Katla petir Kalia – Deep-fried Catla fish in spicy tomato gravy

Macher Kalia, is the second most favorite fish after Illish /Hilsa recipes. A Bengali can not only cook and eat fish, but can also dream, talk, walk and feel a fish πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

It is sacrilege if Macher Kalia is not served in any family gatherings, functions or weddings πŸ˜‰ It is a part of traditional Bengali cuisine.

Over the years, this Kalia has undergone several cosmetic surgeries πŸ˜‰ but the basic ingredient has almost remained the same.

This can be cooked with several types of freshwater fish and lately I have tasted this type of gravy used in sea-fish as well.

Usually large sized fresh water fish over 2 kilos are apt for Kalia, because larger the fish, more the fat and more the fat, tastier the gravy will be πŸ˜€ Definitely this recipe is not for health watchers !! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

katla petir kalia

katla petir kalia

In my recent visit to the fish market, I came across this gorgeous chunk of Katla’s peti. Peti means the stomach part of a large sized Katla. I almost drooled at the thick fat lined Katla peti πŸ˜› ……now that’s the Bengali soul in me πŸ˜‰

After the purchase, I could only think about going home making the kalia ❀

Of course, this gravy goes perfectly well with fish steaks also.

Here’s what I did………..


500 grams – Katla peti

3/4 cup – mustard oil

For the gravy :

1/4 cup – onion paste

1 1/4 tsp – ginger paste

1 tsp – garlic paste

2 nos – large sized tomatoes

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – red chili powder

1 tsp – coriander powder

1 tsp – cumin powder

1/4 tsp – garam masala (optional)

1 tbsp – yogurt /curd

1/4 tsp – cumin seeds

1 nos – bay leaf

1″ stick – cinnamon

1 cup – warm water

1 tsp – chopped fresh coriander /cilantro (optional)

salt to taste

For marinade :

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – salt


Wash the fish pieces in running water. Drain the water. In a large bowl, add the tumeric, salt and the fish. Rub the fish well with tumeric and salt and keep it marinated for 10 -12 mins.

Soak the cumin, coriander, red chili and tumeric powder in the yogurt.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till tender. Take it off fire and cool. Once cooled, grind it to paste.

Heat the remaining oil, and deep fry the fish pieces till golden brown. Keep it aside on an absorbent paper.

The remaining oil will be sufficient for the gravy/ curry. If it is extra, one can remove some quantity.

Temper the oil with bay leaf, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Add the onion paste and fry till translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry till fragrant. Add the yogurt soaked spices and fry for 2 mins. Once the oil is released, tip in the tomato puree/ paste and cook for another 2 mins.

Add the warm water, lower the flame, cover and cook for 5 -6 mins.

Slide in the fried fish gently into the simmering gravy. Cover and cook for another 3 mins. Add the garam masala and chopped coriander at this juncture, if one wants to. Take it off fire.

katla petir kalia

katla petir kalia

Serve with steaming,flaky rice.

Happy cooking !! πŸ™‚

Cheers !! πŸ˜€

Note : ** The amount of oil mentioned here is sufficient for the recipe. Incase, one wants to use less oil, pan fry the fish. But the resulting taste will be different.

** One can use refined oil in place of mustard oil. Traditionally, Bengalis use mustard oil.Β 




About andy

hi there.....friends call me Andy :) I am a school teacher by profession. Passionate about reading, some random experimental cooking, some hit 'n' miss photography......and i am a dreamer ;) Thank you for popping by :)
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18 Responses to Katla petir Kalia – Deep-fried Catla fish in spicy tomato gravy

  1. skd says:

    Looks delicious. But in Bengal you can opt for different parts of fish instead of buying an entire one? Thats really interesting.

  2. MiaMusings says:

    Yum yum! Where will I find a fatty fish in joburg among the likes of hake, salmon, etc. 😦

  3. SHAMA KHAN says:

    Ur write-up is so interesting always……i love reading ur stuff as much as i enjoy ur recipes….. πŸ™‚ plz give recipe for fish fingers also

  4. Jayeeta says:

    jibhe jol……. πŸ˜€

  5. This recipe is for me πŸ˜€ Lovely flavors Andy πŸ™‚

  6. petra08 says:

    The colour looks so inviting! I love fish and the flavours sounds delicious πŸ™‚

  7. Ohhhhh…. this sounds so good. I’ve only made baby steps cooking fish. The most I’ve done is salmon phyllo pockets and that was for a very special occasion. The rest of the time, it’s trout or salmon baked in the oven. What kinds of fish can you find at your local fish market?

  8. Pingback: Platter of Love – Fritters, Aloo seddho, Mushur Dal, Katla petir Kalia, Chicken Rezala and Gulab jamun | acbistro

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