Sunday, December 20, 2015

Maach Alur Tomato Jhol - Fish & Potatoes in Tomato Gravy

Maach Alur Tomato Jhol
A typical Bengali fish preparation, this dish is light and perfect for a midday meal. It's usually served with a starter such as begun bhaja or pan-fried eggplant and a lentil dish with steamed long-grain rice.

Any kind of fish, filleted or cut in steaks, can be used in this method of cooking the gravy. The distinguishing features of this sauce are the use of mustard oil, nigella seeds and green chilies, used for tempering. The tomatoes are cooked until they break down completely to provide a slightly sweet and tart flavour to the gravy.

1 lb. Alaskan rock cod or any white fish, cut in pieces
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
4 Tbsp. mustard oil
1 tsp. kalo jeera/nigella seeds
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
2 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika/chili powder
1 cup simmering water
2 green chilies, sliced
2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
salt to taste


  1. Marinate fish in salt and turmeric and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir paprika into ginger paste with a tablespoon water and set aside.
  3. Heat mustard oil and sputter nigella seeds and half the green chilies.
  4. Fry fish pieces on all sides until golden brown, remove from oil and set aside.
  5. Add paprika-ginger paste to the remaining oil in pan and stir-fry until oil resurfaces.
  6. Add tomatoes and potatoes, cover and simmer over medium heat until potatoes soften and oil resurfaces.
  7. Add simmering water, bring to a boil and add fried pieces of fish.
  8. Adjust salt to taste, add remaining green chilies, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve over steamed long-grain rice.

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