Macher Kofta Curry

(Bengali Fish Kofta Curry with Onion Gravy)

Written by Nasrul Eam

You can find it in varieties of cuisines – Azerbijanian, Balkan, Pakistani, Afghani, Indian, Iranian, Arab, as well as Turkish, but when it finally reached the Bengal, where hundreds of rivers crisscross the land, fish was the ultimate choice for Kofta. It transformed the dish into a special one, something of its own, for the well-off families of Bengal.

With the rich spicy gravy and the finest taste of fresh water fish, Bengali Fish Kofta Curry with Onion Gravy is a perfect lunch or dinner main course serving with steamed or savory Indian rice.

It was during my university days, in particular on my birthday, when my family and I decided to invite few of my close friends over dinner. Among the many dishes we cooked, this fish kofta curry became the most favorite of the day. There is no need to mention, my mom made it absolutely delicious. So, to get her exact recipe, I requested her few days ago to cook it again for all us. Here is her recipe with instructions.

Bengali Fish Kofta Curry with Onion Gravy

Rohu fish curry on top of steamed rice


For Kofta
8-10 slices of pangash fish
(You may use rohu or any big fish without the bones and skin.)
½ teaspoon cumin seed paste
½ cup steamed rice½ teaspoon green cardamom paste
½ teaspoons ginger paste½ teaspoon cinnamon paste
½ teaspoon garlic paste1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red chili paste4 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon coriander seed pasteFresh green coriander leaves.
For Curry
1 cup chopped onions½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons ginger paste2 tablespoons tomato sauce
½ teaspoon garlic paste4 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon coriander seed paste2 teaspoons onion paste
½ teaspoon cumin seed paste4 green Chilies

How to Make It Delicious


Making the Kofta
1. Discard bones and skin from the slices of fish and make it into a paste and place it in a wide pot.
2. Take the ½ cup steamed rice make it into a paste.
3. Add the paste rice to the fish paste and then add ½ teaspoons ginger paste, ½ teaspoon garlic paste, ½ teaspoon red chili paste, ½ teaspoon coriander seed paste, ½ teaspoon cumin seed paste, ½ teaspoon green cardamom paste, ½ teaspoon cinnamon paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and fresh green coriander leaves. Knead to a mixture and leave the mixture coarse for a rustic texture. Roll them into small balls.
4. In a pan over medium-high heat, warm the ½ cup cooking oil then fry the fish balls until they are browned. Transfer the fried fish balls (kofta) to a plate and set aside.
For Making the Curry
1. In another pan over medium-low heat, warm the 4 tablespoons oil then add the chopped onion and sauté until they are lightly browned. Set aside 1/4th of the lightly browned onion into a plate for decoration.
2. In ½ cup of water, add ½ teaspoons ginger paste, ½ teaspoon garlic paste, ½ teaspoon coriander seed paste, ½ teaspoon cumin seed paste, 2 teaspoons onion paste, ½ teaspoon salt and make it into a spice paste.
3. Add the spice paste to the pan and stir and cook the species until oil starts separating, about 2-3 minutes.
4. When the oil starts separating from the species, add the fried fish balls (kofta) and 2 tablespoon tomato sauce. Reduce the heat to low and keep it for 2-3 minutes to bring the flavors and the scent of the fish kofta and species that we use.
5. To finish, serve the fish kofta curry on a plate and garnish with green chilies and lightly browned onion, which we set aside earlier.

Bengali Cuisine

Preparation Time
25-30 minutes

Cooking Time
25-30 minutes

Difficulty Level

Ingredient Availability
Almost everywhere
Or in Indian stores

Main Course

6 people


The list of the ingredients for Fish Kofta Curry and the instruction might look too long, but believe me, making it is absolutely fun and worth your every minute.

This is the basic kofta recipe, you may add yogurt or coconut milk along with or without the tomato sauce into the curry to enhance the taste.

Remember the taste of a dish hugely depends on salt. It is wise to measure the salt with your senses. In time, you will develop a tactile memory for just the right amount.

Last and most important before eating this wonderful dish, don’t forget to begin with the name of Almighty, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, for giving us the opportunity to enjoy His bounty, and as always, you can feel the soul of your dish when share it with someone you love.