Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fish recipes...

Puti machher tok / ambol :::
This is one of the East-Bengal specialties what is very unique than other famous dishes. I had found a big packet of Puti or Swamp barb (English name) in freezer and with Purnadi's suggestion I have one more delicious recipe in my collection with very less time and effort. 
10 nos. small fish, cleaned 
1tbsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
one cup tamarind pulp,
2 nos. dry red chilli,
a pinch of mustard seeds,
salt to taste,
oil to fry, preferably mustard oil.

1. Marinate fishes with half of turmeric powder and salt. Mix tamarind pulp, red chilli powder and turmeric powder in a bowl adding water and keep aside.
2. Heat sufficient oil, fry fishes until almost crispy. Once done, keep aside.
3. Add mustard seeds and red chillies in oil. When seeds splutter, add tamarind water to the pan and let it boil. Then add fried fishes to the pan and adjust salt. Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes and then switch off the gas. Serve hot with plain steaming hot rice. You can garnish with coriander leaves too.
Kajoli macher bori jhal ::::

Kajoli machh is sweet water small fish easily available in India and Bangladesh. These fishes are very sweet in taste and nowadays we get it in frozen sections of Indian groceries all over the world. In rainy season, when my mom just before serving dinner used to fry these small fishes, the whole house filled with nice aroma making us more hungry to have that with piping hot plain rice and daal. The mustard paste curry with fried lentil dumplings or what we say bori in Bangla tempered with  nigella seeds or kalojeere is another delicious preparation from the eastern part of Bengal or now Bangladesh. After a long time, I got the idea to prepare this dish seeing Jayeeta's recipe in one of food community of Facebook.

10 nos. kajoli machh / any small size fish eg. Sardines,
6-7 nos. lentil dumplings / bori, 
5 nos. green chillies, slit lengthwise,
1 tbsp turmeric powder,
1.4 tbsp red chilli powder,
1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds, soaked for 4-5 hrs
1/4 tsp kalojeere / kalonji / nigella seeds,
salt to taste,
2-4 tbsp oil for frying, preferably mustard oil
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

mustard paste, fried lentil dumplings,fried fish, chopped tomatoes

1. Wash and pat dry fishes and marinate with half of turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside. (See the above pics).
2. Heat oil in the pan , fry the lentil dumpling / bori until it becomes light golden in color. Set aside.
3. Make a smooth paste of mustard seeds and green chillies and turmeric powder in it.
4. Add little more oil in the pan and fry marinated fish lightly. Be careful while frying to avoid breaking. Keep aside once done with all the fishes.
5. In the same pan, add kalojeere / nigella seeds and green chillies. When kalojeere starts spluttering, then add mustard paste with half cup of water and once it starts boiling , add fried fishes. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust salt. 
6. Add fried dumplings / bori to the curry and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Once done, garnish with coriander leaves and little mustard oil and serve hot with hot plain rice.
Here I added diced egg plants / brinjals and chopped tomatoes after adding kalojeere and green chillies. When eggplants are lightly fried then I added mustard paste. This step was optional. 
You can skip mustard paste too. Then , make a watery paste of turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and pour to the pan when kalojeere starts spluttering.

Andhra Chepala Pulusu :::
Chepala pulusu means fish curry in Andhra style has unique taste and aroma. This is one of the traditional Andhra cuisine with tangy tamarind sauce and selective spices. This preparation tastes the best when you eat the next day or after 7-8 hrs. During any good occasions or for special guests, this is a must preparation for Andhra people. First time , I had this preparation in my in-laws house and then I prepare with little modifications with the help of a nice Telugu website Ammaichepindi.

for marination.. 
5-6 pieces of rohu / buffalo / surmai,cleaned and washed
one and half spoons turmeric powder,
2tbsp chilli powder,
salt to taste,
little oil.

for gravy...
4-5 nos. green chillies, slit lengthwise,
8-9 nos. fresh curry leaves,
1 large onion, paste
3 nos. pearl onions/shallots, sliced
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
a pinch of turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
1/2 tsp coriander powder,
a pinch of garam masala powder,
1/2 pkt or big lemon size tamarind,
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
oil for frying.
salt to taste.
1. Clean fish pieces and pat dry. Marinate with all the ingredients mentioned above. Keep aside for 30 mins.
2. Soak tamarind into hot water for 1 hour and squeeze out pulp of it. Mix warm water to the pulp.
3. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan, slightly fry fish pieces on both sides and keep aside.Now add green chillies, curry leaves and sliced pearl onions / shallots. Fry for 2-3 mins and then add onion paste and ginger-garlic paste and fry nice for 5 mins. Once oil starts coming out add all the dry spices adding little water and mix thoroughly and let it cook for 5-7 mins covering the pan. Add half cup warm water.
4. Place all the fish pieces carefully in the pan and cover the lid and let it cook for 5 mins turning slowly once. Let it simmer for 5 more mins on medium flame.
5. Add tamarind pulp on the top of the fish pieces and mix very carefully. Let it simmer on low flame for 10-12 mins or until oil come out and raw smell of tamarind goes off. Be careful while mixing to avoid breaking of fish pieces. Once done, garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.Adjust salt.
This will be tangy and spicy one so adjust your spice level with red chilli powder and green chillies.You can keep some fried curry leaves and green chillies for garnishing. You can use only shallots also. This preparation goes well with Indian fish like rohu or other tough fishes. Sea fishes except buffalo don't go well.

Pomfret baked in yogurt sauce :::
I have come across this famous name, Madhur Jaffrey in cooking world long back but never tried her recipes. I brought pomfret fish for the first time and getting inspired from one of the preparations what I had very recently at one of the dinner parties, I tried this dish and came out really well with very less effort and time. Marinated with yogurt mixed spices and then baked at medium temperature on the top of fried onions makes this preparation really simple and delicious and healthy too. I modified a little according to my taste bud.
for 3 whole fishes...
2-3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil,
1 large onion, finely sliced
salt to taste.
for fish marination..
one and half cup of curd/yogurt, 
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1 tbsp cumin and coriander powder, each
1/2 tbsp black pepper powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala , optional
1/2 tsp grated ginger, fresh
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
few drops of oil,
a pinch of sugar,
salt to taste.

1. Wash and clean fishes and pat dry with napkin. Make two one inch slit on both the sides so that marinated spices can go inside the fish.
2. Preheat the oven at 300F. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients written for marination and let it stand for couple of minutes.
3. Heat oil in a pan and fry sliced onions till the onions become translucent on medium heat. Add salt.
4. In a large baking dish spread fried onion slices and sprinkle black pepper powder on it.
5. Pour half of the yogurt mixed spices over onion slices and then place the fishes on the top of it and pour rest of the mixture on the fishes evenly and sprinkle little oil too. Cover with aluminum foil or oven-proof lid. Bake for 30-35 mins or until fish is cooked enough.
6. Once done, sprinkle little oil in a pan and transfer the liquid from baking dish to the pan and simmer on medium flame to make thick. Keep the fishes warm and pour over the top of the fishes and serve hot. 
If you wish, you can whisk butter at the last step for richness. Add salt and pepper to the sauce too. You can do the same process on the stove-top too on low-medium flame.
Rui in creamy tomato gravy ::
Rui or Rohu is one of our favorite fish in Bengal or other north-east parts of India and my favorite too. Whenever I get a chance to do shopping for fish I always pick Rui and then like to prepare different dishes with this fish. Suchididi , my best adviser after my mom in Bengali cooking shared this recipe in one of popular Facebook group long time back and I followed her with slight modification and gave a nice fancy name.
Ingredients :::
6-7 medium size fish pieces,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
a pinch of whole cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp black pepper powder,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
1/3 tsp of cumin /  jeera powder,
2 big juicy tomatoes , sliced
a pinch of garam masala powder and sugar,
3 tsp of yogurt / full cream (optional),
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing,
salt to taste,
oil to fry.

1. First wash and clean fish pieces and marinate with turmeric powder and salt for half an hour.
2. Fry all the fish pieces lightly from both the sides and keep aside.
3. Take a medium size bowl and mix red chilli powder,cumin powder, turmeric powder and pepper powder adding yogurt or full cream and 4-5 tsp of water and keep aside. Make a smooth paste of tomato slices too.
4. Now in the same pan , heat oil and sprinkle sugar and whole cumin seeds and saute for sometime and then add ginger-garlic paste and then add spice mix what you kept aside. 
5. Fry nicely all the ingredients unless oil separates on medium flame. If needed sprinkle some water. Once done, add tomato paste and let it cook for 7 minutes or until nice aroma comes out.
6. Now add two small cups of warm water and let it boil and then add fried fish pieces and let it simmer for at least 10 minutes. 
7. Sprinkle garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice.
If you want to make this preparation little more rich in taste then add cashew-nuts and poppy seeds paste while adding tomato paste. But I cook this dish in simple way. You can use clarified butter / ghee for cooking but I prefer mustard oil for this dish.

Bhapa Ilish :::

Bhapa Ilish aka steamed Hilsa is one of most popular dish or you can call it signature dish in Bengali community all over the world. I think every Bengali has had this dish at least once at home and we just love it. My mom used to prepare with fresh and big pieces of Hilsa in dinner time and I never touched any thing else except bhapa ilish and hot steamed rice. First time here in USA I tried to cook and it came just perfect. I brought steel tiffin box from India this time specially to cook steamed ilish. This is my mom's recipe which she learned from her mom.

Ingredients :::
5-6 nos. of medium steak size Hilsa /  Ilish pieces, 
8 nos. green chillies,
one small cup of yellow mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp of turmeric powder,
salt to taste,
a pinch of sugar,
3 tsp of mustard oil.
1. First soak mustard seeds in water for 2 hrs and then make a smooth paste with salt and four green chillies. Add turmeric powder,little oil and sugar to the paste.
2. Wash fish fillets or pieces nicely and then take fish pieces in a big bowl and pour mustard paste onto the fish pieces and toss slowly so that all the fish pieces nicely get coated with all the ingredients.
3. Now take a steel bowl or aluminum bowl or tray and apply one tsp of mustard oil at the bottom of the bowl or tray and then place all the fish pieces in a single or double layer and pour extra mustard paste and slitted green chillies on the top of the fish pieces. And lastly, drizzle rest of  mustard oil all over the fish pieces.
4. Cover the bowl with a lid or if you are using aluminum tray, cover with foil tightly and then take a deep heavy bottom pan or pressure cooker and fill water up to 3/4th part of the vessel and place the covered bowl of fish pieces inside the big vessel carefully and then cover the big pan / close the pressure cooker and let it cook for 15-20 minutes on slow flame. Once done, let it stand for another 10-12 minutes.
5. Now open the lid / foil and then serve hot with plain steamed rice. 
I used steel tiffin box and large pan where I kept the box putting some weight on the lid and then cooked it. You can use conventional or microwave oven also. In that case, you take medium size aluminum foil tray or oven safe bowl and then do the same process. If you are cooking in conventional oven then do it at 350F for 10-15 minutes. If you don't like the pungent smell of mustard seeds, then add grated coconut or poppy seeds or both while grinding mustard seeds. Mustard oil is must here to have the flavor and taste. Do not use any other oil. 

Masor tenga.. Assam cuisine::

Mas or fish has very important role in our meals in Assam, my native land. People are very simple living and their food is also very simple with very less spices. We use tomatoes a lot in our food and another ingredient called thekera or mangosteen as souring agent for curries and other dishes. Mangosteen , a tropical fruit , is grown in the Southeast Asian countries. This fruit is used as raw or can be sun-dried and preserved. It is green in the beginning and get purple when ripe and become almost reddish black when dried. While coming here in USA, I generally brings dried ones with me to use for daal or fish curry for souring agent.
Ingredients :::
4 -5 nos. big fish pieces,
2 nos. green chilli, slitted,
one small piece of thekera,
one big tomato, cut into four pieces,
a pinch of Panch Phoron,
a pinch of red chilli powder,
1/3 tsp of turmeric powder,
oil for frying, preferably mustard oil,
salt to taste,

1. First, soak thekera in warm water. A piece of thekera is enough for serving one bowl of curry. So use how much you want.
2. Marinate fish pieces with turmeric and salt and fry them lightly in little oil and keep them aside.
3. Boil tomatoes with little salt until soft and then peel off the skin and clean seeds and mash boiled tomatoes a little with hand or spatula. Keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a kadai / wok, add panch foron and green chillies and saute for half a minute. Then add mashed tomatoes, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.Let it boil and then add the cup of water with THEKERA. Add half cup of water if needed. Let it boil for 5 minutes and then fried fish pieces and simmer for at least 10 minutes on slow flame till thekera juice gets cooked and a tangy flavor comes out. out. Once done , serve hot with plain steamed rice.
Generally this dish is prepared only with thekera soaked in water. But as I have limited quantity , I use with tomatoes. You can replace thekera with kokum or tamarind pulp, both easily available in Indian grocery store and use big fishes like rohu, buffalo, carp etc for better taste.

Tel Koi :::

Koi or Gangetic Koi or Climbing Gouramie is one of my favorite fish since my childhood. This fish can stay long time without water as they have lungs and have lots of medicinal value and no fat.In eastern part of India,people prefer to eat this live fish because of its taste. I was very scared of these fishes as they always used jump out of the shopping bag. But last week when I found these fishes, where were frozen and clean  in market here in USA, could not stop myself to bring home. I tried one of Bengali's favorite recipe, Tel Koi following suchididi's recipe and it turned out an awesome one.Hope you all will like it too.

6-7 whole koi fish,
1 big tbsp of yellow split mustard seeds,
1/2 big tbsp of poppy seeds,
1 tsp of turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp of panch phoron, a mixture of five spices,
3-6 nos. green chillies,
1/4 tsp of red chilli powder,
1 tsp of curd / yogurt,
a pinch sugar,
salt to taste,
3 tsp of oil, preferably mustard oil,
fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.

1. Wash and clean fish and nicely marinate with turmeric powder and salt and a few drops of oil.
2. Make a smooth paste of poppy seeds,mustard seeds, 4 green chillies,salt and yogurt / curd and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a skillet / kadai, fry all the fishes and keep aside. Be careful not to break the fishes.
4. In the same kadai, add panch phoron, 2 slitted green chillies, a pinch of turmeric powder and sugar. On low flame, fry for a half minute. Now add the poppy seed and mustard seed paste and add half a cup warm water. Fry nicely stirring continuously for a minute.  Let it fry for 5 mins covering the skillet. Adjust salt and gravy too.
5. Now place slowly all the fried fishes in the skillet / kadai and cover the skillet again for 5-7 mins on low flame. When done, add 1 tsp of mustard oil on the top of the fishes and let it boil for 1-2 mins. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with plain hot rice.
You will get all the spices including panch phoron in Indian grocery store and you can black mustard seeds too but that gives a bitter taste while making paste in mixie / blender.
You can check the link for panch phoron ..  

Sarse Ilish..Hilsa fish in mustard gravy :::
In every Bengali's kitchen shelf, you will find a nice big container of mustard seeds and without that as if our kitchen shelf looks very empty. At home, a nice aroma used to come out when our maid servant used to prepare the paste on grinding stone which locally called SHIL-NORA. Here in USA, I really miss that. But every now and then I bring Ilish / Hilsa , Bengali's most favorite fish from Bangladesh grocery and prepare this most popular and essential dish in Bengali Cuisine.

Ingredients ::
1 big Ilish / Hilsa,( you can use Shad fish)
5-6 nos. green chilllies,
4 tbsp mustard seeds, soaked in water,
1/2 tsp black cumin seeds / kalonji ,
1 tsp of turmeric powder,
salt to taste,
oil to fry, preferably mustard oil.

1. Clean and wash the fish and cut into medium size pieces and pat dry.
2. Marinate fish pieces with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside for 10-5 mins.
3. Make a smooth paste of mustard seeds with green chillies and little turmeric powder.Mix with little water and keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan or skillet, fry the fish pieces until both the sides becomes light golden. Take out from oil and keep aside.
5. In the same skillet or kadai, add little more oil and when smoke starts coming out, turn the flame or heat to medium and then add kalonji seeds / black cumin seeds. 
6. When black cumin seeds start spluttering, add mustard paste and stir continously for a minute. Add 1/4 cup of water if needed. After 4-5 minutes, when the mustard paste mixture starts bubbling ,then add 3-4 no. slitted green chillies and then fried fish pieces. Let it cook on slow flame until oil comes out on top or for 5-7 minutes and adjust the salt and gravy here.
7. Once done, serve with steaming hot plain rice.
There is one trick to make mustard paste if you are doing in mixer/grinder. Use a pinch of raw rice or half tbsp of curd while grinding mustard and green chillies. Make it in one time only means do not stop while grinding.Otherwise, the paste will become bitter in taste. My mom used to keep a thin gravy for this preparation and I do the same. In USA, Shad fish can be used instead of Hilsa fish too.

Chepa Vepudu..a simple fish roast :::

I didn't have much time to prepare dinner last night and with daal and plain rice I was thinking what to prepare and then I saw this recipe and tried with Cod fillets. This preparation is very simple yet tasty and you can use as starters or with plain rice and daal too. You can use any boneless fish for this recipe. I followed this recipe from sailusfood , a beautiful blog specially for Andhra recipes.

Ingredients ::
4 -5 medium size Cod fillets,cleaned 
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste,
1/2 tbsp coriander powder,red chilli powder,turmeric powder each,
one lemon,
salt to taste,
1 tbsp oil,
a few fresh curry leaves,
1/4 tbsp mustard seeds.
Method :::
1. Take a medium size bowl, mix all the ingredients except lemon juice nicely with oil and then rub this mixture nicely on each fish pieces to make a nice coat of spices and  keep covered for minimum 20 to 25mins.
2. Now heat a flat pan or kadai, sprinkle a very little oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves and saute for some seconds and then place all the fish pieces carefully in the pan and let it fry on medium flame for 4-5 mins. Then flip over the fish pieces gently and sprinkle lemon juice on all the fish pieces and let it fry for another 5-6 mins.
3. Once done, place all the fish pieces on the serving plates and sprinkle little lemon juice and serve hot.

You can mix lemon juice and cumin powder while marinating the fish pieces and if you need more spicy and flavoured then sprinkle garam masala too. Here though I used Cod fillets but those are very soft and breakable ones.You can use any other fish like salmon and pomfret.
Rui Machher Dumpokt :::

Before festival starts ,I just wanted to get rid of extra fish pieces from fridge and thought of preparing something new for our potluck party and then I noticed this recipe and surfed internet for the same recipe and then taking three recipe from here and there I tried this recipe and it was absolutely hit at home and of course at party too.Rui or rohu fish,a sweet water fish, is very common in Eastern parts of India and I really don't know how come this Dumpokto name came from.But this preparation supposed to be baked one after marinating with all ingredients for couple of hours.But I used the recipes on my way.

5-6 medium size fish pieces(preferably rohu,katla,carp,buffalo or cat fishes)
half cup yogurt or curd,
1 medium onion,
4-5 chillies,
1" ginger piece,
7-8 big cashew nuts,soaked in water.
half cup fresh coriander leaves,
1/2 tsp garam masala,
1 bay leaf,
1 dry red chilli,
salt and sugar as per taste,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
4-5 tsp oil.

Method :::
1. First clean and wash fish pieces and pat dry.
2. Marinate fish pieces with turmeric powder and salt and little oil.Keep aside for some time. Fry slightly and keep aside.
3. Heat half spoon oil and saute sliced onion for one min. Now make a smooth paste of onion,ginger,green chillies,coriander leaves and cashew nuts and at last mix yogurt with the paste and half cup of water.
4. Now heat rest of oil in a skillet / kadai, sprinkle sugar for caramelizing and then add dry red chilli and bay leaf and saute for some seconds.
5. Add the paste and mix with oil on low flame and add little more water and let it cook covered for 10 mins on low flame.
6. When oil starts separating, add salt and then slowly place the fish pieces and let it cook covered for minimum 10-12 mins on low flame.When done, sprinkle gorom masala and mix carefully with the curry and then garnish with coriander leaves .Serve hot with hot plain rice or any fried rice.

The whole process you can do marinating the fish pieces with the paste for one hour minimum and then heat oil in pan and then cook on slow flame adding the marinated fish pieces. But the method I used ,was real hit as there is no chance of raw smell of fish.

Doi in curd gravy:::

Machh or Fish is always favorite and common in all Bengalis meals.This dish is very common and popular mostly in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Fish prepared in light spicy curd gravy is commonly made when special guests are coming or any festival time.Here I have followed the recipe of one of my sweet and poet friend,Shraddha.

Ingredients ::
6-7 big pieces fish(Rohu /Carp/Buffalo),cleaned and washed.
1/4 tsp whole cumin seeds,
2-3 nos. cloves,
2 nos.cinnamon,
2 nos. green cardamon ,
4-5 nos. whole black pepper,
1 no. bay leaf,
a handful of raisins,(optional)
1 big onion paste,
2-3 chillies,slit lengthwise,
1tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1 cup curd/yogurt,beaten nicely.
1 tsp cumin powder,
1/3 tsp turmeric powder,
salt as per your taste,
8-9 tsp of mustard oil or vegetable oil.

1.Marinate fish pieces with turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for minimum 10-12mins.
2.Heat oil in a skillet/kadai. Fry the fish pieces nicely. Try not to over fry.
3.Now,in the same skillet,add 1tsp oil and make it smoking heat and then keep the flame low.
4.Add bay leaf,cumin seeds,cloves,cardamon,cinnamon and black pepper to oil and saute for two minutes until nice aroma comes out.
5.Now add onion paste and saute thoroughly.Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for one minute or until onion turns light brownish.Add green chillies.Now saute nicely.
6.Now take a bowl,mix cumin powder and turmeric powder with little water to make paste and pour it in skillet.Stir occasionally and saute for 6-7mins or until oil separates from the spices.If you want keep the flame low to avoid burning the spices.
7.Add the raisins and after a minute,add beaten curd mixed with little water.Mix properly and add salt as per taste.Let it boil once.Then place the fried fish pieces in the skillet slow and nicely.Bring the flame low and let it cook for 5-7mins.
8.Now garnish with green chillies and then serve hot with plain rice.

Here I have used red chilli powder and more green chillies as we eat more spicy foods specially my dear husband.You can adjust the spice level using more green chillies and red chilli powder and without adding raisins.To make little more sweets,you can sprinkle little sugar while heating oil.and another thing,you can add little all purpose flour/moyda while beating the curd to get more gravy which I don't like to do.and don't use curd directly as it will end up with lumps in gravy.

Rui Machher Tel Jhal:::

Very simple dish yet delicious with hot steaming plain rice.You can use cat fish steaks and salmon and other big fish steaks too.Nothing much I have to say about it..just cook and enjoy the taste.


3 pieces rohu fish ,
2 tsp of turmeric powder,
3 tsp of red chilli powder,
2 tsp of coriander powder,
4-5 green chillies slit lengthwise,
salt as your taste,
oil to fry and marination.

1.Wash and clean fish pieces and pat dry. Then marinate with 1 tsp turmeric powder,salt and half a tsp of oil.

2. Shallow fry all the fish pieces on both the sides.Don't over fry .
3. Now take a bowl,mix red chili powder,coriander powder and turmeric powder.
4. Heat oil in skillet / kadai until smoke comes out. Now bring the flame on medium and pour the spice mixture in oil. Cover the lid and let it cook until oil separates from the spice mixture.
5. Once done, gently place the fish pieces in skillet and cook it covered on slow flame. Add salt and green chillies when fish pieces are almost cooked. If you need more gravy ,add half a cup of warm water . When done,garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

The fish curry is very spicy and mustard oil is better for actual aroma and taste.But you can use any other oil too. According to your taste, reduce red chili powder and green chillies. You can prepare this dish with vegetables of your choice too.

Rui Machher Korma ::::

Rohu ,a sweet water fish,is very common and popular in North-Eastern parts of India. Korma or Kurma means thick and spicy curry specially made of coconut,poppy seeds and cashew nuts along with other ingredients. This Fish kurma is generally prepared in special occasions at home or weddings. I have learned this dish from one of my adorable and respected elder sister ,Suchismita didi. You will just love the taste of this curry with hot steaming rice or sometimes with fried rice or pulao.

8-9 medium size rohu fish pieces,

1 medium size oni0n,
1 big juicy tomato,
1 inch ginger,
2-3 garlic flakes,
1 small cinnamon,
2 cloves,
2 cardamon,
3 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tsp red chili powder,
1 tsp coriander powder,
2 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp garam masala powder,
1/4 cup fresh scrapped coconut,
1/2 tsp poppy seeds,
3-4 no. cashew nuts,
1/2 tsp raisins,
1 bay leaf,
a pinch of sugar,
1 tsp milk,
3 tsp yogurt / curd,
1 tsp chickpeas flour / besan,
1 tsp cream,
1/2 tsp ghee,
7-9 tsp oil, and
coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method :::
1. Wash fish pieces and pat dry. Now in a bowl,take 2 tsp turmeric powder,2 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil and mix together nicely and take the fish pieces and rub this mixture thoroughly and keep it aside for 5 mins.
2. Make a smooth paste of onion and ginger and garlic separately.Keep aside. Make a smooth paste of tomatoes and keep aside also.
3. Make a smooth paste of poppy seeds,coconut and cashew nuts along with 1 tsp of milk.Keep aside.
4. Now heat 4-6tsp of oil in a skillet or kadai. When smoke comes out from oil, place fish pieces in oil and bring the flame to medium level. Let the fish pieces fry for 2-3 mins and then flip over and let it fry for another 2 mins. Don't keep more than that fish pieces will become crispy from outside and not good for curry.
5. Now take out the fish pieces in a plate and fry washed raisins in the same oil and keep aside.Avoid not to burn the raisins.
6. Add little more oil in the same skillet,heat it properly and then sprinkle a pinch of sugar and let it melt in oil.
7. Add cardamon,cinnamon,cloves and bay leaf and saute for half a minute.
8. Now add onion paste and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for another 2-3 minutes.If needed sprinkle some water and then again fry until nice aroma and oil separates.
9. In between,take a small bowl and mix 1 tsp turmeric powder,coriander powder,cumin powder and red chili powder with 3-4 tsp of water.Keep aside.
10. Once oil separates from the mixture in skillet,pour the spice mix in oil and add 1/4 cup of water and mix everything nicely and cover the lid and let it cook for 7 minutes on less than medium flame.
11. Now add the tomato paste and mix properly and let it cook covered for another 5 minute.If needed sprinkle very little water.
12. Now add the poppy seed,coconut and cashew nuts paste in the skillet. Fry until oil separates from the spices.
13. Once done, beat curd and chick peas flour / besan nicely until lumps disappear and then pour the mixture in skillet.Adjust salt now. Cover the skillet and Let it boil.
14. Once it starts boiling,very slowly place all the fish pieces in the gravy and add water if you need more gravy and let it cook on very low flame for 6-7 minutes.Sprinkle fried raisins on the gravy and then cover again for 3-4 minutes.
15. Now beat the cream very nicely and then pour over the gravy. Your fish kurma is ready.
16. While serving pour one tsp of melted ghee on the kurma and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

For decoration, my didi says that you can fry onion and cashew nuts separately and then sprinkle over the kurma too.You can use any other fish steaks like buffalo,carp,cat fish or shad fishes too. Wash the raisins in water properly before using.I generally make a paste of onion and ginger-garlic together to save some time. But you can make a paste separately. While grinding poppy seeds,first grind dry with coconut and cashew nuts and then at last add milk and then make a smooth paste.Before frying fish pieces take out excess water from marination and then shallow fry very less time.
I generally try to use very less oil and little more spicy according to my family's taste buds.That's why while grinding onion i add 3 to 4 green chillies too. So if you need little less spicy you can adjust with red chillies and green chillies.

Tangra Machher Holud Jhal Alu Begun Bori Diye :::

Tangra ,again another sweet water small fish,is popular and mostly prepared in West Bengal, Orissa and Assam. I thought a lot what header I should keep for the recipe in English but did not find any appropriate name instead of keeping its original name and explaining you all. This fish is prepared in various ways but here I m sharing with you a recipe what is commonly prepared in our house and very delicious and simple too. I followed one of my Sweet friend Debolina's recipe here.

5-6 Tangra fishes,

2 medium size potatoes,
2 long slender egg plants,
3-4 daal bori / black gram lentil dumplings,
5-6 green chillies slit lengthwise,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
3 tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp kala jeera / kalongi / onion seeds,
2 1/2 tsp salt,
6 tsp mustard oil,
fresh coriander leaves for garnishing.

1. Wash and clean fishes properly.Now marinate fishes with 2 tsp turmeric powder,2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp oil.Keep aside for 10 minutes.

2. Peel off the potatoes and dice in medium sizes.and cut the eggplants into the same size.
3. Take a small bowl, add turmeric powder,salt and red chilli powder and mix with water until lumps disappear.Let it rest for some time.

4. Now heat 4-5 tsp of oil in a wok or kadai until smoke comes out. Shallow fry all the fishes on the both sides until slightly brown.Don't over fry the fishes and while frying keep the flame to medium level.
5. Take out the fishes and in the same wok,fry egg plants,potatoes and lentil dumplings and keep aside.
6. Now add rest of oil in the same wok and heat oil and add kala jeera and saute for half minute.
7. Pour the turmeric and red chili mixture in oil and stir constantly for 2 mins. Let it cook on medium flame until oil separates.
8. Add diced potatoes and mix with the spices nicely and fry for 2-3 mins. Sprinkle some water to avoid burning.
9. Now add half of cup water in wok and cover with lid and let it cook until potatoes half-boiled. Add eggplant pieces and lentil dumplings and cook until potatoes and eggplants boiled.
10. Gently add fishes and green chillies and cook for 6-7 mins on slow flame.Adjust salt .
11. Once done,serve hot garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Lentil dumplings are made with split black gram pulses and you can get it in Bangladeshi store in allover USA and very soon I will share the recipe. But you can skip these too.Long slender eggplants are good for this curry and you will find the same in all Chinese store and Indian store. Again I will suggest you to use less red chili power and green chillies if you don't like more spicy.

Rui Macher Kalia (Recipe I ) :::

This dish ,a signature of Bengali food,is very rich in color n taste..specially made in parties, weddings and Sunday menu.As I m very poor in cooking Bengali food but still i tried,thanks to one of the great orkut community and it comes out very well.You can use other fishes like salmon,carp,buffalo,cord etc.This dish goes well with hot steaming plain rice,fried rice or pulao.

Rohu fish 8 pcs.medium size pieces.
1 medium onion,
1 medium tomato chopped,
2-3 pieces garlic,
1' inch ginger,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 cup curd/yogurt,
1-2 no bay leaves,
1-2 nos. cinnamon,
2-3nos.cloves,cardamon and peppercorn each,
1/2 garam masala powder,
4-5tsp oil ,
salt as per taste,
sugar a pinch,

1.First wash the fish pieces properly and marinate them with turmeric powder and salt.Keep aside for 10-15mins.
2.Paste onions and ginger-garlic separately and keep aside.
3.Now take a deep frying pan, heat oil and fry fish pieces nicely.Try not to over fry.Now keep them aside.
4.Heat oil in the same Pan and add sugar,bay leaves,cloves,cinnamon,cardamon and peppercorn and stir for one min.
5.Now add onion paste and fry nicely for 1-2 mins and add little bit of salt so the onion cooks nicely.
6.Now add ginger-garlic paste and stir.After a while add chopped tomato and fry until onion turns brown in color and now take a bowl and mix curd,red chilli powder and salt and pour in the pan.Stir well and let it cook until oil separates.
7.And now add 2 cup of water and let it boil for 5-7mins.
8.Now add fried fish pieces and cook in very low flame for 5 mins.
9.When done,garnish with coriander n slit green chillies leaves and Serve hot.

Rui Machher Kalia (Recipe II ) ::::

On his birthday,my son asked me to prepare some dishes when I asked what he wanted for dinner. The whole day I was busy to prepare different dishes and didn't have time to make fish curry so I made it in a shortcut way.But the taste came really good and my little sweetheart really appreciated this dish.

Ingredients :::
5-6 medium size Rohu / Katla / Buffalo / Carp / Cat fish pieces,
4 tsp of turmeric powder,
2 nos. cardamon,
4 nos. cloves,
3 nos. cinnamon,
1 bay leaf,
a pinch of sugar,
7-8 nos. raisins,
1 medium size onion,sliced,
1 small size tomato,sliced,
half inch ginger,
2 nos. garlic,
3-4 nos. green chillies,
1 tsp red chilli powder,coriander powder,cumin powder each,
1/2 tsp garam masala powder,
1 tsp beaten curd / yogurt,
oil to fry,
salt to taste.

Method :::
1. Wash and pat dry fish pieces and marinate with salt and turmeric powder.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add 2 tsp of oil and fry the fish pieces slightly from both the sides.
3. Make a smooth paste of onion,green chillies,tomato,ginger and garlic with little water.Keep aside.
4. Take a bowl and mix all the spices with curd nicely and let it settle down.
5. Heat oil in the same pan, sprinkle sugar to caramelize and then add whole spices and saute for some time.
6. Now add the paste and then mix nicely with oil and then cover the lid and let it cook for 10 mins on low flame. Stir and sprinkle little water to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan.
7. As soon as oil separates,stir nicely to fry the spices for another 3-4 mins until nice aroma comes out. Sprinkle water if needed.
8. Now add fish pieces and coat with spices carefully and then add one cup of warm water. Let it boil for 5 mins on low flame so the spices go inside the fish pieces nicely.
9. Once done, serve hot with plain rice or pulao.

This is the short cut process of Macher Kalia but this comes very good if you carefully fry the spices. You can add potatoes also and then garnish with coriander leaves or add coriander leaves while coating fish pieces and then water. Adjust spice level and gravy too.

Pabda Machher Jhal...Pabda Fish in spicy gravy :::

Pabda,a sweet water small fish,is very popular in my place.There in India,it is little difficult to
cut and clean these fishes.But in Bangladeshi Store of USA,once i got this fish washed and cleaned.Though frozen,still i said wow no need to clean! Here's for the first time i prepared a common dish which very often made in Bengal.You can make different types of dishes with this fish.Here's i follow my orkut friend Piyalee's recipe.

8 pieces of Pabda fish,
1 cup chopped onions,
1/2 cup tomato finely chopped,
4-5 lengthwise cut or chopped green chillies,
1/4 tsp kalo jeere/kalonji/onion seeds,(Indian store brought)
1tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
a little garlic paste,(optional)
1/2 cup mustard oil
10-12 coriander leaves,
salt as per taste,

1.Wash the fishes very well and then marinate with salt and turmeric powder.keep aside for minimum 15mins.
2.Now take a pan and heat oil and fry marinated fishes.Try not to over fry as fish will become tough.Keep aside.
3.Now heat oil in the same pan,add kalonji / kalo jeere ,garlic paste and green chillies and fry nicely for 2-3mins.
4.Add chopped onions and tomatoes and stir continuously.if necessary, sprinkle little water while frying.
5.Add Salt and turmeric powder and red chilli powder.Fry nicely until oil separates. Stir evenly to avoid
burning.Sprinkle water if needed.
6.Now add the fish pieces and half cup of water and mix nicely.Let it boil.
7.When done,garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with plain steaming hot rice.

If you want this dish little dry ,then don't add water and after adding fish ,mix's the link for kalonji if anybody needs to know.

kalonji/onion seeds,