Tilapia Sorshe Jhal Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Tilapia Sorshe Jhal is a traditional Bengali fish curry dish that combines the delicate flavors of tilapia fish with a spicy mustard-based sauce.

The term “Sorshe Jhal” translates to “spicy mustard gravy” in English, indicating the primary ingredient of the dish.

The pungent and sharp taste of mustard seeds gives a distinctive flavor to this curry.

The combination of tilapia fish and spicy mustard sauce creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is both tangy and spicy.

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

Key Takeaways:

  • Tilapia Sorshe Jhal is a traditional Bengali fish curry with a mustard-based sauce.
  • Mustard is a key ingredient in Bengali cuisine, adding a distinctive flavor to the dish.
  • Tilapia Sorshe Jhal is tangy, spicy, and mustardy, with a balanced and savory taste.
  • Alternatives to tilapia in this dish include other fish, prawns, chicken, paneer, and vegetables.
  • It is traditionally served with steamed rice or can be paired with luchi, pulao, or vegetable dishes.

The Ingredients:

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal Ingredients

  • Tilapia Fish: 500 gms (cut and cleaned)
  • Mustard Paste: 3 tbl spoons (made with black mustard seeds, green chilis and a little bit of salt)
  • 2 Large Size Onion (finely sliced)
  • Green Chilis: 8 pieces (slit vertically, 3 pieces used for making mustard paste)
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tbl spoon
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 1 tbl spoon
  • Black Cumin Seeds: half tbl spoon
  • Mustard Oil 4 tbl spoons
  • Salt to Taste

How to Cook Tilapia Sorshe Jhal (Step by Step Images)?

1. Marinate Tilapia fishes with ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder and ½ tablespoon of salt. Keep them aside for 10 minutes.

Marinating Tilapia fishes with turmeric powder and salt

2. Place a wok on the clay stove and pour mustard oil into it. (you can use any heating medium)

Pouring mustard oil in wok

3. Fry both sides of the tilapia fish (no need to deep fry) and then take them out and place them on a plate.

Frying both sides of the tilapia fish

4. Add black cumin seeds to the oil.

Adding black cumin seeds to the oil

5. Add finely sliced onions and fry them until they turn lightly brown.

Add finely sliced onions and frying

6. Add Kashmiri red chili powder and a little bit of turmeric powder. Sauté for a few seconds.

Adding Kashmiri red chili powder and a little bit of turmeric powder

7. Add a little bit of water and stir well.

Adding a little bit of water and stir

8. Add mustard paste and sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add water according to desired gravy consistency.

Adding mustard paste and water

9. Add salt and the green chilis.

Adding salt and the green chilis

10. When the spicy mustard gravy comes to a boil, slide the tilapia fish one by one into the wok.

sliding the tilapia fish one by one into the wok

11. Cook for a few minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of mustard oil for flavor. Place a lid on the pan.

Adding mustard on Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

12. Remove the lid after 2 minutes.

Removing the lid

13. Tilapia sorsher jhal is ready and pour onto a serving plate. If you wish, garnish it with a few green chilies.

Tilapia sorsher jhal is ready

Pro Tips for Cooking Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

Here are some pro tips to help you cook Tilapia Sorshe Jhal to perfection:

Choose fresh tilapia: Opt for fresh tilapia fillets that have a mild aroma and firm texture. Fresh fish will enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

Marinate the fish: Marinating the tilapia fillets with turmeric, salt, and (lemon juice optional) for about 10 to 20 minutes will help reduce any fishy odor and add flavor to the fish.

Get the mustard gravy right: Grinding your own mustard seeds will yield the best results. Use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to create a smooth paste. Ensure that the mustard seeds are fresh and not stale for maximum flavor.

Adjust the spiciness: The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted according to your taste preferences. Add or reduce the number of green chilies in the mustard paste to control the heat level.

Fry the fish properly: Fry the marinated tilapia fillets on medium heat until they turn golden brown and crispy. This step adds a delightful texture to the dish.

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Take care when sautéing the mustard paste: Sauté the mustard paste in mustard oil on low to medium heat until the raw smell disappears and the oil starts to separate. This process is crucial for releasing the flavors of the mustard seeds and achieving the desired taste.

Use the right amount of water: Add water gradually to achieve the desired consistency of the mustard gravy. Be careful not to add too much liquid as the sauce should be thick and luscious.

Simmer for flavor infusion: After adding the fish to the mustard gravy, let the curry simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the fish to absorb the essence of the sauce.

Garnish and serve (OPTIONAL): Finish the dish with a squeeze of lime juice to add a refreshing citrusy note. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for added freshness and visual appeal.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to preparing a delicious and authentic Tilapia Sorshe Jhal that will impress your family and friends!

What to Serve with Tilapia Sorshe Jhal?

Here are some traditional Bengali side dishes and other options you can consider serving with Tilapia Sorshe Jhal:

Steamed Rice: A staple in Bengali cuisine, serving Tilapia Sorshe Jhal with plain steamed rice is a classic and satisfying combination. The mild taste of rice helps balance the spiciness of the curry.

Luchi: Luchi is a deep-fried, puffed bread made from refined flour. It is light and fluffy, making it a delightful accompaniment to soak up the flavorful mustard sauce of Tilapia Sorshe Jhal.

Basanti Pulao: Basanti Pulao is a fragrant and mildly spiced Bengali rice dish cooked with ghee, whole spices, and saffron. The subtle flavors of the pulao complement the robust flavors of the fish curry.

Vegetable Pulao: If you prefer a vegetarian option, a vegetable pulao with aromatic basmati rice, mixed vegetables, and spices can be an excellent choice. The medley of flavors in the pulao provides a satisfying contrast to the spicy fish curry.

Remember to consider personal preferences and dietary restrictions when selecting the accompaniments.

With these options, you can create a well-rounded meal that enhances the flavors of Tilapia Sorshe Jhal and provides a satisfying dining experience.

How Does Tilapia Sorshe Jhal Taste?

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal has a unique and distinctive taste profile due to the combination of tilapia fish and the mustard-based sauce. Here’s how it tastes:

Tangy: The mustard sauce in Tilapia Sorshe Jhal lends a tangy and zesty flavor to the dish. The acidity of the mustard and the addition of lime juice provide a pleasant tartness that cuts through the richness of the fish.

Spicy: This dish is known for its spiciness, thanks to the use of green chilies and the pungent nature of mustard seeds. The heat level can vary based on personal preference, but typically, it offers a moderate to high level of spiciness.

Mustardy: As the name suggests, the mustard flavor is a dominant characteristic of the dish. The mustard seeds impart a distinct pungency and a slightly bitter note to the curry. It adds depth and complexity to the overall taste.

Savory: The combination of the tilapia fish and the mustard gravy creates a savory and umami-rich flavor profile. The fish absorbs the flavors of the mustard sauce, resulting in a delicious blend of tastes.

Balanced: Despite the tanginess, spiciness, and mustard-forward flavors, Tilapia Sorshe Jhal achieves a well-balanced taste. The tartness is balanced by the richness of the fish, and the heat is tempered by the other ingredients, creating a harmonious fusion of flavors.

Overall, Tilapia Sorshe Jhal offers a tantalizing combination of tangy, spicy, and mustardy flavors, making it a favorite among those who enjoy the bold and vibrant tastes of Bengali cuisine.

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Tilapia Sorshe Jhal Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Tilapia Sorshe Jhal, here are a few options that you can consider:

Fish Varieties: Instead of tilapia, you can use Rosu, Katla, Bata, Hilsa or other verities such as white fish fillets like cod, haddock, or snapper. These fish have mild flavors and a firm texture, making them suitable for cooking in a mustard-based curry.

Prawn Sorshe Jhal: If you prefer seafood other than fish, you can make a delicious Prawn Sorshe Jhal. Replace the tilapia with fresh prawns or shrimp and follow a similar recipe, marinating the prawns and cooking them in the mustard sauce.

Chicken Sorshe Jhal: For those who prefer meat over seafood, Chicken Sorshe Jhal is an excellent alternative. Use bone-in chicken pieces, marinate them with spices, and cook them in the mustard sauce. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

Paneer Sorshe Jhal: If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, Paneer Sorshe Jhal is a fantastic choice. Replace the fish with cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and cook them in the mustard sauce. Paneer absorbs flavors well and adds a creamy texture to the dish.

Vegetable Sorshe Jhal: Another vegetarian alternative is Vegetable Sorshe Jhal. Prepare a medley of your favorite vegetables such as cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and peas, and cook them in the mustard sauce. This option offers a flavorful and hearty vegetarian curry.

Mixed Seafood Sorshe Jhal: If you enjoy a variety of seafood, you can create a mixed seafood curry by combining different types of fish, prawns, and calamari in the mustard sauce. This will provide a diverse range of flavors and textures in the dish.

By exploring these alternatives, you can customize the dish to suit your preferences and dietary choices while still enjoying the tangy and mustardy flavors of a Bengali-style curry.

Recipe Card:

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

Tilapia Sorshe Jhal

By Mita Mondal
Tilapia Sorshe Jhal is a traditional Bengali fish curry dish that features tilapia fish cooked in a flavorful and spicy mustard-based sauce. The term "Sorshe Jhal" translates to "spicy mustard gravy" in English, emphasizing the primary ingredient and flavor profile of the dish.
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 5
Calories 213 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams Tilapia Fish (cut and cleaned)
  • 3 tablespoons Mustard Paste (made with black mustard seeds, green chilis and a little bit of salt)
  • 2 pieces Onion (chopped)
  • 8 pieces Green Chili (slit vertically, 3 pieces used for making mustard paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Black Cumin Seeds
  • 4 tablespoons Mustard Oil
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the tilapia fillets with ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder and ½ tablespoon of salt. Allow them to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a wok or pan and add mustard oil (or any cooking oil of your choice).
  • Fry the tilapia fishes on both sides until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate.
  • In the same pan, add black cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle.
  • Add finely sliced onions and fry them until they become lightly browned.
  • Add Kashmiri red chili powder and a small amount of turmeric powder. Sauté for a few seconds to release their flavors.
  • Pour in a little water and stir well to form a base for the gravy.
  • Add the mustard paste and sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add water gradually to achieve the desired thickness of the gravy.
  • Season with salt and add the green chilies.
  • Once the spicy mustard gravy comes to a boil, carefully slide the fried tilapia fillets into the pan.
  • Cook for a few more minutes, ensuring the fish is fully coated with the sauce. For added flavor, drizzle 1 tablespoon of mustard oil over the dish. Cover the pan with a lid.
  • After 2 minutes, remove the lid.
  • Your Tilapia Sorshe Jhal is now ready to be served. Pour it onto a serving plate and optionally garnish it with a few green chilies.

Video

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Notes

Freshness of the fish: Ensure that you use fresh tilapia fish for the best flavor and texture. Fresh fish will enhance the overall taste of the dish.
Marination time: Allowing the fish to marinate for 10 minutes with turmeric powder and salt helps enhance the taste and remove any fishy odors. You can adjust the marination time based on personal preference.
Mustard oil: Mustard oil is traditionally used in Bengali cuisine and adds a distinct flavor to the dish. However, if you're not accustomed to its strong taste, you can use any cooking oil of your choice as a substitute.
Adjusting spiciness: The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted by controlling the amount of green chilies and Kashmiri red chili powder used. Add more or fewer chilies based on your heat preference.
Mustard paste consistency: Grind the mustard seeds along with green chilies and a little salt to create a smooth paste. Adjust the amount of water added to the paste to achieve the desired thickness.
Sautéing the mustard paste: Sauté the mustard paste in the mustard oil on low to medium heat until the raw smell disappears and the oil starts to separate. This step helps develop the flavors of the mustard seeds and enhances the overall taste of the dish.
Gradual addition of water: Add water gradually to achieve the desired consistency of the mustard gravy. The sauce should have a thick and luscious consistency, so be cautious not to add too much liquid.
Cooking time for fish: Cook the fish in the mustard gravy for a few minutes, allowing it to absorb the flavors of the sauce. Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become tough and dry.
Optional garnish: Garnish the dish with a few additional green chilies for added visual appeal and spiciness if desired.
Serving suggestion: Serve Tilapia Sorshe Jhal hot with steamed rice or alongside other traditional Bengali accompaniments like luchi or pulao for a complete meal.
Remember to adjust the recipe according to your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. 

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Tilapia Sorshe Jhal
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
213
Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
14
g
22
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
0.002
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Cholesterol
 
50
mg
17
%
Sodium
 
882
mg
38
%
Potassium
 
394
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
 
0.4
g
0
%
Protein
 
21
g
42
%
Vitamin A
 
488
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
30
mg
3
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

For Bengalis, nothing tastes like fish. They keep on reviving old recipes and trying new ones with a variety of fishes.

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Tilapia sorshe jhal is a traditional and tasty fish dish in Bengal. You can try it anytime at your home.

I am sure your loved ones will definitely love it. Please make it a point to stay connected to me through comments.

Encouragement, suggestions, criticism – whatever you have for me always keeps me going.

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