Spicy Fish Curry Recipe | Macher Jhal

5 from 1 vote
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Spicy fish curry, also known as macher jhal in Bengali is a dish that combines fish with a flavorful and spicy curry gravy.

It is a popular dish in many cuisines, including Indian, Thai, and Malaysian.

The exact preparation and ingredients can vary depending on the regional and cultural influences

This is a red spicy colored fish dish that is a delight to watch and even a mouth-watering treat. Though tomato is usually used in making this fish curry, I have skipped it in my recipe.

Spicy Fish Curry

Key Takeaways:

  • Spicy fish curry is a popular dish in various cuisines, including Indian, Thai, and Malaysian, and it combines fish with a flavorful and spicy curry gravy.
  • The preparation and ingredients of spicy fish curry can vary based on regional and cultural influences.
  • The taste of spicy fish curry is characterized by its spiciness, which can range from mild to fiery, and it often incorporates tangy elements to balance the heat.
  • Mustard seeds and dried red chilies are used to create a tangy flavor in a specific silver carp spicy curry recipe, while the use of tomatoes is skipped.
  • The dish is commonly served with plain hot rice.

The Ingredients:

Spicy Fish Curry Ingredients

  • Silver carp fish: 8 medium pieces including head (properly washed)
  • Nigella seeds: ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 and ½ tsp
  • Home-made paste: 2 tsp black mustard seeds, 2tsp yellow mustard seeds, 5 dry red chilies, a little amount of salt
  • 4 green chilies
  • Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

How to Cook Spicy Fish Curry (Step by Step Images)?

1. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder. Leave them aside for 10 minutes.

Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder step by step image

2. Add 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in the kadai (wok).

Add 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in the kadai (wok)

3. When the oil is hot, slide the fish pieces carefully.

When the oil is hot, slide the fish pieces carefully

4. After one side is done, flip the pieces and fry properly.

Flip the fish pieces to fry properly

5. Take them out on a plate.

Take out fish pieces on a plate

6. Add nigella seeds.

Add nigella seeds in the heated oil

7. After the nigella seeds start splattering, add the paste and give it a good stir.

add the paste and give it a good stir

8. Clean the bowl and add the spice-loaded water to the pan.

Clean the bowl and add the spice-loaded water to the pan

9. Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir well.

Add salt and turmeric powder step by step image

10. Continue stirring for 2 minutes on low flame.

Continue stirring masala paste

11. The paste will release oil. Add green chilies.

Add green chilies in the masala

12. Add water as required.

Adding water in the masala paste

13. After the water comes to a boil, add the fish pieces one by one.

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adding the fish pieces in the gravy

14. Cover the pan with a lid.

Cover the pan with a lid

15. After 5-7 minutes, turn off the oven. Take out the fish curry on a flat plate.

Spicy fish curry is ready to serve

Pro Tips for Cooking Spicy Fish Curry

When you are cooking silver carp spicy gravy then you must check out some of the important points.

Frying the fish: Fry the fish perfectly, if possible deep fry. Make sure that both sides of the fish are cooked and fried properly.

The choice of oil: It is recommended to use mustard oil to cook the fish and if you want the flavor to retain then you can add some oil even after the dish is done. Make sure the flame is off while you are adding this last drop of oil as seasoning.

Mustard: To make the recipe tangy yet not using tomato you can use mustard seeds (both black and yellow).

Cook the spices perfectly: Cook the spices or masala very nicely and when you see that it is separating the oil then add water.

What to Serve with Spicy Fish Curry?

Spicy fish curry pairs well with a variety of accompaniments that can complement its flavors and provide a balanced meal. Here are some options to consider:

Steamed Rice: The most common and popular choice is to serve spicy fish curry with steamed rice. The mildness of rice helps to balance the heat and spices in the curry.

Naan or Roti: Indian bread like naan or roti can be a great choice to enjoy with spicy fish curry. The soft and slightly chewy texture of naan or the flakiness of roti can be a delightful combination.

Vegetable Pulao: Another option is to pair the spicy fish curry with vegetable pulao or biryani. The fragrant rice and mixed vegetables in the pulao can complement the curry and create a more substantial meal.

Feel free to experiment and choose the options that appeal to you and enhance your enjoyment of the spicy fish curry.

What Does Spicy Fish Curry Taste Like?

Here are some general characteristics of the taste of spicy fish curry:

Spiciness: As the name suggests, spicy fish curry is known for its spiciness. The level of spiciness can vary depending on the amount and type of chili peppers or chili powder used in the curry. It can range from mildly spicy to very hot and fiery. The spiciness adds a kick and a vibrant heat to the overall flavor.

Tanginess: Many spicy fish curry recipes incorporate tangy elements, such as lemon juice. This ingredient provide a tangy and slightly sour taste that balances the heat of the spices. The tanginess adds a refreshing and bright element to the dish.

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Spicy Fish Curry Alternatives

Here are some alternatives to spicy fish curry that offer different flavor profiles and variations:

Coconut Fish Curry: This curry is milder in terms of spice but rich in creamy coconut flavor. It typically includes coconut milk or grated coconut as a base, along with spices and aromatics to create a flavorful and slightly sweet curry sauce.

Tamarind Fish Curry: Tamarind fish curry offers a tangy and slightly sour taste. Tamarind pulp or tamarind paste is used to give the curry its distinct tanginess. It pairs well with fish and adds a unique flavor dimension to the dish.

Goan Fish Curry: Goan cuisine is known for its vibrant and flavorful curries. Goan fish curry typically incorporates a blend of spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, and chili peppers along with ingredients like coconut, ginger, and garlic. The resulting curry has a balanced spiciness and a depth of flavor.

Malabar Fish Curry: This curry hails from the Malabar region of Kerala, India. It features a combination of spices like black pepper, fennel seeds, cinnamon, and cloves, along with coconut milk and curry leaves. Malabar fish curry is known for its aromatic and mildly spicy taste.

Mustard Fish Curry: Mustard fish curry is popular in Bengali cuisine. It uses a paste made from ground mustard seeds as the base for the curry, which gives it a pungent and unique flavor. The mustard paste is often combined with other spices, herbs, and aromatics to create a well-rounded curry sauce.

Tomato-based Fish Curry: This curry variation utilizes tomatoes as the primary base along with spices and herbs. It offers a tangy and slightly sweet flavor profile and pairs well with fish. The tomato-based curry can be adjusted in terms of spiciness according to personal preference.

Green Fish Curry: Green fish curry is made with a blend of fresh green herbs and spices such as coriander, mint, green chilies, and lime. It has a vibrant green color and a refreshing, herbaceous taste.

These are just a few examples of alternative fish curries that you can explore to experience different flavors and culinary traditions.

Each variation offers its own unique taste and can be adapted based on personal preferences and regional influences.

Recipe Card

Spicy Fish Curry

Spicy Fish Curry (Macher Jhal)

By Mita Mondal
Spicy fish curry, also known as macher jhal in Bengali is a flavorful and spicy dish that combines fish with a curry gravy, known for its spiciness and often incorporating tangy elements to balance the heat.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 353 kcal

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of mustard oil in a wok (kadai).
  • Carefully place the fish pieces into the hot oil.
  • Fry the fish until one side is done, then flip and fry the other side until cooked.
  • Transfer the fried fish to a plate.
  • Add nigella seeds to the wok and let them splatter.
  • Stir in the prepared paste.
  • Clean the bowl and pour the spice-loaded water into the pan.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder, and stir well.
  • Continue stirring for 2 minutes over low heat.
  • The paste will release oil. Add green chilies.
  • Add water as needed.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, carefully add the fish pieces one by one.
  • Cover the pan with a lid.
  • After 5-7 minutes, turn off the heat. Transfer the fish curry to a bowl or plate.

Video

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Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Fish Curry (Macher Jhal)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
353
Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
25
g
38
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
6
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
14
g
Cholesterol
 
83
mg
28
%
Sodium
 
941
mg
41
%
Potassium
 
589
mg
17
%
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
2
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
26
g
52
%
Vitamin A
 
216
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
4
mg
5
%
Calcium
 
93
mg
9
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

For taste enhancement, pour 1 tablespoon of mustard oil on the fish curry and cover the pan for a couple of minutes.

Make sure your gas oven is turned off. Serve the curry hot with boiled rice.

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