Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Simple Macher Jhol Just Like Mommy Makes It!

A Jhol has many avatars in a Bong’s kitchen – mangshor jhol, murgir jhol, macher jhol, dimer jhol

If you haven’t got the drift yet, you can make a Jhol by pretty much adding any vegetable or fish and meat in a runny curry and call it Jhol!
IMG_1076I am particularly fond of these two Macher Jhol I am going to share with you today. They will stump you with the simplicity and ease with which they are made. You will also reckon that both these versions are pretty similar, ingredient-wise. Except for the key difference – the main spice that distinguishes a jeerer (cumin) jhol from a shorse batar (mustard paste) jhol.

IMG_1078 Both these jhol should be served with steaming hot rice and a hearty squirt of lemon juice.

The jeerer jhol is light on the tummy. In olden days, it was  often given to “patients” recovering from a fever or some such diagnosed disease. Though I have used Rohu (fresh water carp), it isn’t surprising to see a jeeyol mach (or shingi mach) thrown in in this kind of Jhol. Essentially as this kind of fish is easy to digest and good for health.

The shorshe jhol is for more celebrative days. The pungent taste of mustard gets rightly balanced by the vegetables and the tartness of tomatoes.

(The photos in this post are from two days, two recipes. One with ground cumin and the other with yellow mustard seeds.)

Ingredients for Macher Jhol are:

29726_119332848087987_118032338218038_166468_2561509_n 4-6 Pieces of shallow-fried fresh water carp (preferably Rohu)
Seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, beans, eggplant, sugar peas (whole), raw/ green banana and potato diced or cut lengthwise
2 medium size ripe tomatoes
Few green chilies
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cumin powder or paste of the same quantity of freshly ground yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
Mustard oil

The way to fry the fish is to rub salt and turmeric on it and shallow fry in hot mustard oil. Keep aside.


IMG_1067 In the same oil, sauté the vegetables, the same kinds together.
29726_119332841421321_118032338218038_166466_8216804_n IMG_1068 IMG_1070 IMG_1069 Keep them aside.

Make a runny mixture with the cumin powder (or mustard powder), turmeric, red chili powder, slit green chilies, salt and coarsely chopped tomatoes, adding about two cups of water.

29726_119332858087986_118032338218038_166470_2625080_n 29726_119332861421319_118032338218038_166471_8303276_n IMG_1071 In the same pan/wok that you fried the fish and vegetables, add this mixture and bring to a quick boil.

Now add the hardy vegetables first followed by the ones which do not take much time to cook.

IMG_1072 29726_119332881421317_118032338218038_166475_137347_n
Once the vegetables have cooked (but not mushy), add the pieces of fried fish. Give it one good boil, check the salt and turn the heat off. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander. IMG_1075
Serve hot with plain rice and lemon wedges. Its okay to re-heat the macher jhol but be careful that the delicate pieces of fish don’t disintegrate.

That’s your jeere or shorsher Macher Jhol. Hearty, healthy and very wholesome.
IMG_1080 29726_119332098088062_118032338218038_166459_6773380_n IMG_1077 You can drop out the fish pieces and make a vegetarian jhol too with this recipe.


GB said...

You're killing mre here........I still don't know how to shop for fish! :(

Priya said...

Woww fabulous looking dish....makes me drool..

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Lovely Machher Jhol!...straight from a 'Bong kitchen' :)

Sayantani said...

sobji die macher jhol khub bhalo lage. bishesh kore fulkopi dhonepata die patla jhol thik jano sheeter shuru'r katha mone korie day. khub sundor hoeche Pree. tabe sorshe bata die amon jhol ami bisesh khaini. sorshe die macher jhal i sudhu banai.

Indie.Tea said...

O YUM! It looks delicious.

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

I am drooling here.

jjs said...

i have been a regular reader of ur blog, writing for the first time. my mother had been very unwell and had completely lost her appetite.for sunday lunch, I made "macher jhol" from ur recipe except i did not put tomato. Mom after long time ate her food and she enjoyed eating. A big thank you. jhum jhum

PreeOccupied said...

Jhum Jhum, I am humbled. Please give your Mum a big hug from me. :-)

jjs said...

sure I ll give her a hug, and now i am going to try more of ur recipes. I check finely chopped and u everyday, my sis says in my last life i was a Bawarchi, or else why i read abt food so much. take care JhumJhum(people mostly call me JJ)

BengalRider said...

Last night I followed your recipe and it came out awesome! I mean the 'jhol' had that mom's cooking flavor. Great recipe. Thanks.