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Oil Free Fish from the Soul

Oil Free Fish from the Soul

Oil Free Fish curry

When the doctor advised to eat healthy, her husband was perturbed. Ruma Roy narrates this incident where she describes how she innovated a oil free Macher Jhol and added the secret ingredient called Love

And the doctor said “Hence forth use only 1 table spoon of oil in a day, this is to be followed everyday”

“Only 1 spoon? That’s it?” said my husband

“That will make you fine and fit?” the doctor commanded.

My perturbed husband walks out. Grumbling on his way out “What’s all this about?”

“Well you must listen to the doctor” I said “it will only help you recover.”

“So less oil, I might as well not eat” he said “this way I will be more fit.”

“Don’t act like a child” I said “I will cook you something you will not mind.”

But I knew I had to cook something, which is new and soothing. The rest of the journey, back home, he was mostly silent and no emotions were shown.

Returning home I served him some chhana (cottage cheese) along with a ripe banana. This is what the doctor advised, after he was fully analyzed.  He was quite quiet after he came home. I realized I had to do something to break his gloom.

But how and what do I cook for dinner? I wondered. I had to innovate and make a dish which is a winner. I opened my Bengali Refrigerator, to find fish which I intended to cook later.

I took out a few pieces of Katla maach,(fresh water fish) and marinated it with turmeric, red chili and salt just enough not too much. Then I took some potato along with one ripe organic tomato. I also chopped one large onion, which we got from the Meghalaya Grand Canyon.

One table spoon of oil I poured in the pan, and then I ran to switch off the fan. Electricity is not free, it come with a cost you see.

When I came back the pan was hot, so I fried the fish before they rot. Once they were done, I kept them aside and grabbed a pan (a leaf eaten with betelnut).

In the same pan I put in lots of water, added turmeric and some red chili powder. I almost forgot ‘salt to taste’ or else the dish would be a complete waste.

Once it started boiling I added the potato along with chopped onions the chopped tomato. Soon it was the right consistency I added the fish to make it super tasty.

Now it was time to cook the rice, I also thought I’ll make some fries. But then I realize one spoon of oil or else will have to pay high praise. So I skipped the fries and set the table, to serve dinner for my husband who looked adorable.

He looked sad when he came, as if eating is all lame. I smiled when I served him food, I knew he will like it and he will feel good. I served him some rice and the curry. To be honest I was in a hurry, to see his reaction on the curry.

His eyes lit up when he tasted, so it was a hit and my effort not wasted. He asked me “How have you made it, it is class above”

“I have added the secret ingredient called love”

 “A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe.”
– Thomas Keller



See Also

Katla Fish/Any fresh water fish: 4 Peaces

Turmeric powder : 2 Tea spoon

Red Chili Powder : 2 Tea spoon

Mustard Oil : 1 Table Spoon

Onion : 1 large chopped

Potato : 2 peace diced

Tomato : 1 peace chopped

Salt : To taste

Water : 3 cups


  1. Marinate fish with salt turmeric and red chili powder.
  2. Fry the fish in one table spoon of oil and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan add the water along with turmeric and red chili.
  4. Once it boils add potato onions and tomato.
  5. Once the raw smell goes add fried fish.
  6. Boil for 5-8 minutes and dish is ready to be served.
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