#BengaliCuisine – Fish Talk – Chital

Every time I come home to Ma there is a huge list of fish curries that I need to tick off my list. Well, Bengalis and fish, you know the drill. So, whether a week-long or a month-long break, there are always fish curries I need to devour. I don’t know what it is but I just cannot go back to Bangalore without sampling, savoring and gorging on all of my favorite fishes cooked to perfection in all sorts of different gravies by Ma. Illish to Boval to Chingri, the list is endless really. By the way, I’m at my Mom’s as I write this.

Let’s talk about Chital today.


Chital or Knifefish ( atleast I think that’s what it’s called in English, correct me if I’m wrong please ) is one such fish which I absolutely must have no matter what. There are so many types of curries you can make with it which probably makes it extra special. Added to that the fact that I can’t prepare most of those is one of the many reasons of my insistence on having it when at mom’s.

So, as I was saying, there is a variety of curries you can make with this fish. One of those being Chital Macher Muitha or Chital er Kola-r Torkari. In English, Fish Kofta Curry perhaps, but not quite. Calling it a kofta curry over simplifies and generalises this dish which doesn’t seem right to me. So, I don’t know what you would call it in English, let’s leave it at that.


Chital Macher Muitha is actually quite a laborious preparation but worth all the effort; one of our family favorites from Ma’s kitchen. You actually use a specific part of the fish to prepare this dish. Now that I think about it, different parts of this fish can actually be cooked in different ways. So, one fish and you can have for yourself at least three different dishes on the same day. Wonderful, isn’t it?

Maybe I should ask her to jot down all her recipes in a book. That would be a treasure trove indeed. And one day perhaps I’ll learn the tricks to cooking this fish to perfection as well. Till then, Ma’s kitchen it is.

Tell me, is there a fish which comes to your mind after reading this, one which can be cooked in several different ways just like this one?


8 thoughts on “#BengaliCuisine – Fish Talk – Chital

  1. Had Muitha once, long back, at an aunt’s place and it was absolutely delicious! Fish is a favourite, Nabanita and I too enjoy savouring Ma’s cooking when she comes visiting here. Not sure if I can tell you about my cooking but from Ma’s kitchen, there could be a possibility :D. I usually buy fish that comes cleaned and sliced/cut, so I can straightaway proceed to wash and cook it and consequently, my repertoire is very limited. I’m getting there slowly for sure, thanks to my son who’s crazy about any fish (unlike me!) Your post has just inspired me to start writing about some of my fish curries too!


  2. I look forward to your food posts, especially the seafood ones. I’m a die-hard sea-foodie! The fish in the picture looks so delectable. 🙂


  3. I’ve never eaten (or prepared) fish. (I know — what the hell is wrong with me?) But I think it’s a great idea to get her to write all of the recipes down. What a precious book that would be.


  4. Everytime you talk about fish, my mouth waters! The first time I had a Bengali Fish curry was when I visited my husband in his Regiment for the first time. His senior officer’s wife sent over lunch for us and then I tasted the Mustard fish curry. Oh, it was heavenly. Your fish food posts are my favorite ❤


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