Jika Maas or Fish & Ridge Gourd Curry

It never occurred to me to put up a recipe for this dish. I mean, this is what we have every other day! I had clicked the photographs suddenly on a whim one day long time back and then thought “What? Really?” And then decided not to post them. 

Now that I had been sick for so long, I hardly cooked anything new (left that to my Ma) and hence there has been no food updates on the blog. I went through my folders, scouring for any recipe that I may have overlooked and true enough – there lay my neglected, abandoned pictures of Jika Maas or fish and ridge gourd curry. So, that’s it then, we shall be making a very common Assamese fish curry today. 

I am sure every household has their own way of making it, but I only know of two ways. You can either add tomatoes to the dish for the requisite sourness or you can add a generous dash of lime juice at the end. My in-laws prefer it the tomato way while I have had it more with lime juice at my maternal home (maybe because we grow our own lime). Some even prefer to mix both tomatoes and lime juice, but I think that dilutes the refreshing citrus-y tang of lime. 

Ridge Gourd (Picture courtesy: Google images)

I love ridge gourd a lot, although its uneven skin is quite irksome to peel. The soft, tender flesh of the gourd lends sweetness to the dish which is balanced by the sourness of tomatoes/ lime juice. The best part of the dish is – it is very healthy! I never thought I would say that, but yes, this mild fish curry is loaded with nutrition and devoid of any heavy spices. Now, don’t run away!  This is an amazing comfort dish and whenever we feel we need to have something light, fresh and invigorating, we turn towards this simple fish curry.

Here’s the recipe:

Jika Maas or Fish & Ridge Gourd Curry


4-6 steaks of firm, white fish (I had Rohu)

1 large onion, thinly sliced 
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger-garlic paste
½ teaspoon each of turmeric and cumin powder
½ teaspoon panch phoran (or you can make mix together cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and fennel seeds)
2 small tomatoes, chopped (or 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice if you prefer that instead)
1 big bowl of ridge gourd, chopped into medium sized pieces
Vegetable oil for cooking (I used mustard)
Salt to taste


Marinate the fish steaks in a little turmeric powder and salt for around 10-15 minutes. Then, lightly fry the steaks and keep aside.

In a kadai or deep pan, heat oil and throw in the panch phoran to splutter. Next, tip in the sliced onions, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Stir well till the onions turn brown and the ginger-garlic lose their rawness. Add the turmeric powder and cumin powder with a little sprinkling of water so that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Now, time to add the tomatoes if you are using them. Let them mush up quite a bit before adding the ridge gourd pieces. Add salt, lower the heat and cover the vessel so that the vegetable is cooked.

Once the ridge gourd is cooked, pour in two cups of water. Let it come to a gentle boil and carefully slide in the fish steaks into the pan. Check for salt again, cover and let the curry simmer for around 5 minutes. And we are done! Oh, in case you decided to do away with tomatoes, just add the tablespoon of lime juice, stir and serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!


  1. Welcome back girl!! I missed you...hope you are fit n fine now!! What can I say, your recipes amaze me! You make this almost every day? This is a common Assamese dish...well must e, but it's eye-popping-out and mouth-watering for me! Never thought of the combo of fish and ridge gourd...so healthy!!

    Your curry leaves fish recipe is still my favorite and I bet when i try this one it'll top my list too!

    1. Thank you so much, Aditi! I am fine now and so I can eat loads hahaha! I had run through your Kerala trip post on my mobile and the food pics were too good!

  2. I must try this out. Interesting combo of veg and non veg.

  3. I love this dish..Generally I don't like Jika but when it is prepared with Fish I just loved it..

    1. Yes, I know...best part is you get Jika any time of the year in B'lore!


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