Tenga (Sour) Fish Curry

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Tenga is an authentic Bengali Fish Curry which is sour in taste and is very popular as a palate cleanser at the end of a Bengali banquet which can consist of  between 5 – 7 different curries (or more, I’m being serious!). I have fond childhood memories of drinking tenga as a soup, most often my mum would cook this curry using tomatoes and rather than eat the curry with rice, we would pour the thin watery curry into cups and enjoy drinking it, it was always so delicious! There are many ingredients with which Tenga can be cooked, the only requirement is that the main ingredient is sour; tomatoes, raw mango (dried raw mango is also used and is known as Ami in Bengali), Indian jujube (known as boroi in Bengali) and what I’m using today, Jolpai (known as Belfoi in Bengali), are just some of the many ingredients people use for this recipe. There are many other ingredients but these are some of the most popular ones.

The curry itself doesn’t require a lot of experience and I personally think this is an ideal recipe for someone who is a novice at cooking fish curries as there is plenty of room for error! Kids LOVE this recipe, I’m not even kidding, I used to cook this for my children at least one a fortnight when they were little. Then one day they grew up and discovered MEAT and out of the window went all of that sour fishy goodness! So now when I decide to cook this, it is usually when I’m having guests over or I’m craving it really badly (which is very rare for me). My husband often does the Bengali grocery shopping and being a big fan of tenga fruits (sour fruits), he will return with whatever Bengali sour fruit is in season. This was one such occasion and being presented with Jolpai, I decided it was the perfect excuse to cook this in a curry and share it with you all. If your mouth is watering after watching the video, jump in the kitchen and get cooking!

You will need: for Tenga (Sour) Fish Curry

1 small onion
6 cloves of garlic
700g of fish of your choice (you may use less fish if you prefer, I like having a lot of fish in my tenga)
1 tsp salt (adjust to your preference)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
6 – 7 Belfoi (known as Jolpai in English)
water as required
2 tbsp lemon juice
fresh coriander for garnish


Tenga Sour Fish Curry

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Comments 8

  1. M

    I can cook tenga curry but I was so bored so thought I’d try a new recipe and masha’Allah this was so amazing, so lovely that even my mum enjoyed it who is hard to please lol! She was impressed I found a new way lol! Jazakillah Khair sis xx

    23 January, 2018
  2. Parbin

    Tastes amazing – first time I’ve cooked with Belfoi and so easy

    26 November, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen

      I’m so glad you found it so easy to cook with belfoi! x

      26 November, 2017
  3. Lina

    First time trying this and it came out just like my mums. Used tomatoes instead. I made this for my 7 month baby as i’m introducing adult food to him. He loved it. Thank you for sharing.

    7 November, 2017
  4. Johura

    I just made this for me and hubby. He’s yet to taste it but I found it so delicious. I added a little extra lemon juice cos I love mine really tangy. I’m a new cook so getting this right and tasting like home just made my day. Thank you so much for sharing. May Allaah reward you. Ameen

    19 September, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen

      Ameen. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it so much! x

      20 September, 2017
  5. Naheda

    Hey love the video!! i was wondering how you would make tomato Tenga Fish Curry.
    new at cooking.


    12 May, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen

      You would make it in the same way, just replace the Belfoi with tomatoes and follow the recipe through. x

      12 May, 2017

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