Rui Macher Kalia (Spicy Rohu Fish Curry)


500 grams Rohu Fish – cut into medium sized pieces
3 Potatoes – large, cut into long thick slices (many prefer to dice it in round shapes even)
2 Tomato – medium sized finely chopped
1 tablespoon Ginger paste
3 cloves Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Jeera – (some even use Panch Phoron – it is a mixture of 5 whole 3 teaspoons Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Kashmiri Mirch Powder – (for color)
Mustard Oil – For frying the fish& cooking
Coriander leaves – finely chopped
Salt & sugar to taste


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.
Meanwhile, grind onion and garlic together, keep aside.
Once the fish pieces have absorbed the turmeric and salt, heat mustard oil in a kadai. The oil should be adequate enough for frying.
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. I would suggest you take a non-stick kadai.
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.
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 doesn’t matter. I don’t use fresh oil because, the smell & taste of the fish remains in the oil and makes the dish tastier.
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 garlic paste and fry till the rawness of the onion is gone. Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry again. Here you can sprinkle a little bit of water. Once the tomato starts to cook, add turmeric, salt, sugar, red chili powder, slit green chilies, and kashmiri chili powder.
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. It is to your liking how much gravy you will want.
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.
Pour the entire content in a big dish. Garnish with coriander leaves and slit green chilies.
Serve hot with white rice or polau. Your Spicy Rohu Curry or Rui Macher Kalia is ready to eat.


Rui Mach or Rohu fish is suppose to be one of the regular staple diets of every Bengali household. Rohu is easily available in any Bengali 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:

• Rui-er jhal – Rohu extra-spicy curry with thin gravy
• Doi Rui – Rohu in curd gravy. This one is a sweeter variety. My father likes it a lot. You add raisins and cashews in it.
• Rui-er jhol – A simple rohu gravy with veggies like cauliflower and lots of coriander leaves
• Rui Bhaja – Plain fried fish marinated in salt and turmeric (some prefer to add lime juice and red chili powder) and deep fry it in mustard oil. Devour it with rice, daal or khichuri.
• Rui-er Dom – A steamed rohu preparation in mustard, poppy seed and curd paste.
• Rui-er Kalia – A spicy preparation in tomato and onion gravy.
Many other preparations are there. There is no end to it. But for today I have taken up Rui Macher Kalia, rohu in a spicy curry. Yummy….

I must mention that always prepare Bengali fish curry in mustard oil. And fry the fish in mustard oil as well. Otherwise you will not get that true essence.


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Monday, March 21, 2011 - 3:02am


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