Fish Kalia | Authentic Bengali Fish Kalia / Fish Curry Recipe
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
  • Firm white fish – 6 steaks [I used the fresh water fish Rohu]
  • Onion – 2, medium
  • Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
  • Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 & ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 tsp
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Mixed melon seeds a.k.a. Chaarmagaz – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Tomato puree – ½ cup
  • Vegetable or mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Add half a teaspoon each of salt and turmeric powder to the fish steaks and coat all over well.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet and add enough oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, add the fish steaks carefully into it. Fry them till they run deep brown. Take out and set aside on a kitchen towel to absorb excess water.
  3. While the fish is being sautéed, prepare other ingredients – make a smooth paste of the onions and set aside.
  4. Mix the chaarmagaz with little water and grind to a smooth paste. Mix this melon seeds paste with the yogurt and combine well adding a little water if necessary. The yogurt mixture should be smooth; else it may curdle while adding to the sauce. Set side.
  5. Once the fish steaks are all fried, remove the extra oil from the skillet leaving only about 2 tablespoons in it.
  6. Add the onion paste and garlic paste to the hot oil and saute till lightly brown. Then add the ginger paste and continue cooking on medium flame.
  7. Now in a small bowl, mix the turmeric powder and red chili powder with very little amount of water and mix well.
  8. When the onion-ginger-garlic has turned golden brown, add this spice powder mix. Add sugar and salt to taste. Keep stirring on medium high heat.
  9. Next add the tomato puree and saute till the oil surfaces to the top.
  10. Add a cup of water and also the mixture of yogurt & melon seeds paste. Keep stirring so that the yogurt doesn't curdle. Add more water if the sauce looks too thick. Bring to boil on high heat. When the oil surfaces again, the gravy is done.
  11. Finally add the fried fish steaks to the sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes so that all the flavors of the spices infuse the fish well.
  12. After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary. If you feel the sauce is too thin, you can reduce the gravy by boiling it uncovered on high heat for couple of minutes.
  13. Once done, turn off the flame and sprinkle the garam masala over it. Mix well and serve your fish kalia hot with steamed Basmati rice. Enjoy!
Recipe by Flavor Quotient at