MACHER KALIA (fish curry)This aromatic fish curry is a very simple and significant delicacy of Bengalese. May be it’s biye (marriage), annoprassana (naming ritual), or any other functions or grand celebration, this is a must have in their menu.


It’s a very mild spicy dish with a bit of sweetness and tanginess at the same time. Bengalese like their few dishes to be mildly sweet. But it’s upon you whether you want sugar to be added or not. Potatoes added are optional. Actually Bengalese use potato in most of their non veg dishes. In mutton, potatoes are must. Gravy must be thin and this dish is best complemented with steamed rice. 

You can alter with other types of fish but originally rui (rohu) or katla is used.

Let’s conclude to the recipe:


10 – 12 big pieces of kaatla marinated in salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp red chilli powder.

2 large raw potatoes in cubed pieces (optional)

2 medium onion (paste)

1 tsp paste of each ginger, garlic and green chilli

2 tomatoes ( paste)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tsp sugar

Salt as per taste

2 small piece of cinnamon stick

4 green cardamoms

4 cloves

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 bay leaves

2 Dry red chillies

Mustard oil for frying and gravy

1 tbsp clarified butter or ghee



Add oil in a skillet to deep fry the fishes. Add much oil because frying of fishes and gravy will be done in same oil for great taste. Deep fry all the pieces of fish till golden in colour. Keep them aside. If adding potatoes, fry them now only.


In the same oil add cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves. Let it splutter.


Add sugar and wait till it caramelised. Add onion paste and fry till golden brown. Keep on stirring the onion otherwise they’ll burn and taste bitter. 

Add ginger, garlic and green chilli paste. Fry till raw aroma goes off.


Now take a bowl and mix 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and chilli powder with 2 table spoon water. Add this mixture with the spices. Cook until oil separates.


Now add tomato paste. Cook until raw smell of tomato is gone and again oil is separated.

Add 3 cups of warm water and add salt and let it boil. Add fried fish and potatoes. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Switch off the flame. Add garam masala and ghee. Cover it for another 10 minutes so that the flavours of garam masala and ghee mingles well into the gravy.

Get ready to have this heavenly macher kalia with steamed rice (flavours were spluttering in my mouth while writing this recipe😉) 

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