July 27, 2006

Comfort Food: Fish Curry & Rice

Fish curry and rice is something that I grew up with. As a kid, I thought everyone ate fish, till I went to school! Boal Macher (a kind of fish with more fat, available during winter in India) muthe is something my grandmother made during winters. She would patiently take out each bone, steam the fish, cube it, and then make fish curry. Simple fish curry is what my mom makes on most days (with seasonal vegetables added) and it is the one I enjoy and miss the most.

So if comfort food is partly connection with a past and a thread to the future, something that you can turn to, then fish curry and rice is my comfort food.

I made maacher kalia (a dish with grated onion and ginger) with catfish. Here is the recipe.

1 whole catfish - cleaned and sliced
3 potatoes - cut in cubes
1 medium onion - grated
1 medium tomato - pulp
1 cube ginger - grated
2 cloves garlic- grated
1/2 tspoon paanch phoron
1 bay leaf
2 red chillis
2 tbspoon yogurt- whisked
1/2 tspoon cumin powder
1/2 tspoon coriander powder
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon garam masala powder
1 green cardamom
salt to taste
5 tbspoon oil
cilantro to garnish
3/4 cup water

Rub the fish pieces with salt and turmeric. Set aside for 20-25 minutes.
Heat oil in a wok and fry the fish. I use nonstick pan and end up using less oil.
In the same oil, saute the potatoes till they start turning brown.
Place the fish pieces and potatoes on kitchen towels to remove excess oil.
Heat the rest of the oil, temper with paanch phoron, red chillis, bay leaf, and cardamom.
When it starts sputtering, add the ginger and garlic.
Stir it for a minute till the mixture starts turning brown.
Add the onion paste and stir for a couple of minutes.
In the meantime, add the powder masalas in a bowl with a little water and make a paste.
Add the potatoes and then the powder masalas and tomato pulp. Stir till the masalas mix well with the potatoes.
Add water, cover and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.
Add yogurt and salt and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
Now place the fish pieces in the wok.
Cover them with the curry, reduce the flame to low and let it cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Serve with rice.
This is my entry for From my Rasoi# 7 "Comfort Foods"being hosted at En ulagam by Revathi Duddukuru. Enjoy!


  1. Anonymous12:25 AM

    A recipe that grandma makes that has rice, fish, potatoes that is made in winter !! Isn't that comfort food !!

    Btw I loved your definition of comfort food. And it is just right !!

    Thanks for participating in FMR. See you in the round up


  2. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Wow..thats an awesome entry. I always search for new fish curries. This looks great to me. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Yet another fish curry. I can´t take it. I need fish curry NOW!!!!

  4. Anonymous7:17 PM

    Rice n fish curry is my favourite :) ALthough i make it differetly I loved ur recipe too :) I WIl ltry it this weekend. Nice Picture !

  5. Revathi- Thank you. Now who can beat a trusted recipe.. that's something else that adds to the sense of comfort food. Wouldn't you agree? See you at the round up.

    Thanks Shilpa - Do let me know how it turns out. Thanks for visiting.

    Pushpa - That is what I was feeling last week and I had to make my fish curry :)

    Hi Neelu- Thanks. Do share your fish curry recipe as well. Thanks for visiting.

  6. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Hi Mandira
    This is Raji, Amrita chanda's friend from Minnepolis. She asked me to check out your blog. This fish curry is great. I grew up with bengali neighbours and friends so very interested in bengali food specially machar jaal........yum my mouth already watering. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!

  7. Hi Raji
    Welcome to ahaar. This fish curry is staple for our family during winter. :) Will post macher jhal too. Do keep visiting.


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