Shorshe diye parshe macher jhol (or parshe macher jhal) is a simple and delectable Bengali fish curry. Fresh parshe are fried lightly and simmered in a potent and flavourful mustard gravy. This is easy to prepare, insanely delicious, and requires only a handful of ingredients. The star of the show is, of course, fresh parshe. A freshwater catch with a soft sheen, parshe (a kind of mullet) is identifiable by its small, triangular mouth and slender shape. The fish is soft, flaky, and sweet to the taste—all of which are perfectly complemented by the fiery, potent flavours from the mustard gravy.
- 400 g parshe machh
- 20 g mustard seeds (a mix of black and yellow mustard)
- 35 g mustard oil (plus 1 tsp extra, for finishng)
- 10 pcs dal'er bori (sun-baked lentil dumplings)
- 100 g brinjal
- ¼ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 15 g tomato
- 5 pcs green chillies
- 3 g turmeric powder (plus ¾ tsp extra for marinating)
- 15 g salt (plus ¾ tsp extra for marinating)
- 25 g yoghurt
- 8 g sugar
- 300 g hot water
- 8 g coriander leaves
- Soak mustard seeds for 2 hours. Grind them with two green chillies until smooth, using as little water as possible.
- Coat parshe with turmeric powder and salt. Leave to marinate while you prep the other ingredients.
- Cut brinjal into 5-cm long pieces. Roughly chop the tomato. Slit green chillies. Beat yoghurt until lump-free.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadai until it smokes lightly and changes colour to a pale yellow.
- Add bori, and fry on medium heat until golden. Set aside.
- Now add brinjal. Fry until golden. Set aside.
- Fry the fish in batches, for 1 minute on each side. Set aside.
- Temper the same oil with kaalo jeere, tomatoes and green chillies.
- Add the mustard paste and fry on medium heat for 4 minutes.
- Add turmeric powder and salt, and a splash of water. Continue frying until the smell of the raw spices is gone (about 4 minutes).
- Add beaten yoghurt and sugar. Mix it in well.
- Add hot water for the curry. Once it comes to a boil, add the fried bori.
- After a minute or so, add the fried brinjal pieces and parshe.
- Bubble on low heat for 5 minutes.
- Finish with chopped coriander leaves and a drizzle of raw mustard oil.