Chital mach or chitol fish (Clown Knife fish) is a Bengali delicacy. Though you may find it a bit pricey on the pocket (around Rs 750/kg in Kolkata), but the heavenly taste it brings with, is worth the value. This fish is full of bones. So the preparation is little tricky for this. The oily belly portion (peti) contains bigger bones and also tastes the best. Whereas the back portion (gada) is full of small bones, which makes it almost impossible to eat as simple fish pieces. The back portion is cooked as chital macher muitha which is a completely different type of preparation. Today I will be sharing the Chital macher jhal recipe, which is prepared from the delicious Peti portion and also easier on the mouth 🙂
Ingredients Required to Prepare Chital Macher Jhol / Jhal
- Chital Fish pieces – 500 gm
- Onion – 3 medium (finely chopped)
- Tomatoes – 2 medium (chopped)
- Cinnamon – 1 – 2 piece
- Cardamom – 4 – 5
- Clove – ½ tsp
- Black Pepper – ½ tsp
- Bay Leaves – 1
- Dried Red Chilli – 1
- Hing Powder- a pinch
- Turmeric powder – 3 tsp
- Cumin powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander powder – ½ tsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Ghee – 1tsp
- Mustard oil – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – a pinch
- Green chilli – 3
- Salt – to taste
- Corriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
How to Cook Chital Macher Jhal Recipe
1. First of all, wash the fish pieces properly and coat them with salt and turmeric powder.
2. Now add mustard oil to a frying kadai and let the oil be smoking hot.
3. Add the fish pieces one by one and fry lightly on both sides by turning them. This fish tends to break during the process of turning over. So you need to be gentle in the process of turning.
4. Take them out once the fish pieces are golden brown and keep them aside.
5. Pour some more oil in that kadai. Now one by one add bay leaf, dried red chilli, Cinnamon, Cardamom, clove and Black Pepper seeds to the hot oil.
6. Add pinch of sugar to the hot oil and let it caramelize to get the rich color for the gravy.
7. Also add one pinch of hing powder and stir it for few seconds.
8. Now add the chopped onion, slit green chillis and saute them for 3 – 4 minutes and add the chopped tomatoes.
9. Stir it till golden brown and one by one, add the ginger paste, cumin powder, corriandar powder and stir it continuously.
10. Once the oil starts to come out of the mixture, add little ghee and little water while mixing them well.
11. Now pour some more water to make it a thick gravy. Let it come to boil.
12. Add the fried fish pieces and cook it for 5 – 7 minutes. Once it looks thick in texture, add the chopped coriander leaves and cover with lid. And you are done!
Your delicious Chital macher jhal is ready to tingle your taste buds. Happy Eating 🙂