Muri Ghonto (Fish Stew)

  • prep time20 min
  • total time 65 min
  • serves 2

This hearty fish stew takes an ancient Indian food tradition and adds Newfoundland influences for a uniquely Canadian dish.
Courtesy of Sanchita Chakraborty, St. John’s, N.L.

11 Ratings
Directions for: Muri Ghonto (Fish Stew)


1 large fish head, cleaned (cod is good)

1 Tbsp (15 mL) turmeric, divided

pinch each salt, pepper, fresh cumin powder, pinch phoron (found in ethnic specialty food stores or South Asian markets)

3 Tbsp (45 mL) vegetable oil (approx)

2 leaves bay leaves

1 stick small cinnamon stick (size of pinkie finger)

2 red sun-dried chilies

1 - 1 ½ large onions, finely chopped

2 cloves cloves garlic, chopped

pinch chili powder (optional)

1 ½ cups (375 mL) freshly boiled water

½ cup (125 mL) dried lentils, soaked and cooked as per package instructions

half tomato, chopped

squeeze lemon juice

fresh coriander leaves

cooked white or brown basmati rice


1. Marinate fish head with ½ tbsp (7 mL) turmeric and the salt and pepper for 10 minutes.

2. In pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Fry fish head on both sides until browned, about 10 minutes total. With spoon, break apart fish head. Set aside.

3. In separate pan over medium heat, heat enough oil to cover bottom of pan. Add 2 pinches panch phoron, cumin, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and chilies; fry for about 5 minutes. Add onions, stirring, until onions are slightly brown. Add garlic; fry for 5 minutes. Add chili powder, if using, and remaining turmeric; fry, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture is dry consistency. Add ½ cup (125 mL) water and fish head; simmer, stirring. Add lentils and remaining water; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and generous squeeze of lemon; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice.

See more: Fish, Fry, Indian, Great Canadian Cookbook, GCC potluck, GCC soup, Bollywood jig, GCC seafood


More Recipes You'll Love