Bata Macher Jhal (Labeo Bata in Mustard Gravy)

‘Bata Mach’ or Labeo Bata is a very popular fish in Bengal. It is a fresh water small fish native to eastern part of India. One of the popular Bengali fish preparations with this fish is ‘Bata Macher Jhal’ with mustard based gravy. ‘Bata Macher Jhal’ is also very easy to cook without much hassle. In our family we fry the fish till it’s golden for any fish curries unless it is a steamed preparation. Fried fish with mustard paste brings out the best flavour of the fish in the gravy. In addition I use come chopped onion to the gravy. Fried onion with mustard paste gives a unique flavour to the fish gravy. I have not used ‘posto’ or poppy seed paste but it can also use it 1:1 ratio with mustard paste. So here is my very simple recipe of ‘Bata Macher Jhal’ with minimum use of spices.

  • Servings: 4-number
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: bengali
  • Passive Time: 15 mins
  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 15 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins


4 pcs Bata Mach
4 tsps Mustard Seed Paste
3 tsps Onion – (Finely Chopped)
2 pcs Green Chilli
6 Tbsps Mustard Oil
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Red Chillie Powder
Salt – As required


  1. Clean the fish thoroughly and marinate with salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry fish lightly make sure they do not break.
  3. After removing the fried fish from pan add chopped onion and green chillies in the remaining oil.
  4. When the onions become translucent add little water and then add mustard paste.
  5. When the gravy starts to boil add turmeric powder, red chillie powder and salt as required.
  6. Now add the fried fish into the gravy and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. When the gravy becomes thick in texture remove from flame and serve with steamed rice.


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