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Bengali Seafood Broth – Macher Jhol

Bengali Seafood Broth - Macher Jhol
Written by SamsonLee

Bengali Seafood Broth – Macher Jhol is an Indian seafood curry from the state of Bengal. It is packed with Scallops, Prawns, Lobster, Squid and Halibut which is cooked in a spicy broth. There’re a lot of ingredients but the flavour and aroma from this dish will have your family and friends drooling. Also, the broth is full of lovely soft potatoes, aubergines and cherry tomatoes that add body and colour to the dish.  Bengali Seafood Broth – Macher Jhol is quite spicy.  Also, there is prep work needed on the Seafood and Vegetables for this recipe. This is shown in the recipe notes and is why the Prep Time is high.  Finally, this is an excellent vegetarian dish that is full of flavour and a kick and ideal to serve as a main dish.

Bengali Seafood Broth - Macher Jhol

Bengali Seafood Broth – Macher Jhol

Macher Jhol is a traditional Bengali Seafood Stew which is very spicier than normal and served with rice. This is superb.
4.73 from 79 votes
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Chillies, Herbs, Seafood, Soup, Spice, Vegetables
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 370kcal


The Seafood

The Broth


  • Wash the seafood and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Sprinkle the seafood, potatoes, aubergine and tomatoes with salt and vegetable oil.
  • Sprinkle over the sugar and spices, cover and place in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile for the broth, heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat.
  • Once hot, add the cardamom pods, peppercorns, bay leaves, onion seeds and fennel seeds and let them crackle.
  • Add the onions and cook over a high heat until they are golden-brown, this should take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the turmeric, chilli powder and cumin and gently fry for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and chillies and gently fry for 3 minutes.
  • Add the fish stock, salt and sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the coriander and lemon juice and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pass the broth through a sieve and stir in the ground cardamom. Keep warm.
  • Heat a large non-stick pan.
  • Add the seafood mixture, except the lobster and squid.
  • Cook over a moderate heat for 2 minutes.
  • Add the lobster and cook for another minute or so.
  • Add the squid rings and as they colour, turn the mixture over in the pan.
  • Cook the other side for another 2 minutes until the seafood and vegetables are just cooked.
  • Remove from the pan and place in a large serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the coriander cress and pour over the broth. Serve immediately with basmati rice.


The seafood and vegetables need to be prepared in advance such as Scallops need cleaning and taken out of their shells, Prawns  shells removed and deveined, Squid cleaned and cut into rings, Halibut cut into 2 inch cubes and the lobster cut into 1 inch cubes. These sizes help with the cooking times. The potatoes should be peeled, boiled and cut into 1 inch cubes and the Aubergines needs to be sliced into 1/2 inch pieces.


Sodium: 1957mg | Sugar: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 627mg | Cholesterol: 36mg | Calories: 370kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Fat: 31g | Protein: 16g | Carbohydrates: 7g