Sunday, 17 May 2015


MACHER KALIA.....typical of Bengal.... its rich, spicy, finger licking and obviously not an every day curry. Long back, in our childhood, at Bengali weddings it was typical Bengali Food fair. Catering services had not overtaken the duty of taking care of the guests. In all family weddings and other occasions, I have seen family members and friends serving food to the guests... there was a warm, caring, unprofessional touch in the work done. It was in these ceremonies that dishes like Macher Kalia, Red, Hot Mutton Curry, Roshogolla, Sandesh, Dal, Eggplant fry, Panchmeshali Torkari were served.... all very typical of Bengal. The greedy, food loving little girl ate them all and licked her fingers and never missed her pan[[beetle leaf] before leaving. I missed that personal touch, that warmth in the Bengali weddings later..... now a days it is more of show off, from choosing the venue to selecting the menu. I believe, at least in few occasions we can stick to our tradition, preserve it, highlight it.

In some states of India, they do follow their own tradition, gather in their own ancestral home, in whichever part of the world they live, they will feast on their traditional food. I so much love and honour their feeling, their effort to stay true to their roots. I wish to celebrate my son's wedding the typical Bengali way with an authentic Bengali food fair served in earthen ware on top of banana leaves. Few childhood memories and tradition I would love to treasure and follow whenever possible. MACHER KALIA was prepared at our homes too but occasionally given its richness. We usually do it with RUI / KATLA / Bengal Carp fish but any white fish fillets can be used.


Rui / Rohu / Katla / Bengal Carp Fish [or any white fish fillet] : 500 gm
Onion Paste : 3 tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1 tbsp
Garlic Paste : 1/2 tsp[optional]
Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Plain Yogurt : 1 tbsp
Cinnamon Stick : 2 one inch stick
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Cloves : 2
Bayleaf : 1
Raisins : 7-8
Oil [preferably mustard] : 5 tbsp


Wash the fish pieces and rub salt and half tsp turmeric on them.

Prepare all the pastes.

Heat oil in a pan and fry all the fish pieces until light brown.

Temper the same oil with cinnamon, green cardamom and cloves and a bayleaf.

Add the onion paste and fry till golden brown.

Add the ginger garlic paste and fry very well for 2 minutes.

Beat the yogurt and pour into the spice mix. Stir.

Add the salt, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chilly powder. Fry for another 1 minute.

Add one cup water.

As the gravy boils, add the fish pieces and cover.

After 3-4 minutes, uncover and add the sugar and raisins, let cook for 1 more minute.

Its done. Serve with piping hot steamed rice.

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