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Tel Koi: Bengali Recipe For Jamai Shashti

Tel Koi is a dish that is rarely heard of by people who are non-Bengalis. It is not a malai curry or jhol that is popular in urban legends of Bengali food. So, if you are Bong with a vengeance, only then would you crave for the Tel Koi recipe. The most important part of this recipe is the fish itself. Koi mach is a sweet water fish that is not very easy to find because it must be bought alive.


However, for special occasions like Jamai Shashti, you will make an attempt to find the best fish. That is why, it makes sense to share a Bengali Tel Koi recipe for fish lovers as the special festival for the Bong sons-in-law is just coming up. The specialty of Tel Koi recipe is that the gravy is cooked completely in oil without using too much water.

But when you get down to the details, this Bengali fish curry is rather easy to make. You have to use minimum spices and it gets done quickly as well.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  1. Koi fish- 4
  2. Green chillies- 4
  3. Kalounji- 1/2 tsp
  4. Curd- 1/2 cup
  5. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  6. Red Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
  7. Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
  8. Oil- 4 tbsp
  9. Salt- as per taste


  • Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt. Leave it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. When it is warm enough, add the fish.
  • Fry the fish for 5-7 minutes until it gets crisp. Then, take the fried fish out of the pan and keep it aside.
  • Season the leftover oil with kalounji and green chillies.
  • Now add turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt to curd and beat it well.
  • Pour this spiced up curd in the oil and lower the flame.
  • Let the curry cook till it starts oozing water.
  • Add the fried fish; cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until the oil separates from the gravy.

Tel koi is an oily gravy and it is best enjoyed with steamed rice. You can have this curry with Bengali pulao if you want.