Puti Machh er Jhal

Puti Machh is a very tasty fish in the small fish category, nowadays available sparingly, specially the fresh ones. This recipe is a very traditional recipe, which can be made with any kind of small fish. Mustard oil is a very important ingredient for this kind of ‘jhal’ recipe, without it, you will never get the actual taste of Bengal. I have used a spoonful of ‘Rasun Bata’ or garlic paste to give it an extra zing, if you don’t like garlic, please omit this. Another very important aspect is, you must have this ‘jhal’ with plain rice, preferably on a lazy weekend, and must have afternoon siesta afterwards.




  • Puti Machh – cleaned, 300 gms
  • Onion , chopped – half cup
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Green chilli, chopped – as per taste
  • Tomato – 2, chopped
  • Coriander leaves – chopped, as much as you link
  • Salt, Turmeric, Kashmiri chilli powder
  • A pinch of sugar, optional
  • Mustard oil – 3 tbsp

Marinate the cleaned fish with salt and turmeric, then fry them lightly in mustard oil and keep aside.

In the same oil, add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt. Once they turn soft, add the garlic paste and chopped green chilli. Fry till the raw smell is gone.

Add chopped tomato and fry till the tomatoes are mashed.

Next goes the turmeric, salt and kashmiri chilli powder with a sprinkle of water, Let the masala paste be fried and water is completely evaporated. Then add a cup of water. Once the water starts bubbling, add the fried fishes carefully.

Mix well and cook over low heat.

When the fishes are cooked and gravy thickens, adjust the salt. Add a pinch of sugar, if you wish. Remove from heat and add chopped coriander leaves.

Savor with plain rice.