Macher Jhol Aloo Begun Diye: Bengali Fish Curry

India has an incredible 7, 516 kilometres of coastline. Thus, it comes as little surprise that there is a large fish-eating population in the nation. But not every region eats the same kind of fish or prepares fish curry in the same way. This is because nearly nine states and four Union Territories are bordered by the ocean, and each region has its own distinctive fish cuisine. 

This Bengali fish stew with potatoes and eggplant from West Bengal's eastern state is cooked with rui maach, also called rohu, a delicious water fish.

With the first bite, you'll fall in love with this simple light version of Bengali fish curry. This Bengali fish curry is extremely light and doesn't include tomato or onion. To make this Macher Jhol Aloo Begun Diye, all you need are potatoes, eggplant, and a few mild spices. Macher Jhol translates to "fish curry," aloo means "potato," and Begun means ``eggplant." You can also include dried lentil dumplings (daler bodi), which give the food an earthy flavour. This substantial Bengali fish stew with potatoes and eggplant is best eaten with a serving of rice. Serve the macher jhol with some lime wedges on the side and some steamed long grain or Basmati rice. This dish is best savoured hot and fresh because it isn't masala-heavy.


5 fillet or rohu fish

1 small eggplant

1 large potato

15 dried lentil dumplings (optional)

¼ cup mustard oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 and ½ teaspoon salt

3 green chilies (edge trimmed)

1 teaspoon wheat flour/all purpose flour

Handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves


The fish fillet should be seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and turmeric

Give it a good rubdown and then set it aside for 20 minutes

Cut the potato and eggplant into wedges

Layer the eggplant in a colander and season with salt

After mixing it, set it aside, the eggplant will get softer as a result and won't absorb as much oil

Pour the oil into a heavy bottom wok or pan and, once heated, add the dried lentils and fry for a few minutes, or until they turn a mild golden brown and remove it from the pan and set it aside

Fish fillets should be carefully added to the same pan and fried for 5 minutes

Take it off the pan when finished

Now take the extra oil out of the pan, leaving about 2 teaspoons

Maintain medium heat while adding the bay leaf and nigella seeds to the pan and allow it to sizzle for a short while

Add the potato wedges and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and turmeric

Now, add the eggplant and 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric powder over the pan and cook for 2 minutes

Mix the cumin, fennel, and chilli powders in a bowl with a little water and pour this spice paste into the pan and whisk it around

 Add green chillies and cook for a further five minutes, occasionally tossing the food

Add the fried lentil dumplings that were set aside

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups of water

 After bringing it to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the curry for 5 minutes, or until potatoes and eggplant are tender

Carefully cut the fried fish fillets Into pieces and add it to the curry and cook for 2-3 minutes 

By this time, the gravy will be thin

Add the flour to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons of water and mix (confirm that there is no lump)

 Cook it for two minutes after adding it to the pan

Taste for salt and, if necessary, season

Eat the warm macher jhol with rice and garnish with cilantro leaves.