Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rui mach-er Kalia - Spicy Rohu Curry

A Bengali meal is incomplete without fish and the most popular among them is Rui or Rohu.  Rohu is easily available in any Indian fish market and also it is one of the most affordable fish you can find. There are a number of preparations for rohu such as Jhal (extra spicy curry), Jhol (a simple gravy with vegetables like Potato, Cauliflower & granished with Coriander leaves), Kalia (a spicy recipe in tomato & onion gravy), Bhaja (plain fry) & Dom (Steamed recipe in a mustard-poppy-curd paste).

I prepared the Rui maach-er Kalia after knowing it's popularity in my non-Bengali friend's home. There, they ask me the simple question, "what is the meaning of Kalia?" & I could not answer it. I know the dish but did not know how to make them understand. So I googled & found the name meaning and the proper recipe as well. In every recipe I found "garlic paste" but at our home, Ma always said "fresh fish does not need garlic & onions". So I modified the recipes & created my own recipe without Garlic & I did not make paste of onions. 

One interesting thing, I helped R to find his another favorite dish "Rui maach-er kali". Now R loves the dish so much that if I want to prepare kalia with some other fishes, R has no problem in doing some household works; what a help!

• Rohu Fish – 500 grms cut into medium sized pieces 
• Potatoes – 3 large, cut into long thick slices (many prefer to dice it in round shapes even)
• Tomato – 2 medium sized finely chopped
• Onion – 1, thin sliced 
• Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
• Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
• Cumin powder – 1 tsp
• Turmeric powder – 3 tsp 
• Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
• Mustard Oil – For frying the fish & cooking
• Green chilies – 3 to 4
• Coriander leaves – finely chopped
• Salt & sugar to taste


  1. Wash the fish pieces thoroughly in water and pat dry. In a bowl put the fish, add salt and turmeric and rub the spices in the fish pieces. Keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. Once the fish pieces have absorbed the turmeric and salt, heat mustard oil in a kadai. The oil should be adequate enough for frying. 
  3. Once the smoke starts coming slowly slide the fish pieces one by one. Make sure you don’t crowd them in the kadai. Also make sure the oil is well heated otherwise the fish will stick to the bottom of the kadai. 
  4. Fry both the sides of the fish in medium heat. Once done, take the fish pieces out, drain the excess oil and keep aside. Now in the same oil add the potato pieces and fry them till they are light golden brown in color. Fried potatoes add a special flavor. 
  5. Pour out the excess oil from the kadai in a separate dish and keep 4 tbsps of oil in the kadai. Rohu Kalia is a spicy and oily dish. So if you have excess oil, it does not matter. I don’t use fresh oil because, the smell & taste of the fish remains in the oil and makes the dish tastier. 
  6. Now re-heat oil in the same kadai. Add whole jeera and let it splutter. Now add ginger paste, fry for some time. Add onion and fry till the onions become soft & little brown. Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry again. Once the tomato starts to cook, add cumin powder, turmeric, salt, sugar, red chili powder and slit green chilies. 
  7. Fry the entire mixture for few minutes and keep adding water from time to time. Once the entire mixture has cooked add the potatoes and fish pieces. Add adequate water. Usually Rohu curry will have a spicy thick gravy. The amount of gravy depends upon your requirement 
  8. In a medium heat let the fish and potato cook. Cover the kadai with a lid. Check from time to time and stir occasionally. Once the potato is soft and fish is done sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and stir once. Turn off the heat. 
  9. Pour the entire content in a big dish. Garnish with coriander leaves and slit green chilies. 
  10. Serve hot with white rice. Your Spicy Rohu Curry or Rui Macher Kalia is ready to eat.

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