Fish with potatoes and hyacinth beans

Macher jhol, aka fish jhol is one of the most common curries cooked by Bengali’s with an array of vegetables. There are many techniques and recipes each family has.

This is one of the ways I make mine. Hyacinth beans are really delicious. They have a lovely earthy taste and beautiful fragrance when cooked. More about Hyacinth Beans on blod LETS TALK ABOUT VEG!!

I used 4 pieces of Mrigal fish, only as I have batch precooked and available. It works well with sea bass, pomfret, snapper or bream. If you are unable to get hyacinth beans you can use flat beans or bobby beans.

All measurements using level spoon or measuring cup.


Clean and place your fish in a bowl.
Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, half tsp salt. Mix well with spices/salt then shallow fry the fish in frying pan on both sides, gently, till just golden. Drain and put aside.

Sauted fish

For curry:

Quart cup veg oil.
1/2 tsp Fenugreek/methi seeds.
Half an onion really finely minced.
1 green chilli chopped.
1.5 tsp salt.
1 large potato cut into 2inch squares.
300g hyacinth or any flat beans.
2 slit green chillies.

Powdered spices:

1 tsp turmeric.
1 tsp chilli powder.
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder.
2 tsp cumin powder.


In the above pan add the quarter cup oil.
When the oil is hot add methi seeds and wait till they go dark brown and you get that smoky aroma.
Add the finely minced onion, salt and the chopped green chilli.

Fry this for a few minutes till just getting some colour then add quarter cup of water, cover and cook on low till the water has evaporated and you are left with softened onions and the oil splitting.

At this point, add 4 tbsp water and to this your powdered spices and stir well.
Continue to cook this now stirring frequently until your water is cooked off and you can see oil splitting again.

Add your potatoes and cook this in the spices. Dry fry on low heat for few minutes. Now add quarter cup water and cover cooking this till the potatoes are half cooked.

Add your flat beans and cook for few minutes, stirring occasionally until the oil is splitting out on top and around the sides.

Now add a 2 cups of water, your pre-cooked fish, 2 slit chillies and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook partially covered on med heat till potatoes are completely cooked, the oil is floating.You want a thin-ish sauce which is what ‘jhol’is.
Bare in mind the potatoes will absorb and reduce the sauce further post cooking.

Taste for salt, adjust and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve with hot plain rice, wedge of lemon and green chilli.

© Copyright, 23.1.2021 Papli Rani Dey
All RightsReserved

Leave a Reply