We have been having the typical Spring Summer weather here in the Midwest. Grey clouds who seem to have made their permanent home here. So with all this grey weather all around making you depressed, you need a pick me up. I know you could always reach out for a glass of Bourdeaux or Bourbon, or you could slurp over a plate of Phulkopi diye Maacher Jhol- Fish Curry made with Cauliflower. 

What you might ask is the Maacher Jhol and how it is so close to the Bong Foodie's heart? This is something which some of my American friends asked me recently. How does your blog have so many posts dealing with Maachher Jhol? So I decided to pick up this topic with some Bong friends over the dinner table, at a recently concluded wedding in the family. The permutations and combinations available for Maacher Jhol could cal for a mega project itself. The possibilities are literally endless. You can make the same type of curry with different types of fishes and it will taste a tad different as the fish itself will be lending its signature taste. Whether or not its a freshwater fish will also influence the taste of the Curry/Jhol. And by Curry I don't refer to a box of spices called CURRY MIX sold across mainland US. Curry is a way of Cooking, just like braising or frying are a way of cooking. Curry does not refer to one set of spices,so please don't get fooled by that bottle of Curry in a Grocery aisle. Curry can be made with a myriad different spice combinations but is very easy to whip up. In half an hour you can have a fish curry and rice.Almost the same time it takes a pizza to be delivered home.

One of the fishes closest to a Bong Foodie's heart is the Rohu or Rui Maach.Its a big freshwater fish with a very sweet taste. Needless to say one of my favorites. I had a last bag of a few pieces of Rohu in my freezer and decided to cook it with cauliflower and potatoes in a cumin-tomato gravy. This dish is usually cooked in Bengal, during Winter, when the cauliflower is in season. But living in the Midwest with its unusually long cold days,and abundant supply of cauliflower all year round, we tend to forget about this simple dish and go for the other elaborate preparations of fish.

I realised I could not even remember when was the last time, I had cooked this Maacher Jhol and I knew I had to make it again.

I cut up half the cauliflower in large florets and potato in thick and chunky wedges. And I knew I was ready for the game.

The Maccher Jhol touched my soul, if I try and make an attempt at being poetic. The beauty of Maachher Jhol is that how beautifully its a play of spices. The Cauliflower florets retained their shape and the potato chunks were velvety. You need to use your fingers and dig into this Machher - Jhol and some steamed rice and than I am not kidding, you might even see Unicorns and Rainbows in Foodie Heaven.


Rohu Fish Pieces: Scaled and cleaned: 5
Turmeric: 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Potato: 1 large : Peeled and Cut into Thick wedges
Whole Cumin Seeds: 1/2 tsp
Salt: To taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Tomato paste: 1 tbsp
Cauliflower: 1/2 of a large one, cut into large florets
Mustard Oil
Green Chili: 1 or 2: slit longitudinally
Ginger paste: 1 tsp


Sprinkle half the turmeric powder and some salt on the cleaned fish and coat them well.

Heat mustard oil in a non stick pan, and lightly sautee the fishes. Keep them aside.

In the same oil, lightly fry the cauliflower florets and the potato wedges. Keep them aside.

In the same oil, add in the green chili and the cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add in the tomato paste and ginger paste. Fry them around for a minute or so,mixing them with the oil with the back of your spatula.

In a bowl make a paste of the dry spices and a cup of warm water. Add it to the pan to make the gravy. Introduce the fried fish and veggies. Mix well.

Cover and cook till the veggies are cooked and the gravy has thickened and you can see the oil separating on the sides. Serve warm with steamed rice. Bon Appetit !!!