How to cook Begun diye Pabda Macher Jhol – light Pabda fish curry with brinjal recipe step by step

Begun diye Pabda Macher Jhol recipe at home – Begun diye Pabda Macher Jhol is a less spicy, simple and light Bengali style pabda fish curry with brinjal flavoured with Kalo jeera (nigella seeds /kalonji) and fresh coriander leaves. Here ginger, garlic, onion, tomato and not even mustard seed paste are used in this Brinjal pabda fish curry. So the best part of this Brinjal fish curry is, this is very light, and healthy yet quick and easy to prepare at any time of the day, especially best for kids and elderly people.

To prepare this Bengali Brinjal pabda fish curry, except pabda fish and brinjal we need very simple ingredients which are almost available in every Bengali kitchen. we need mustard oil for frying the fish & brinjal and cooking the gravy. Also need a pinch of nigella seeds (kalonji or kalojeere), cumin powder, turmeric powder, slight red chilli powder and fresh coriander leaves.

However, you can use any other vegetable oil if mustard oil is not available around. The fact is pungency of mustard oil enhances the taste of our Bengali recipes including this pabda macher jhol.

For making this pabda macher jhol best to use desi pabda, desi pabda means freshwater Pabda fish. How to recognize Desi Pabda? Desi pabda looks slightly black and not giant in size. However, Desi pabda is mostly available in West Bengal(Kolkata) and Bangladesh, not easy to get in anywhere in India as I rarely get it in Bangalore. Then use the best quality fresh pabda not too big but rather less in weight available around. Though not a huge difference in taste, however, deshi pabda is worth for its high nutritional value.

Though I made this pabda fish curry with brinjal, however, if you are allergic to brinjal then make this fish curry with only potatoes. To make alu diye pabda macher jhol, first, length cut the potatoes, and keep those potato slices in a bowl full of water. Fry the potatoes until golden from all sides and then cook the potatoes in the gravy cook until the potatoes are soft. Must cook the potatoes before adding the fish to the gravy. However, for a quick result, you can use a pressure cook for boiling potatoes then directly fry the boiled potatoes and put them into the gravy.

Even you can add a few bori bhaja (fried dry lentil dumplings) to this pabda fish curry. For using bori in this pabda macher jhol, add fried bori to the fish gravy before adding the fish to the gravy and cooking until the bori is soft.

Hope you love this begun diye pabda macher preparation, make this light pabda fish curry at home, here my step by step directions must help you to make it perfect. To let me know your valuable feedback write down a few words about this “Begun diye pabda macher jhol er recipe” in the comment section of this post.

For making a spicy version of Pabda fish curry, try my

Pabda Macher Shorshe Jhal recipe

How to cook Begun diye Pabda Macher Jhol – light Pabda fish curry with brinjal step by step recipe

Recipe by Moumita PaulCourse: Lunch, Main courseCuisine: Bengali, BangladeshiDifficulty: Easy
Servings

9

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

300

kcal
Total time

30

minutes

Begun diye Pabda macher jhol is a light less spicy simple Bengali pabda fish curry with brinjal tossed in a few minimal spices. Best to eat it with a steamed rice meal with a wedge of lemon.

Ingredients of Begun diye Pabda macher jhol

  • 450 g Pabda mach (Pabo fish/ Butter catfish)

  • 350 g Begun (Brinjal/Eggplant)

  • 8 tbsp Mustard Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Kalo jeera (nigella seeds)

  • 1 tsp Cumin powder

  • 1½ tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp Red Chilli powder (optional)

  • 1½ tsp Salt

  • 8 tbsp Mustard Oil

  • Chopped Coriander leaves (for garnishing)

  • Green chillies (for garnishing-optional)

Instructions

  • Thoroughly wash the fish, especially clean inside the fish stomach and the fish head.
  • Marinate the fish with 3/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  • Lengthwise cut the brinjal or potato (if using potatoes), and soak it in the water.
  • In a mixing bowl, take 1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder, 3/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp salt. 
  • Mix the masalas using 1/2 cup of water with it to make a smooth paste.
  • Heat a pan or kadai (on medium to low heat), pour oil, and put the marinated fish into the hot oil.
  • Fry the fish until golden from both sides, each batch of fish hardly takes to fry for 6-8 minutes. 
  • Carefully, remove the fish from the pan, and keep them aside.
  • Fry the brinjal (or potato) until golden from both sides, remove from the pan and keep aside.
  • Then fry 8-10 dal er bori (if using bori) until golden from all sides and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1/2 tsp Kalo jeera (nigella seeds) to the pan, and let them splutter.
  • Immediately add the masala paste to the pan, and stir well. 
  • Cook the masala until the masala gets dry. 
  • Add 3-4 bowls or cups of water (US cup), add 1/2 tsp of salt and mix it well. 
  • Once the gravy starts boiling, put the brinjal (or potato and bori if using) into the gravy.
  • Cover the pan and cook the gravy until the brinjal (or potato and bori) gets soft.
  • Then add the fish to the gravy, cover the pan and cook the fish for 10 mins in slow heat.
  • Lastly, add a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves from the top, and stir the gravy well.
  • Cook the gravy for 1 more minute by covering the pan, lastly add green chillies and pabda macher jhol is ready to eat.
  • Serve this pabda macher jhol with steamed rice and a slice of lemon (though optional).

Notes

  • Pabda is a very soft fish so do not fry it for long (gets hard and chewy) and do not cook it for long in gravy (gets mushy).
  • Must fry the fish until golden brown from both sides otherwise raw fish smell will exist into the gravy.
  • Good frying will kill the half fish smell and rest half would be killed by its spices.
  • Carefully turn the fish while frying in oil or cooking in the gravy as pabda fish head easily gets separated from its body. If keep the head intact with the fish then handle it carefully.

How to cook Begun diye Pabda Macher Jhol – light Pabda fish curry with brinjal recipe step by step

Step 1: Preparing Pabda Fish for marination

1. Thoroughly wash the Pabda fish, especially thoroughly clean inside the fish stomach and inside the fish head.

2. Marinate the fish with 3/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp turmeric powder. Keep them aside for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Cut the Vegetable to prepare this curry

1. Lengthwise cut the brinjal or potato (if using potatoes), and soak it in the water.

Step 3: Making Masala of this Pabda fish curry

1. In a mixing bowl, take 1 tsp cumin (jeera) powder, 3/4 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp salt. 

2. Add 1/2 cup of water with the masalas to make a smooth mixture.

Step 4: Frying Pabda Fish and the Brinjal (potato or bori)

1. Heat a pan (on medium to low heat), pour oil, put the marinated fish into the hot oil.

2. Fry the fish until golden from both sides, each batch of fish hardly takes to fry for 6-8 minutes. 

3. Take out the fish from the pan, and keep them aside.

4. Fry the brinjal (or potato) in the same oil until golden from both sides, remove from the pan and keep aside.

5. Then fry 8-10 dal er bori (if using bori) until golden from all sides and keep aside.

Step 5: Preparing the Fish Curry

1. In the same pan, add 1/2 tsp Kalo jeera (nigella seeds) to the pan, and let them splutter.

2. Immediately add the masala paste to the pan, and stir well. 

3. Cook the masala until the masala gets dry. 

Step 6: Cooking Begun diye Pabda macher jhol

1. Add 3-4 bowls or cups of water (US cup), add 1/2 tsp of salt and mix it well. 

2. Once the gravy starts boiling, put the brinjal (or potato and bori if using) into the gravy.

3. Cover the pan and cook until the brinjal (or potato and bori) gets soft.

4. Then add the fish into the gravy, cover the pan and cook the fish for 10 mins in slow heat. 

5. Lastly, add a handful of chopped coriander from the top, and stir the gravy well.

6. Cook the gravy for 1 more minute by covering the pan, lastly add green chillies and pabda macher jhol is ready to eat.

7. Serve this pabda macher jhol with steamed rice and a slice of lemon (though optional).

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