Traditionally we make Maacher Jhol with sweet water fishes. Since here in US we have limited access to rui, katla in their frozen forms, I keep trying with various local fish. When I first found Red Snapper, instead of attempting light jhol I tried to put it into a tomato garlic based gravy with pyajkoli which I bought from the same Asian store. I was quite satisfied with the result.
Next time I am going to try this with cauliflower and bori.
- 4 pieces of red snapper cut into steaks
- 2 ripe red tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup pyajkoli or green shallot cut into 2” pieces
- 1 medium potato cut into thick wedges
- 2-3 green chilies
- Few coriander greens chopped
- 1 tsp. kalonji seeds (Nigella)
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- 1 tsp. + 1tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Salt to taste
Clean the fish steaks and pat them dry. Rub them with 1tsp. turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
Make a paste of garlic and tomatoes.
Heat oil in a wok and shallow fry the fishes till they are golden yellow. Remove and keep aside.
If the oil turned black discard them and use fresh oil. Temper with kalonji and green chilies. Once they stop sputtering add tomato garlic paste. Sprinkle turmeric and red chili powder. Add potato wedges to it. Sauté on medium heat till oil separates out.
Add half cup of water and bring it to a boil. Season with salt and sugar. Mix everything well. Cook it covered on medium heat till potato wedges are 3/4th done. Now add the fried fish pieces and pyajkoli to it. It will now stop boiling. Increase the heat and wait for it to come to a boil again. Add chopped coriander greens and turn off the heat.
Serve with white rice.