Tangra Macher Jhol

Tangra Macher Jhol

Tangra Macher Jhol: A Delightful Bengali Fish Curry

Bengali cuisine is renowned for its love of fish, and Tangra Macher Jhol is one of the most popular fish curries in the region. This dish is a staple in Bengali households, and it’s not hard to see why. The tender, flaky fish cooked in a spicy, aromatic gravy is a delight to the senses. In this article, we’ll explore the history, ingredients, and preparation of this beloved dish.


The origins of Tangra Macher Jhol can be traced back to the Tangra neighborhood in Kolkata, which is known for its fish markets. The dish was created by the local fishermen who used to catch the tangra fish, a freshwater catfish that is commonly found in the rivers of Bengal. They would cook the fish in a simple broth with basic spices and serve it with rice or bread.

Over time, the recipe evolved, and more spices and herbs were added to the broth to enhance the flavor. Today, Tangra Macher Jhol is a signature dish of Bengali cuisine, and it’s enjoyed not only in Kolkata but also in other parts of India and around the world.


The key ingredient of Tangra Macher Jhol is, of course, the tangra fish. The fish is cut into small pieces and marinated with salt, turmeric, and red chili powder before cooking. Other essential ingredients include onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilies, and spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala.

The preparation of Tangra Macher Jhol is relatively simple and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. A basic pot or a deep pan is enough to cook the dish to perfection. However, the quality of the ingredients is crucial to the final taste of the dish. Fresh, high-quality fish and spices are essential to get the best flavor.


To prepare Tangra Macher Jhol, start by marinating the fish with salt, turmeric, and red chili powder for at least 15 minutes. In the meantime, chop the onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic into small pieces. Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the fish pieces until golden brown on both sides. Remove the fish from the pan and keep it aside.

In the same pan, add more oil if needed and add the chopped onions. Fry until translucent, then add the ginger and garlic and fry for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become mushy. Add the spices, including cumin, coriander, garam masala, and salt, and mix well. Add enough water to make a gravy and bring it to a boil.

Once the gravy starts boiling, add the fried fish pieces and sliced green chilies to the pan. Cover the pan and let it cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat until the fish is cooked through and the gravy has thickened. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.


Tangra Macher Jhol can be prepared in many different ways, and each household has its own recipe. Some people prefer to add potatoes to the gravy to make it more filling, while others add coconut milk for a creamy texture. Some also like to add mustard oil for a unique flavor.

Another popular variation of Tangra Macher Jhol is to use other types of fish, such as rohu or katla, instead of tangra. These fish are also commonly found in the rivers of Bengal and have a similar taste and texture. However, the cooking time may vary depending on the type of fish used.


Leave a Reply