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Maachher Jhal


Fish (preferably fresh water like carp)
½ kg
Mustard oil
Mustard paste
1 tbsp
2 tbsp
Hot peppers
Lemon (juice of)
to taste 

Smear fish pieces with 1 tbsp turmeric and salt and set aside for a few minutes.

Heat mustard oil in a deep pan and fry fish lightly until golden yellow on both sides.

Dissolve mustard paste, remaining turmeric and salt in 1/3 l hot water. Slice hot peppers lengthwise and add to the mustard sauce. Add a few drops of mustard oil to the sauce. Bring sauce to boil in a saucepan and add fish to it. Simmer until fish is tender and sauce has thickened slightly.

Remove from heat, allow to cool , sprinkle over lemon juice and serve with white rice.

Author's Notes:        This is one of many fish recipes prepared in Bengal (India) where fish is a staple. This is a simple one which I tried out of memory after coming to the US and it came out pretty close to the original.

The mustard oil is quite essential as this is what gives the dish the tang. Also, it should be of good quality. The mustard paste is best prepared fresh by crushing 4-5 Tbsp mustard seed with water but prepared mustard can be substituted.