Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sea Bass Diye Phulkopi Aloor Jhol- Curried Sea Bass with Cauliflower and Potato

This week we will be focusing on fish recipes in Spice and Curry. So, its fish week here.

Many of you would ask why we (read Bengali) keep eating fish everyday, day after days, year after years. You see I have told you earlier -Fish and Bengalis are inseparable identity. Our day starts with going to fish markets early in the morning, bargaining for the best fish –read catch here, then kitchen gossip amidst cooking the fish. And in night before going to bed we do think what fish we will be getting home next morning from the fish market.”Barir Kotta” head of the family has enormous responsibility of going to fish market every day and then bring back the best buy. No not the Best Buy in US, best buy is the fish from “Kolaghaat” or “Manicktala”.Even if it involves spending out double the amount of money on petrol than on fish. But then we are like that.
There is a word in Bengali “Hojooke” meaning enthusiast possibly, which probably describes our species called as “Bengali”. Yes, you are right I am no exception. I also shed tears when India looses a silly match against Zimbabwe. Or even if the Eden Garden doesn’t get NOC from ICC for hosting an international cricket match. Well I don’t keep empty plastic bottles anymore in my attic (I used to but not these days) to throw into the air to register my annoyance. Or even I don’t try to throw some of the bottles out of my window which probably would have landed on ,hitting some poor passer by’s head who might be going back to home with a bunch of flowers in hand and rosy pictures in mind for a V-day date. But I do throw some spoons on kitchen floor to at least vent out. Sigh!

If there is Bhetki in India then, there is Sea Bass in overseas .Both are firm white fish that means you can easily pan-fry them in hot mustard oil like other fresh-water fish- Rui or Katla and enjoy fried mach bhaja. After googling about Bhetki and Sea bass, with reference to Wiki, both belong to different family of fishes.Bhetki is Barramundi or Asian Sea Bass available in plenty throughout south-east Asia and Australia. And the sea bass that we get here is of Mediterranean origin or most popularly known as European Sea Bass which our local supermarket further imports it from Turkey. Sea Bass recipes are very popular here.
Plus point is -This fish is has a single back bone to support the tender fish muscle which is harmless to your gums or teeth. That means you don’t have to dig out tiny bones with a magnifying glass and it won’t stick to your gums or teeth. You can broil it or bake in oven also. But being a Bengali, I couldn’t bring myself putting this fish in oven. I followed the traditional recipe for Bhetki Phulkopir jhaal which I have blogged about earlier.
Sea bass gives a new dimension to this age-old traditional recipe.

Now to the recipe

Sea Bass diye Aloo phulkopir jhol- Curried Sea Bass with Cauliflowers and Potato
Serves 3-4

Recipe requirements
2 whole sea bass fish
For marinating the fish some grounded turmeric and salt.
Now for the curry/gravy/torkari
Half cauliflower if it’s big enough otherwise if small use whole (aadke ta phulkopri ful)
2 medium size potatoes (aloo)
1 tsp of grounded red pepper (lonka goron)
2 tsp of coriander powder (dhone goron)
1 tsp of grounded turmeric (holod)
4 tbs of cooking oil and some more to fry up the fish pieces
2 tomatoes
4 green chilly(lonka)
2 tej patta
½ tsp of cumin seeds( gota jeerey)
1 tsp of garam masala
1 -2 tsp of ghee(optional)

  1. Marinate the sea bass fish fillet with turmeric powder and salt. Cut into half each fish fillet. Two fish will yield 8 fish pieces I guess. Leave aside for half an hour.
  2. Now heat up a frying pan/korai.
  3. Add 3 tbs cooking oil. Let it heat up enough so that the fish pieces do not stick to the pan while frying.
  4. Now fry two fish fillets at a time. Fry the entire sea bass fish fillet
  5. Meanwhile in a separate saucepan,fry the cauliflowers at medium high in oil for 4-5 mints or till they turn beautiful brown in colour.Take them out.
  6. Now add in about 1 tbs of cooking oil. Temper it with cumin seeds and 1 tej patta.
  7. Add in potatoes .Fry the potatoes well.
  8. Add in salt and all the dry ingredients-turmeric, red pepper, and coriander. Add little bit of water.
  9. Now add in fried cauliflowers. Mix well.
  10. Add in chopped tomatoes. Keep on frying further to well incorporate the masala with cauliflowers and potatoes.About 10 mints at medium flame.
  11. Now add in about 1 cup of water. Cover it and cook at medium flame till the vegetables are cooked.
  12. In another pan, add in about 1 cup of water. Add in 1 tsp of grounded red pepper, ½ tsp of turmeric and 3-4 green chilly slit in between and 1 tomato chopped.
  13. Add in 2 tbs of cooking oil.You may use the left-over oil after frying the fish pieces if any.
  14. Bring the entire gravy to a boil. Lower the flame and add in fried fish pieces to it. Cook the gravy for 7-8 mints at low.
  15. Now add this gravy with fish to the prepared Cauliflower potato jhaali.Mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves.Mix garam masala and ghee at the end if possible.You may cook it with more spice and oil for a very spicy and hot curry or jhaal in Bengali.
  16. Serve with warm cooked rice.
We had this  sea bass fish curry with warm cooked rice for our `dinner for a change and we thoroughly liked it.

More recipes for Bhetki fish

Narkol diye Bhetki Mach'er Jhaal

Fish Chop with Bhetki fillet

Happy Cooking Friends


  1. This dish is completely new for me, looks absolutely delicious and inviting..

  2. Drooling..this is truly inviting, delicious fish curry dear.

  3. never tot of this combo....sure wud have tasted gud...and for people like me for whom non veg is a must great way to eat veggies as well

  4. Hi Jayashree,

    I'll try the recipe this weekend (but with bhetki) and post more feedback on the recipe. Lookin fwd to cookin.

  5. Comforting simple maacher jhol bhaat anyday for me. :-)

  6. Priya,
    thanks for your kind words..


    yes it is , and you will love it if you do try :-)..


    In fact Bhetki will taste more delicious with this recipe..

    me too :-)..

    Thanks all for coming

    hugs and smiles

  7. Wow.. one of my favorite.. I like your pictures..


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