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The title might sound ludicrous but I couldn’t just get it out of my head. Since the last couple of days this is the line that hums in my mind. You know how it happens, when a particular phrase gets into your system and you just can’t flush it out. The same thing happened when I read Seemas post on “Tindora in Coconut Gravy” aka "Huli Menasina Kodilu". I loved that name. It kept on reminding me of movies like “Hassena Maan Jayegi” or “Hum apke Hain Kaun” and though I don’t know ABC of Kannada I kept on humming that name to myself.
On another note, I went and watched “Casino Royale” at the theatres with D last night. Yeah went and watched it with D my legally wedded husband so what is so surprising that I have to write it in my blog. That’s because this is the first movie we watched in the theatres all by our self (barring the numerous other people in the same theatre watching the same movie) sans my little daughter. A big step for parent kind, so I better chronicle it.
Doi Maach (ch as in chair)or Fish in Yogurt Sauce is a typical Bengali dish which is light, easy to prepare and yet is a favorite as a dish you would serve your guests on those special occasions. I made this with Rohu (a fresh water fish from the carp family) or Rui Mach , which I procured from my Bangladeshi Fish seller. You can also try with other fish like carp, buffalo carp, fresh water bass. Salmon should also be a good bet.If the fish is very fresh and firm as in back home, my Ma or Ma-in law does this without frying the fish. I however always lightly fry the fish and I am presenting here that version
Get this recipe in my Book coming out soon. Check this blog for further updates.
What You Need
Fish(Rohu or Rui) – 8 pieces large
Onion ~ grind to paste about 2 medium ~ about 5-7 tbsp heaped
Ginger ~ 2 - 3 tsp paste
Yogurt ~ 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder ~ ½ tsp
Red Chilli Powder ~ ½ tsp
Green Chillies ~ 8 cut in slits
Whole Garam Masala
Elaichi or Cardamom~ 5/6
Laung or Cloves~ 5/6
TejPata or BayLeaves~ 3
Dalchini or Cinnamon Sticks ~ 1” stick
Sugar ~ 1tsp
How I Do It
Clean the fish pieces and lightly rub with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for half an hour
Grind the onion to a fine paste.
Heat Oil in Kadai/Frying Pan.
When the oil is sufficiently hot, add the fish and lightly fry till light golden. Take out the fish and keep aside. If you are a fastidious cook you would put them on a kitchen towel to drain the oil.
In a bowl add 1/2 cup of yogurt/curd and add about 1/3 cup of water and beat till its smooth in consistency. Add to this 1-2 tsp of ginger paste, 2 tbsp of onion paste, ½ tsp of red chilli powder, a little of turmeric powder for the color and beat.
Heat Oil now for cooking the gravy
Add the coarsely pounded whole garam masala
When they start sputtering add the remaining onion paste
Add about 1 tsp of sugar and fry the onion paste till the oil separates and the onion turns a light brown
Add about 1 tsp of ginger paste and the green chillies and sauté well
Now take the Kadai/Frying Pan off the heat and give it a couple of minutes to cool
Add the beaten yogurt/curd and mix with the masala. If you add the yogurt directly when the utensil is on heat the curd may curdle so you need to do this
Put back the Kadai/Frying Pan on heat.
Add salt as required .Add about 1/2 - 2/3 cup of water at this point. depending on how much gravy you need you might need more or less water.
Simmer on low heat till the gravy comes to a boil
Add the fried fish pieces, they should partially submerge in the gravy. Let it simmer till the excess water dries off and the gravy is thick, smooth and coats all the fish pieces. The texture of the gravy should be silky smooth because of all that yogurt. Note: the gravy will not dry off totally but will be thick and not watery
Garnish with raisins if you want
Add a tsp of Ghee if you are lean or your guests are and you don’t have to worry about mundane things like your blood lipid level or you just don’t care and want your doi maach to taste just right.
Update on 02/22/09: I have seen two comments which say they found the ginger to be more. Now when I make this fish, the fish pieces I used are pretty large so I add some water (about 2/3 cup) to the gravy and let the gravy simmer on low heat till I get a silky consistency. Also we always have this with rice. Maybe for these reasons we don't find the ginger to be too much and it suits our taste. You are always welcome to make changes to suit your palate and you can reduce the ginger if you want
Enjoy this dish with white rice or pulao. You can serve it for either lunch or dinner.
I am sending this recipe which is a traditional Bengali fish dish as an entry for the FAHC campaign. The very well known food blog My Dhaba by VKN has embarked on a group book project 'You Can Cook for FAHC Campaign', as a mission to fight against global poverty. I am pleased to support this effort and urge all food lovers to contribute. Many of you must have already contributed, if not please do, GO HERE and check the details
I do sincerely hope this project is succesful and is able to help in it's own way towards feeding a hungry child.
Trivia:In Bengali wedding there is a ceremony which precedes the main wedding. This ceremony is called "Gaye Holud" meaning applying a paste of turmeric & oil to the bride & the groom in their respective homes. The groom's side sends the turmeric paste for the bride to her house and along with that sends a hoard of other things like sweets, spices, clothes, utensils etc. The fish being an important part of a Bengali life a huge whole Rohu fish decorated and sometimes with a small nose ring is sent over to the brides place.