Bengali fish stew with summer vegetables / macher jhol - for babies and toddlers
Recipe type: lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Bengali style fish stew with summer vegetables for babies and toddlers.
  • Fish : 6 pieces (Rohu, carp or bekti) cut into steaks
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder : 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Nigella seeds : ¼ tsp
  • Ginger chopped : 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves : 1 or 2
  • Bay leaves - 1
  • Vegetables : cut into chunks
  • (roughly measures one cup each of chunks of potatoes, pointed gourds, ridged gourd, sheem, green beans)
  • Mustard oil : ½ cup
  1. Wash the fish steaks in warm water thoroughly, rub salt and turmeric powder and keep aside. Since it is for babies, try to use minimum amount of iodised salt.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, once it is smoking hot, place the fish pieces slowly and fry them in medium heat, both sides till done.
  3. Do not over fry the fish, else baby will find it chewy. Just lightly fried it and till you get a nice golden sheen over the fishes.
  4. Meanwhile cut all the vegetables as required. Use potatoes free of greenish tinge, eyes, sprouts and other blemishes.
  5. In a kadhai, heat the mustard oil, temper it with nigella seeds. Add the ginger and garlic. Once the garlic turns brown, add rest of the vegetables.
  6. Saute them on medium heat. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder (homemade), salt, bay leaf and give a nice stir.
  7. Once the spices are lightly fried, lower the heat, close the lid and let the vegetables cooked in their own steam.
  8. If vegetables are fresh, they will release lots of water and will get cooked in their own steam. Else add two cups (one cup if vegetables release enough water) of hot water, adjust the seasonings, and carefully drop the fish pieces in it.
  9. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat, close the lid and let it simmer for another 5 minute.
  10. Serve it warm with steamed rice.
  11. How I serve it to my baby - I debone the fish as I feed her and three chunks of each vegetables per serving with one serving of steamed rice. Mash the rice well with your hand before giving it to her.
For grown -ups : In the same recipe you can sneak two three slit green chillies to infuse the spiciness in the dish. For babies, I do not add chillies.
Recipe by saffronstreaks at