Oriya Fish Curry (Machha Tarakari)

“Fish” I am sure rings a bell in all Oriya’s palates. Well it has always been part of the staple 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 households are Hilsa (called Ilisi in local lingo), Rahu (called Rohi locally), 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. More than the fish, the aroma soaked gravy or Jhola is just enough to gulp away two servings of steam rice. Let’s get down to work… and try to cook a very simple fish curry called Machha Jhola in Oriya.

  • 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

  • 3 tsp cooking oil for curry preparation

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp poppy seeds

  • 2 large onions

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 2 green chilies

  • 1 large tomato

  • Coriander leaves

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  1. Grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, garlic and 1 onion in quarter cup of water to make a fine paste of spices. You might have to soak it for 10 minutes for better result.

  2. Cut the fish into big pieces and wash them properly in water.

  3. Add salt and turmeric powder to it and mix it well and keep aside for 10 minutes to marinate.

  4. Chop the onions

  5. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the pieces of fish till they are brown. Remember not to over-fry them. Keep them aside.

  6. In a pan take 3 tsp of cooking oil

  7. Add chopped onions and sauté them till golden brown.

  8. Add the spices paste into to it. Lower the flame and sauté it for 4-5 mins till the spices are nicely brown.

  9. Add long slit green chilies.

  10. Add salt and turmeric powder.

  11. Add 2 cups water to it and stir well to mix the spices. (You can add water according to your preference of thickness of gravy)

  12. Cover the lid of the pan and leave it for 2-3 minutes till the water starts to boil.

  13. Add the pieces of fried fish into it.

  14. Let it boil for 2 minutes.

  15. Add a large tomato roughly cut to add some tangy flavor.

  16. Let it boil for 3 more minutes with the lid on.

  17. Garnish with some coriander leaves.

Now serve it hot with steamed rice.


Avi said...

Just reading your recipe made my mouth water :)

Trying it out today - cooking something for the first time - hope all goes well!

Inari said...

Thanks for writing this.