Rui Sauce

(Bengali Rohu Fish Curry in Tomato Sauce)

Written by Nasrul Eam

I do not honestly know how many times I have eaten the Bengali freshwater fish curry, but I know there have been many. I was born that part of the world, spent my childhood, and believe me I do really know how they taste like. Being there and eating it with the local is a lifetime experience that put a smile on your face.

Often the cooked fish curries are tender and soft, and having absorbed the wonderful flavors of the local spices. Rohu (locally known as Rui fish) is one of the most common fish for Bengali cuisine. And for some this is a must have item when they invite someone to dinner.

Rohu fish curry on top of steamed rice

Rohu fish curry on top of steamed rice

Though it is very easy to cook, I got this recipe from my mom, who always makes this absolutely delicious. And if you follow her recipe below, I guarantee it will taste great too.


14 slices Rohu fish (around ½ Kilo fish)1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed power2 teaspoons ginger paste
1 ½ teaspoon cumin seed power1 teaspoon garlic paste
½ cup chopped onions½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup onion paste4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 ½ teaspoon kosher saltFresh green coriander leaves.

How to Make It Delicious


1. Generously season the slices of fish with salt and turmeric power. Set aside for 5 minutes.
2. In a pan over medium-high heat, warm the 3 tablespoons oil then shallow fry the fish slices on both sides until they are slightly browned. Transfer the fish to a plate and set aside.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the chopped onion and sauté until they are lightly browned. Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon coriander power, 1 ½ teaspoon cumin seed power, 2 teaspoons ginger paste, and 1 teaspoon garlic paste. Stir and cook the species until oil starts separating, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Add two cups of water and salt, only when the oil starts separating from the species. Bring to a boil and then add shallow fried fish and ½ cup tomato sauce. Always keep the heat medium-low when you add the fish to the curry base, it brings all the flavors and the scent of the fish and species that we use.
5. Add slit green chilies and cook on a low heat until fish is cooked and oil starts floating on top.
6. To finish, serve hot on top of steamed rice, and garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Bengali Cuisine

Preparation Time
10-15 minutes

Cooking Time
40-50 minutes

Difficulty Level

Ingredient Availability
Almost everywhere
Or in Indian stores

Main Course

6 people


You may find some people use the mustard paste and red chili powder to this dish. Obliviously that tastes a bit different than this one, and I believe only the local may able to eat. Moving to the southern parts of Bangladesh you may find the amount of chili increases as the people are used to it. We use the tomato sauce instead, which bring the dish to life with color and taste delicious for everyone.

Moving to the West Bengal, India there are people who use less amount of turmeric power when seasoning it. It’s up to you how you want to make this dish.

To make it authentic, you may use the mustard oil when shallow frying the fish, however, many people are not used to with the scent of that oil.

Remember the taste of a dish hugely depends on salt. It is wise to measure the salt with your senses. In time, you will develop a tactile memory for just the right amount.

Last and most important before eating this wonderful dish, don’t forget to begin with the name of Almighty, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, for giving us the opportunity to enjoy His bounty, and as always, you can feel the soul of your dish when share it with someone you love.