Monday, May 10, 2021

Ma-in-law's Macher Dim er Bora Jhol | Fish Roe Fritters

Macher Dim er Bora, Bengali Fish Roe Fritters

Maachher Dim er Bora | Bengali Fish Roe Fritters

For fish loving Bengalis, the fish roe or macher dim is a delicacy that they hanker for. Nope we are not talking of caviar! While Ilish maach er dim(Hilsa Fish roe) is the star, the Rui Maach er dim comes a strong second when it is made into fritters or bora. Mostly available during the monsoon season, the fish roe of sweet water fish like Rui or Carp makes a mundane lunch fantastic for the Bengali middle class.

Last Friday Big Sis had her second dose of Covid-19 vaccine and with that all of us eligible for vaccine have been vaccinated. Waiting for Pfizer to give the green light for 12-15 year olds now.

Now the reason I brought up the vaccine is that the pharmacy where BS's vaccine was scheduled was close to a South Asian fish and meat store. So how could I not stop by and get some fish? You tell me! That would be so impolite right?

Now that my mom is here, we have been going more often to the fish store than ever before. This time I stopped by thinking to get the tiny fish called Kaachki or Mola fish. Along with a pack of that tiny fish, I also saw a tray of Rui Maacher Dim -- Fish Roe and picked it up. 

In my home, my Dad was not very adventurous when it came to food and so Ilish Maacher Dim aka Hilsa fish roe was the only fish roe that he enjoyed. Since Hilsa Fish Roe is a star by itself, it is best enjoyed fried as it is and nothing else was ever made out of it. A few times my Mother would get Rui Macher Dim and make the fritters as a snack for me and her to enjoy, but those were few and far in between.

On the other hand, in my in-law's house Maacher Bora and Maacher Tel are very popular. My ma-in-law makes a delicious curry with the fish roe fritters too. 
So when I go the fish roe, I texted her for the recipe. Guess what my 70+ year old Ma-in-law tells me. She said "Search in UTube, oikhane shob ecipe thake". I mean really!! So then I called her and clarified that I wanted her recipe and not "YouTube's". She gave me the recipe of the fritters and then said that I could add it to a peyaaj-roshun deoa jhol like a rich version of fish curry. She also added that her son, who is not very fond of  Rui/Kaatla type of fish actually loves maacher dim!!! 

Maacher Dim er Bora | Fish Roe Fritters

Fish Roe -- 1 tray of  fish roe approx 1 to 1.5 lb (450 to 600 gms)
Besan/Chickpea Flour -- 1/4th Cup (more if needed)
Garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Onion -- Half of a medium onion chopped
Green Chilies - 4-5 chopped
Coriander leaves -- chopped (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Tip: A friend adds a little soaked poha in this batter instead of besan and you can try that too.

Mustard Oil - for frying

Rinse the fish roe lightly and add to a bowl. 

Turmeric powder,
Red Chili Powder
Garlic paste
Mix well

Now add the rest of the ingredients
Green Chili
Mix again to make a tight batter.

Heat Mustard oil for frying. 

Take a tablespoon of the hot mustard oil and add to your fish roe batter. Mix it in.

Now scoop the batter with a spoon and drop it in the hot oil. Fry in medium heat, about 2-3 minutes each side, so that the outside is golden brown and cooked on inside.

Remove and drain on a paper towel. You can eat this as a snack or serve it as a side with rice and dal.

Maacher Dim er Bora'r Torkari | Fish Roe Fritters Curry

What You Need

Potatoes ~ 2 medium chopped in cubes
Tomatoes ~ 1 medium
Onions ~ 1 medium, grind to a paste. I prefer frying the onion lightly and making a paste
Ginger ~ freshly grated around 1tbsp
Garlic ~ 1 tsp
Green Chillies ~ 4/5 slit along length
Coriander leaves

Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Jeera(Cumin) Powder ~ 1 tsp
Dhania (Coriander) Powder ~ 1/2 tsp

TejPata(Bay Leaves) ~ 1
Elaichi(Cardamom) ~ 4/5
Whole Jeera (Cumin seeds) ~ 1/2 tsp
Yogurt ~ around 2-4 tbsp

How I Do It


Chop tomatoes in small pieces
Grind onion and garlic to a paste. It is better if you can fry the onion + garlic until they are translucent and then make a paste.
Chop the potatoes, in cubes

Start Cooking

Heat oil in Kadai/Frying Pan.

Temper with TejPata (Bay Leaves), Elaichi (Cardamom) and whole Jeera (Cumin seeds)
Add green chilies.
As soon as they start sputtering add the onion & garlic paste. 

Add a little sugar(1 tsp) while frying as it adds a brown color (due to caramelization)
When the onion has turned reddish brown add the chopped tomatoes. You can also puree the tomato and add.
Sauté till they become a fine pulp and you see oil separating from the paste.

Add the potato cubes, sprinkle Turmeric powder and fry with onion-tomato paste for 3-4 minutes

Mix the Jeera Powder, Dhania Powder and the grated ginger with yogurt(instead of water) to make a paste and add this masala. Cook this masala for about 2 minutes till you see the oil seeping out of the edges.

Add rest of the Turmeric powder, salt to taste and water. You don’t want this gravy to be very watery so add water with caution. About 2 cups of warm water should be fine.

When the gravy comes to a boil and the potatoes are almost done(not fully boiled yet) add the fish roe fritters.

Cook for a few more minutes till the potatoes are cooked and you are done.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. The gravy is best enjoyed with white rice.

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  1. Darun! i didn't know borar torkari hoye! nishchoi try korbo.
    amar didinbhai maachher dimer ombol banaten ekta, would you happen to have a recipe for me?

  2. Jiv die jol porche bhai.cant wait to try. Darun.....

  3. Ki daarun recipe ta! I miss your FB posts now as I have logged out of it for sometime now. Please be more frequent on you blog.. :)


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