In Begnali “macher” means fish and “johl” means sauce or curry. This Bengali style fish curry is easier than you might think and takes really no time at all, making it a perfect midweek meal.
Mustard oil is typical to Bengali cooking so it is worth trying to get your hands on a good quality one if you can – it will add a distinctive flavour that will match the flavours of the Panch Phoron. All good Asian supermarkets will sell tamarind pulp but If you can’t get your hands on it then simply substitute it for equal parts lime juice and sugar. If you’re unlikely enough not to live near a good Asian supermarket then it is worth ordering yourself some tamarind pulp online as it is a really great ingredient that can sit in your fridge for a long time. It can be used in dressings, glazes, marinades and in curries, broths or sauces to add an addictive tang.