Bengali cuisine has a taste, texture and character of its own; and whether you tried it or not - you are surely well-aware of the cuisine and some of its specifics. Of course, macher jhol tops the list. For the world, Bengali cuisine is synonymous to macher jhol. When we say Bengali cuisine, it is a confluence of two cooking styles of two regions - West Bengal and East Bengal (now Bangladesh). We find a union of flavours, aroma, ingredients, making the cuisine rich, extensive and one of its kind. Macher jhol is a perfect example of the same. It is basically fried fish, dunked in a soupy gravy make with potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables et al. And what interests us the most is the fact that macher jhol is made in different variations as per the variety of fish used in the recipe. For instance, with rohu/katla fish, they make gravy using tomato, cumin and ginger paste; while for pabda (butter fish), the gravy is made just with kalonji, chilli and turmeric. Again, the recipes see seasonal variation too. During the summers it is kept light and simple, whereas, they add various seasonal vegetables to the jhol (gravy) during the winters. Fascinated? Now you get, why Bengalis go gaga over their macher jhol!
However, this woman took her love for macher jhol to the next level. 38-year-old, Australia-based Kishwar Chowdhury is one of the top contestants of this season's (2021) Masterchef Australia - currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar Premium. And fish played an important role in her journey. With her roots in Bangladesh, Kishwar started her journey in the reality show with different fish-based dishes. On multiple occasions, she was seen whipping different local (Bengali) and exotic fish-based dishes.
But what grabbed our attention and the judges' fancy was a simple macher jhol, made with Barramundi fish. In one of the recent episodes, she was seen whipping a comfort food platter that included Barramundi Tomato Curry with Jeera rice and Bean Bhorta. The macher jhol looks simple, comforting and oh-so-delicious.
The dish left the judges mesmerised and us slurping. Which is why, we tried looking for one such comforting macher jhol recipe and came across this amazing recipe. We tried it; trust us, this is just what fish lover can expect during a scorching summer afternoon. Try it today. Click here for the recipe.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.