Macher Dimer Borar Jhol
Macher dimer borar jhol or Bengali fish roe fritter curry is one of the seasonal delicacy in Bengal. A monsoon specialty in most of the Bengali homes. Fish roes or eggs obtained from the fish are first mixed with spices, then fried in hot oil till golden brown and crisp. These fish roe fritters (macher dimer bora) can be enjoyed on its own as an evening snack. Or you can make a fish roe fritter curry with potatoes and vegetables like ridge gourd , pointed gourd or with pumpkin.
Monsoon is the season when river shores are swamped with the egg-laden fishes. Also because of the high demand in the market, fisherman’s across Bengal catches the fishes filled with eggs. Which are later sold as a separate commodity in the fish market. We usually enjoy fish roes or eggs obtained from the Rohu, katla and hilsa.
Are Fish Roes / Fish Eggs Same As Caviar?
No. The uber luxurious black pearly looking prized caviar is salt cured and processed fish eggs obtained from few specially harvested species of fish called Sturgeon. This is one of the oldest delicacy of the world. Much before the truffles and champagne made their presence felt in the gourmet world. And sorry to disappoint many, but those shiny orange pearls on your sushi is not caviar, but salmon roe.
But here, we are talking about raw fish eggs (roe) which is obtained directly from the sweet tasting river fishes like rohu and katla. These fish eggs are not cured or processed. And very much affordable to common people and hence may be in a small way, but this is our luxury food during the Monsoon seasons.
How To Make Bengali Style Fish Roe Fritters / Macher Dimer Bora?
I prefer to make fish roe fritters as fresh as possible, mostly on the same day we get it from the market.
Ingredients For Making Fish Roe Fritters / Macher Dimer Bora:
Fish roes or eggs are concentrated high protein food and they tend to coagulate and become dense if you just add spices. Hence adding onions, green chillies (skip if you are making it for small kids), finely chopped coriander leaves, all adds to the nice and crumbly texture of the fish roe fritters. For binding, besan (chickpea flour) or rice flour both can be used.
How To Mix Fish Roe (Eggs) / Macher Dimer Bora:
Fish eggs are first washed under running water, then very gently mixed with spices and onions to form a thick batter like consistency. While doing so, it is advisable not to squish the fish eggs but gently breaking the thin membrane separating the eggs in its sac.
A spoonful of this batter is then drop in hot oil, fried till golden brown and crisp.
These simple and delectable fish roe fritters / macher dimer bora can also be enjoyed as a side with regular dal-chawal meal. No doubt it takes the regular mundane meal to the next level.
How To Make Macher Dimer Borar Jhol / Fish Egg (Roe) Fritter Curry ?
Borar jhol or dal fritter curry (dal wada curry) is one of the comfort and soul food in Bengali cuisine. You can check this – Daler Borar Jhol / Lentil Fritter Curry.
Similarly we also prepare fish roe /egg fritter curry. There are three ways of making fish roe / egg fritter curry.
1.One is making a spicy and rich fish roe fritter curry, we call it in Bengali as Macher Dimer Borar Kalia. In this no vegetables are added. Just fish roe fritters are curried in onion based rich and flavourful gravy.
2.Second is Macher Dimer Borar Jhal or fish roe fritter curry in a mustard base. This is similar to the popular Bengali Macher sorshe jhaal / fish curried in mustard gravy.
3.Third is, the one I am going to share today. Fish roe fritter curry with vegetables. This will be a light , spicy and bit runny curry. Mostly vegetables like ridge gourd (jhinge / turai), pointed gourd (potol / parwal) and red pumpkin are used here along with potatoes. You can also make this curry with potatoes only.
The fried fish roe fritters are dunked in the gravy and cooked for few more minutes. These fish roe fritters will soak the gravy nicely and will become plump and juicy. Just the way, we would want to have them with steaming hot rice on rainy afternoons.
Bengali Fish Roe Fritter Curry With Vegetables is enjoyed specially in monsoon season. A light and spicy curry with fish roe fritters and vegetables.
- 250 gm Fish roe (eggs)
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp Ginger-garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Besan / chickpea flour
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Fish roe fritters
- 2 cups Ridge gourd / turai / jhinge (you can use pointed gourd or pumpkin too), cut into chunks
- 1 cup Potatoes, cut into small chunks
- 1 Onion grated
- 1 Tomato paste (from 1 medium tomato)
- 2-3 Green chillies
- 2 tsp Ginger paste
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Red chilli powder
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1-2 Dry Red Chillies
- 2 tbsp Mustard oil
- Salt and sugar to taste
Wash the fish roe under running water.
Add all the ingredients listed under fish roe fritters, except oil for frying.
With a very gentle hand, mix all the ingredients with the fish roe. Try not to squish the fish roes. Gently handle this and try to break the thin membrane so that everything get mixed nicely.
In a pan, add enough oil for shallow frying. When the oil is hot enough, drop a bit of batter and see, if the oil is hot enough or not.
With the help of a spoon, drop a spoonful of batter gently into the hot oil. Fry this on medium oil for 2-3 minutes till it is browned nicely.
Flip and fry the other side too.
Take care not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry in batches. Once done, slot the fish roe fritters onto a kitchen towel or in a perforated bowl.
In a kadhai, add some oil and fry the potato chunks till they become little brownish. Slot them out and keep aside.
In the same kadhai, add some more oil. Once it is hot enough, add cumin seeds, dry red chillies and bay leaves. Wait for few seconds for aroma to release.
Add the grated onions, fry on high heat till it is lightly browned. You can add pinch of salt for browning the onions faster.
Add next the ginger paste, followed by tomato paste. Add a pinch of sugar, turmeric powder, red chilli powder. Fry everything nicely till the masala starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Add the chunks of ridge gourd, fry and mix it properly with the masala paste.
Add cumin powder, salt and keep on sauteing till everything comes together.
Add the potatoes back into the kadhai. Add enough water, bring it to boil.
Lower the heat. Cover and let it cook till potatoes are tender.
Once the potatoes are done, add the fried fish roe fritters into the curry.
Check for the seasonings. Add more water if requires.
Gravy would be light and runny.
Cook the fritters in the gravy for 3-4 minutes.
Cover and switch off the gas. Let it stand for 15 min around.
Fritters will soak some of the gravy and will become plump and juicy.
Serve the fish roe fritter curry with the steamed white rice.
Are Fish Roe / Fish Egg (Macher Dim) Healthy?
To relish and enjoy dining on fish eggs is to have acquired a taste for their unique flavor and taste. All fish eggs, in general are very nutritious. Fish roes are excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and high concentrated protein. On the down side, fish roes are also rich in cholesterol and can be high in sodium content.
Hence it should be consumed in moderation. In India, this is highly seasonal delicacy, so once in a while indulgence is quite legible.