If someone told me last week that I would hardly find time to do things that are important to me, like cook or blog or browse blogs or do nothing this week, I would say "Pfbttttt".
And this week, I cannot tell you how much I am missing doing nothing.
If someone told me last year that I wouldn't miss Durga Pujo at all this year, I would roll my eyes and look away
But this year I really am not missing it. No nostalgia about sharat, sheuli, kashful whatsoever.
I am secretly happy that I don't have to push aside sweaty bodies smelling of jasmine and Aminia's biryani in Gariahat and prostrate at my tailors to get my salwar stitched in time. I don't have to decide which pandals to visit on Panchami when the crowd is at its mildest best and sit home on Ashtami watching "Sharodo Parikroma" on Television. And yes the food, the long wait for that single egg roll because it is Pujo, ahhh I have overcome that.
If someone told me last year that I would have "Kochur Loti diye Ilish er Matha" in my blog, I would say "In your dreams, dude".Ok, maybe not the "dude" part.
Yeah, really. Kochur loti ? Who am I kidding ?
I am sure my Ma cooked such stuff but honestly I have no memory of Kochur Loti from my childhood, teenhood, pre-adult hood, neighborhood...
But LS's baby sitter who is from Bangladesh and has this fond fascination for such things got a pack of Kochur Loti from where else but New York. I already had the Hilsa fish's head or Ilish maach er Matha languishing in the freezer, waiting to be thrown out, for my family detests such smelly things. So when LS's baby sitter said she wanted to make Kochur Loti with fish head, what did I have to loose ?
M Didi made this with onion, garlic, ginger and lots of chili. It was hot and happening.
I don't remember my Ma cooking it that way though. She belongs to a different genre. I am sure she made it with coconut and kala chana. I am not even sure if she added fish head.
Google tells me Kochur Loti is nothing but colocasia stem/shoots and it requires special technique of cooking to remove crystals of calcium oxalate. Kochu or Colocasia too has these crystals and cause itching if they are not removed by thorough cooking. These stems or shoots are very popular in Bangladesh and is now also popular in West Bengal. It is available in the US in South Asian grocery stores in the freezer aisle and a frozen packet costs around $2.
To cook Kochur loti with Ilish Macher Matha follow this recipe, looks pretty authentic. For vegetarian version just don't add fish head.
Edited To Add: The blog Akansha's Recipe, that I had linked earlier has stolen many blog posts and photos. I was not aware until Jaya of Spice and Curry told me she herself was a victim. This Plagiarism is killing us.
I do not have an exact recipe because I did not cook it. Here is how LS's sitter made it.
Wash and clean the fish head pieces and smear with salt and turmericAnd since Durga Pujo is less than 3 weeks away and we know that you need to eat good food for that IS celebration, here are some things you can cook if you are stuck at home watching Pujo Porikroma on the telly. If you have a steel heart and iron arms , I am sure you will be out there during Pujo waiting behind umpteen people at the Phuchka wala outside the Mandap. Or do people go to Mainland China these days ?
Heat Mustard oil
Add ginger, garlic and onion. Fry well
Add the fish head pieces. Fry till they are lightly browned
Add the Kochur loti, Red Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder and salt to taste.
Keep stirring frequently at medium heat. Continue stirring till all the water released has dried up.
Add little more water and cover and cook till fish head is soft. Dry up excess water.
Luchi Alur Dom ar Cholar Dal
Luchi ar Alu Charchari
Chingri Maacher Malaikari ar Ghee Bhaat