Kitchen therapy… pomfret in mustard curry or pomfret shorsher jhol

pomfret shorsher jhol

Ingredients, 2 pomfrets, mustard powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, 3 green chillies, 2 potatoes, some chopped pieces of brinjal, 1/2 a tomato, water


  • Shallow fry 2 pomfrets after smearing some turmeric & red chilli powders and salt on them. Or in my case ask Banu to do so and keep in the fridge. I’d got the fish from Poonam at Khar fish market and has stayed pretty flavourful after more than a week in the fridge
  • Peel and slice 2 potatoes. Potatoes are the heart of a curry for many Bengalis. Boil in micro with water for about 4 to 5 minutes. Take out. Smear with some salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Just a sprinkle. Ditto with chopped pieces of egg plant. Shallow fry all in some mustard oil. Brinjals and beans are often used in Bengali fish curries. A tradition shared with Thailand.
  • Chop 1/2 a tomato into cubes. Take 3 green chillies and split them into half. Take some fresh ginger and finely chop 1/2 a teaspoon worth of it
  • Soak 1 tablespoon of mustard powder in 4 tablespoons water with a pinch of salt. We normally use black mustard seeds ground at home. The texture is choppy and the colour yellow with brown flecks. This time I used a pouch of Sunrise mustard powder that I picked from Kolkata. The colour was a very light yellow with no dark specks. The pack said that they had used de-coated black and brown mustard seed. Gave a more creamy texture than home ground mustard seed mix



  • Take a teaspoon of mustard oil and use whatever oil is left in the pan from frying the prep stuff
  • Add the ginger, tomato and green chillies once the oil heats up and then pres them with a ladle till the tomatoes go soft
  • Add the potatoes & brinjal and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/2 a teaspoon of red chilli powder. Stir. Stir till the spice and veggies come together
  • Add the fish. Let it take the heat and the masala. Gently turn over this fish.
  • Add 1/2 a coffee mug of water or a bit more if you want
  • Add the mustard paste. Blend with a ladle and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce flame. Turn fish around (so that the surface takes in the spices evenly)
  • Check for salt in curry (it’s already gone in while frying fish and veggies) and add accordingly
  • Let it simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with steamed rice

rice with shorshe maachher jhol

This was the first time I used mustard oil in a fish curry. I grew up in a mustard oil free environment and couldn’t stand its pungency. I guess my Bong roots are growing stronger now. Desisted from using my favourite spice of coriander as it is often not used in Bengali curries. Was mighty pleased with the final consistency of the sauce specially since I usually don’t like onion free fish curries. Dinner was ready at eleven pm but one felt quite rejuvenated after this spot of kitchen therapy. Wasn’t planning to blog till I saw how the sauce looked. Just what one needed after a reasonably hard day’s night.

It’s been gift week recently so thanks M and Kaniska for the ponir and dalmut, Neha for the lovely liver pate you guys make and Arati for the moon cakes and sauces from Singapore.

Food blogger’s karma as I say.


Pinku said…
never had a shorsher jhol with potatoes. Interesting concept...will give it a try.

Kalyan Karmakar said…
Can't think of a jhol without Alu Pinku. That's the fun part of it
Zim said…
Thanks..eta khujchilam :D