Katla maacher Paatla jhol—an everyday light fish curry made in most Bengali homes— a step by step guide

  • Servings : 4-5
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 30m

Bengalis eat fish 365 days of the year.

So you can imagine the variety of fish curries that they make.

The most commonly eaten fish are Rohu and Katla,a favourite with all our brainy brethren from Bengal.

This light, everyday curry is my mother-in-law’s recipe and is one she makes very very often.

My father-in-law is a great lover of fish, he simply must have his fish, almost everyday.

His face lights up in delight when this curry is made and he calls it ‘ Kaatla Maacher Paatla Jhol’.

It is a quick and fuss-free recipe that can be put together in minutes. Try it!


  • White fish ( Katla or Rohu)—7-8 slices
  • Potatoes—2
  • Kalonji (Nigella Seeds)—1 tsp
  • Green chilli—1 to 2
  • Cumin powder—1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder—1/2 tsp
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Water—1/2-3/4 cup



Apply salt and turmeric to the sliced fish. Leave aside for at least 10 minutes, to let the fish pieces absorb the salty flavours.

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In a large wok, preferably the one you plan to make the fish curry in, add 4-5 tbsp of oil and lightly fry the fish pieces. Keep aside.

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Fry the potato slices till ight brown and keep aside.

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In the same wok, fry the vadi (badi/ sandige) and keep aside. Add a fresh green chilli to the oil.

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Add the water. Add, turmeric, chilli powder and cumin powder. Alternatively mix all the spice powders in water and add them to the oil. This prevents the spices from burning. Add the potatoes. 20140927-P1090735

Add the badi and let boil for about 5 minutes. Then add the fish. Let boil for 3-4 minutes, till all the flavours are absorbed.


Add another green chilli for flavour if required and add the chopped coriander.


Serve hot with steaming hot rice.




This recipe can be used for Rohu, Katla, Boval or Parshe fish.

For more Fish recipes please look up:

Easyfishcurry    Bengalifishfry

Easy Fish curry                      Bengali Fish fry  Mach Bhaja

Konkani Fish Fry  Sweet and Sourprawns

Konkani Fish Fry             Sweet and Sour Prawns

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