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Pabda Macher Jhal

With the Durga Puja celebrations over, it is a bit lull around here. Every Monday I feel very tired and sleepy as Boomboom can vouch for. This is because for some reason I do not get proper sleep on Sunday nights. However for a change this was not the case this week. It was a good thing too as yesterday was Lakshmi Puja. So I was able to get up in the morning and do the rituals for the Puja. Monday is always a vegetarian day for me but Boomboom usually doesn’t follow it. When he is hungry and if there is any leftover chicken or fish remaining from previous day he devours them. During the Dussehra day, I was on a cooking spree. One of the dishes I cooked was a spicy bengali fish curry. I prepared it as an exact replica of what my mom used to cook. No wonder Boomboom loved it.

Pabda Macher Jhal - Spicy pabda fish curry bengali style
Pabda Macher Jhal - Spicy pabda fish curry bengali style


  • Pabda fish - 1kg (serves 6)
  • Lemon - 1
  • Onion - 1 big sized finely chopped
  • Green chilli - 3-4 slit length wise
  • Nigella seeds - 12 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - As required (to marinade the fish)
  • Ginger - 1.5 inch sized
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Dried red chilli - 8-10
  • Mustard oil - As required
  • Salt - To taste
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp (optional)


Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric and juice of 1 lemon. Set it aside for half an hour.

You may substitute the Pabda fish with fresh water trout.

Grind together ginger, cumin seeds and dried red chilli to make a paste.

In a wok, heat mustard oil and shallow fry the fish. Carefully take the fish aside so that it doesn’t break.

In the same oil, add the nigella seeds, chopped onion and green chillies and saute for a minute till the onion turns translucent in a low flame.

Add the paste and sprinkle salt. Saute and keep stirring till the oil separates. At this point, you will get a good aroma of ginger and cumin.

Add a cup of water. Turn the flame higher and let it boil for a minute.

Slowly add back all the fried fish pieces. Cover and cook for another 2-5 minutes till the fish is cooked fine.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chillies (optional).

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