Freshwater fish varieties have a mild and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the spices and sauces. The fish remains tender and succulent when cooked in the gravy.

Overall, Rui Macher Kalia offers a harmonious blend of spicy, tangy, and savory flavors with a touch of natural fish taste. The combination of these elements creates a complex and satisfying culinary experience, making it a beloved dish among seafood enthusiasts.

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Rui Macher Kalia Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Fish Kalia, here are a few seafood dishes you might consider:

Fish Curry: Fish curry is a popular dish across various cuisines. It involves cooking fish in a flavorful and often tangy sauce made with spices, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes coconut milk. Each region has its own unique variations, such as South Indian fish curry or Thai fish curry.

Grilled or Baked Fish: If you prefer a healthier and lighter option, grilling or baking fish can be a great alternative. Season the fish with herbs, spices, and a touch of lemon juice or olive oil, then cook it to perfection. This method allows you to enjoy the natural flavors of the fish while keeping it tender and moist.

Fish Tikka Masala: Inspired by the popular Chicken Tikka Masala, this dish involves marinating fish pieces in a spiced yogurt mixture, grilling or roasting them, and then simmering them in a rich and creamy tomato-based sauce. It offers a delicious combination of flavors and textures.

Shrimp/Prawn Curry: If you enjoy shellfish, shrimp or prawn curry is a fantastic option. Similar to fish curry, it involves cooking shrimp in a spicy and tangy sauce, often with coconut milk. It’s a delightful dish that pairs well with rice or bread.

Katla Kalia: If you’re specifically looking for a Bengali fish curry alternative, you can try Katla Kalia. It’s made with Katla fish, which is also quite popular in Bengal.

These are just a few alternatives to Fish Kalia that highlight the versatility of seafood in various cuisines. Feel free to explore different recipes and cooking techniques to find the dish that suits your taste preferences and culinary style.

Recipe Card:

Rui Macher Kalia

Rui Macher Kalia (Rohu Fish Kalia)

By Mita Mondal
Rui Macher Kalia is a popular Bengali seafood dish consisting of Rohu fish, typically freshwater variety, cooked in a spicy and aromatic gravy. It is known for its vibrant color, bold flavors, and harmonious blend of spices, making it a cherished culinary delicacy in Bengali cuisine.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 314 kcal


  • 700 grams Rohu Fish (cut into 5 chunky pieces and cleaned)
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • 1 piece Onion (finely sliced)
  • 1 piece Onion (medium size pasted)
  • 1 piece Tomato (medium size pasted)
  • 2 tablespoons Yogurt (properly whisked)
  • 12 pieces Cashew (pasted)
  • ½ tablespoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Cumin Powder
  • 2 pieces Dry Red Chilies
  • 2 pieces Bay Leaves
  • 1 piece Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 pieces Cloves
  • 4 pieces Green Cardamoms
  • 1 pieces Black Cardamom
  • 4 pieces Green Chilies
  • 3 tablespoons Mustard Oil
  • Salt to Taste


  • Marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder, and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, carefully add the fish pieces one by one and fry them until they turn light brown. Flip them halfway through the cooking process.
  • Remove the fried fish pieces from the pan and set them aside on a plate.
  • If needed, add more oil to the pan, and then add bay leaves, dry chilies, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, and cloves. Sauté them until they release their aroma.
  • Add sliced onions to the pan and cook until they turn light brown.
  • Stir in the onion paste and continue cooking until the moisture evaporates.
  • Add tomato paste and sauté until it is well-cooked.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, make a paste of red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder with a little water. Set it aside.
  • Add the spice paste mixture to the pan, along with turmeric powder and salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of water into the pan, give it a stir, and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add cashew paste. Mix it well.
  • Add whisked yogurt and continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Add water if needed to adjust the consistency.
  • Once the spices release oil, add 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the lightly fried Rohu fish pieces one by one to the gravy. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low again and add green chilies. Cover the pan once more.
  • Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves over the dish. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Your Rui Macher Kalia is now ready to be served.


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Fish Selection: Choose a firm and fleshy fish variety for Rohu Fish. The fish should be fresh and free from any unpleasant odor.
Marination: Marinating the fish with salt and turmeric powder helps to enhance the flavor and also tenderizes the fish. Allow the fish to marinate for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.
Frying the Fish: Fry the fish pieces until they turn light brown, ensuring that they are cooked evenly on both sides. Be careful while flipping the fish to avoid breaking it. Once fried, remove the fish from the pan and set it aside.
Spice Combination: The combination of aromatic spices like bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, and cloves adds depth and fragrance to the dish. Adjust the quantity of spices according to your taste preferences.
Onion and Tomato Paste: Sautéing the onion paste until the moisture evaporates and it turns light brown adds a rich flavor base to the dish. Similarly, cooking the tomato paste until it is well-cooked helps to remove any raw taste and brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
Cashew Paste: Adding cashew paste adds a creamy and nutty flavor to the gravy, enhancing its richness. You can make cashew paste by grinding soaked cashews with a little water until smooth.
Yogurt Addition: Whisked yogurt is added to the gravy to give it a tangy and creamy texture. Stir continuously while adding yogurt to prevent it from curdling. Adjust the quantity of yogurt based on your preference for tanginess.
Adjusting Consistency: Add water as needed to adjust the consistency of the gravy. If you prefer a thicker gravy, reduce the amount of water added. Conversely, if you prefer a thinner gravy, add more water.
Garnish and Final Touch: Adding green chilies and coriander leaves towards the end of cooking adds freshness and a vibrant touch to the dish. The green chilies provide a hint of spiciness, while the coriander leaves add a refreshing aroma.
Serving Suggestions: Rohu Fish Kalia pairs well with steamed rice, pulao, or roti. Serve it hot, garnished with extra coriander leaves, alongside some lemon wedges for added tanginess.
Remember to adjust the spices, salt, and cooking time according to your personal preferences and the specific fish variety you are using. 

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Rui Macher Kalia (Rohu Fish Kalia)
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Rohu Fish Kalia is a delicious Bengali seafood dish featuring fish cooked in a spicy and aromatic gravy.

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It combines bold flavors, a harmonious blend of spices, and the natural taste of the fish.

With its rich and robust profile, Fish Kalia is a beloved dish that showcases the culinary heritage of Bengal.

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