Jeera Maach (Fish with Cumin)

Jeera maach is a fish curry cooked with a large amount of freshly ground Jeera, also known as cumin powder, along with an assortment of other spices. We have used Bacha, a tasty fish common in eastern regions of India and Bengal. Other fishes can also be used for this curry. Outside south asia, a Bangladeshi store in your area may stock the Bacha fish.



The preparation consists of 3 steps:
In step one, the fish will be marinated and shallow fried in oil.
In the second step the spices will be fried with tomato to make the gravy.
Finally, the fish will be added to the gravy and cooked to completion.


1. Sprinkle turmeric and salt on the fish and pat them all over with your hand.
2. Leave aside the marinate for about 5-10 minutes.
3. In a moderately hot pan, add about 3 tablespoons of mustard oil.
4. When the oil is hot to feel add the fish into the oil and fry each side for about 3-4 minutes. You may like to cover the pan if it splatters. Both sides should look well fried.
5. Remove the fish from the frying pan and them keep aside.
6. In the same hot oil add the Indian bay leaves.
7. Add the red chili.
8. Add the Kalo Jeera.
9. Stir them well.
10. then add the cumin spices paste.
11. Continue stirring till the paste become semi dried (about 4-5 minutes).
12. Then add the chopped tomato.
13. Continue stirring.
14. Add the green chilies.
15. Stir continuously for next 3-5 minutes till the tomato and spices make a uniform paste.
16. Add a cup and a half of water.
17. stir and bring the gravy to boil.
18. Then add the fried fishes in the gravy.
19. Cover the pan and boil for another 3 minutes or so.
20. Remove the cover and loosen the fishes around.
21. Then put the cover back again and boil till the gravy thickens.
22. Add the chopped cilantro.
23. Then remove the pan from heat.

This completes the Jeera Maach with Bacha. It takes about 40 to 45 minutes and serves 3 to 4 people. Serve the curry hot with steamed white rice.

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