‘Chara Pona Macher Jhol’ is a very light fish stew with vegetables that can be easily served to anyone. This fish stew is ideal in summer days with a dash of ‘gondhoraj lebu’ with steamed rice. The vegetables that are used are mainly available in summer like pointed gourd, raw banana. You can also add raw papaya, snake beans in this ‘Jhol’ to make it healthier. This is a dish that is usually cooked in our home for a lunch on hot and humid days of Kolkata.
It is not that this ‘Jhol’ is prepared only on summer days, Mom makes this ‘Jhol’ once in a while whenever there is heavy dinner at night. Keep it in mind that this is a very light preparation with very less oil and spices so the fish must be very fresh. Let’s go through the process of making this ‘Chara Pona Macher Jhol’…
- Marinate the fishes with turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a kadai or wok. Slowly slide the fishes in the oil and lightly fry the fishes. Keep it aside.
- Add more oil in the pan and lightly fry the pointed gourds. Keep them aside.
- Add panch foran to the remaining oil when it crackles and add potato and raw banana pieces.
- Lightly fry them and add ginger paste and all other dry spices and salt. Mix everything well.
- Add fried pointed gourd and slitted green chilli. Sprinkle some water and sauté the vegetables with spices for another few minutes.
- After 3-5 minutes add 2 cups of water cover let it comes to boil and cook until the vegetables are almost done.
- Once the vegetables are almost done add the fried fishes (Chara Pona Mach) and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice.