Catla Maacher Rosha (Carp in Tomato Gravy)

Of the many famous river fishes that us Bongs favour, my favourite is the ‘Catla’; scientifically called Catla Catla, this fish belongs to the Carp family, and is slightly broader than the silver-hued ‘Rohu’ or Rui, with a red-pinkish tinge to it. Catla is sweeter and tastier than Rui, at least in my books, and I love having simple curries of it. I also favour the ‘peti’, or the fatty belly of the fish 😛 but these days, I’m being a saint and refraining from having it..

This recipe is absolutely, gorgeously simple, and was taught by my mashi (maternal aunt), who fed it to my folks just a few days back. So, inspired by that, and by the need to have a light, succulent curry in this heat, I made this ‘jhatphat’ dish today, for lunch.

Catla'r Tomato Rassa 4

The best part about this dish is it utter simplicity. You need two ingredients only! The flavour of the curry comes from the fragrant nigella seeds, or kalo jeera/kalonji, and a garnish of chopped coriander gives it a lift like no other!

Catla'r Tomato Rassa 1

Catla Maacher Rosha 


  • Catla (Carp or any sweet water fish) – 4 pieces
  • Tomatoes – 2, diced
  • Nigella seeds/Kalonji/Kalo jeera – 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander – a handful
  • Green chilies – 2, slit
  • Mustard oil – for deep frying fish
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric – for marinating fish


  1. Clean the fish, pat dry and apply salt and turmeric all over.
  2. Keep aside for 10 mins, and then heat a deep-bottomed vessel, preferably a kadhai.
  3. Heat mustard oil, enough to fry four fishes (about 2 tbsp should be enough)
  4. Deep fry the fish until golden brown and crisp (should take 2 minutes on either side ideally, on a medium high heat)
  5. In the same oil, add the kalonji seeds, and let them sputter.
  6. Add the slit green chilies and diced tomatoes.
  7. Season with salt and turmeric, cover and let tomatoes soften.
  8. Once tomatoes are soft, add the fish, a cup of water and the chopped coriander.
  9. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until some of the gravy has reduced and seeped into fish (makha makha, or rassa-type)
  10. Serve with steamed rice 🙂 

Catla'r Tomato Rassa 2


8 Comments Add yours

  1. this curry sounds yum! I love sea food, and I’m sure I will love this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Freda 😀 You can try this with any sea fish actually.. and for a change, add curry leaves!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh sea fish !! The only ones easily available here are salmon, tuna, mahi mahi etc! I just miss all those pomfrets, surmai, rawas, bombay duck… arrrgghh i can go on and on 😦
        I hardly cook much fish here, mostly prawns & crabs!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oooo I know what you mean. I used to eat surmai and rawas and bangda in Mumbai.. here, not at all.. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are in Kolkatta right now ??


      4. Yep… lots of river fish, but very little sea fish 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Maitreyee says:

    Darun lovonio.😋

    Liked by 1 person

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