Sunday, July 3, 2011

Machha Jhola

Fish or Machha(in oriya), rings a bell in all Oriya’s has always been part of the Oriya food. Oriyas like any other east Indians very fond of Fish. Though Orissa has a comparatively longish coast line, the preferred palate dictates the taste for fresh water fish than marine water fish. The species that normally see its way to the plate in a normal Oriya household are Hilsa (called Ilisi in local lingo), Rahu (called Rohi locally), and Catla (called Bhakura). Apart from these there are some very famous small sized fish that are normally favoured over others. A typical Oriya meal is served with Rice thus making a need for a curry with enough gravy to use with it and Machha Jhola is just the same...more than the fish, the aroma soaked gravy or Jhola is just enough to gulp away 2-3 servings or more of steamed rice.... :-)
and here it goes:-


500gms fish (Preferably fresh water fish like Rohu, Catla, Hilsa. But you can use any other fish you like.)
Oil for deep frying the fish
(im using mustard oil as i prefer it for non-veg dishes spl for fish)
3 tsp  oil for curry preparation
1/2 tsp oil for marination
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 large onion
9-10 garlic flakes
2-3 dry red chilies
1 large tomato
1/2'' ginger
2 tsp Mustard seeds(soaked in water for 30mins)
1 tsp pancha phutana
1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste


Grind mustard seeds by adding water as needed to a smooth paste.Keep aside in a bowl.
Then grind red chillies,garlic flakes, ginger and half of the onion to make a smooth paste and keep aside.
Wash fish properly in water.
Add salt ,1/2 tsp mustard oil and 1 tsp turmeric powder to it and mix it well .
Keep aside for 10 minutes to marinate.
Chop the onions and tomatoes.
Heat oil in a kadai/pan and deep fry the pieces of fish till they are red.
Remember not to over-fry them. Keep them aside.
In a pan heat 3 tsp of mustard oil..add 1 tsp sugar to the hot oil.
When it turns to brown add pancha phutana ,when they started crackling add chopped onions.
Sauté them by adding chilli powder and salt, till golden brown.
Add the ginger-chilli-garlic-onion paste into to it.
Saute for 2 mins and add the chopped tomatoes to it.
Lower the flame and sauté it for 4-5 mins till they are nicely brown and oil evaporates.
Add cumin powder, coriander powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder with the mustard paste to the above masala.
Add 2 cups of water to it and stir well to mix . (You can add water according to your preference of thickness of gravy)
Cover the lid of the pan and leave it for 2-3 minutes till the water starts to boil.
Add the pieces of fried fish into it.

Let it boil for 5-6 minutes with the lid on.
Serve it hot with steamed rice and enjoy...:-)

*Sending this to Shobha's Cook It Healthy


  1. Lovely looking macher jhol . The gravy looks super yummy and inviting.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  2. Even i use mustard oil for cooking fish......very delicious preparation!!

  3. Oh my! Fish curry looks super-duper delicious!! Would love to have some with lunch - YUM!

  4. Dear Mugdha
    Great recipe , it is my all time favorite one..but I note you have used Dhania powder, which I havent done so far in this spice combo. I always use a bit high turmeric in most preparation and nice to see you have used 11/2 tsp.
    I have plenty of fish now particularly the small ones like MahuraDi, Kerandi, Kantia, BauNsapatri and may be some PohoDa equivellent ( the calcutta Bata type) . Now let me go for fishing to get a good Rohu from the market for this dish..
    Bhala thiba

  5. Delicious and colorful dish,looks spicy and yummy.

  6. This is wht we called maacher jhol.. nice colored.. looks irrestible..

  7. Thanx 2 all of u for ur lovely comments...:)

  8. Absolutely delicious. I am sharing some awards with you, if you wish please collect them from my blog.

  9. wonderful looking jhola !! looks spicy and yummy

    Ongoing Event - CC-Roti Pachadi/Chutney

  10. Yummy looking jhola. Looks so spicy..yummy yumm

  11. I would say, that's an A-class recipe you have shared. My grandparents live in Orissa, so I have tasted this dish numeerous times. Now I have your recipe to make my own. Thanks!

  12. I was searching for an oriyan fish curry when and thats when I bumped into your recipe. I liked it. Thanks for the recipe.


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