My favourite non-vegetarian item has always been fish. Mom tells me that the first thing I had at my “Annaprashan“, or the Hindu rite of passage, was fish even though they tried to push in rice LOL. In our culture, rice should be the 1st food which an infant takes during the ceremony but I just loved the smell and taste of fish. Throughout my childhood, I loved fish so much that I used to get upset if there was no fish during lunch any day. All this changed when I went to college. Then I realized, I only loved fish prepared by mom or at least prepared according to the Bengali way. My fish drought had begun ever since I started my engineering. But thanks to my better half, ever since our marriage we again started having fish and in our diet, it is an essential part as fish has one of the lowest (in fact nil in many cases) carbohydrate contest.
Continuing with being fishy, this was the second dish that Sumi cooked on her “being nutty” day. This is a classic Bengali dish which I have adored all my life. Only recently, ever since we started on the diet, did I stop having this. The reason being that the dish goes best with rice. For me any non-vegetarian curry without rice just doesn’t gel, especially fish. But that day we just went crazy. We were missing fish curry and we decided to have it without rice. The result was awesome and I felt like my life had come back when I tasted the fish curry.
- 8 slices of Rohu/Rui Fish (Indian Fresh water Carp) approx 800 gm
- 1 ½ Tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 3 Tbsp cumin paste
- 1 Tbsp coriander paste
- 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp red chilli powder (as per taste)
- 1 medium onion thinly chopped
- 4-5 green chillies slit length wise
- Mustard Oil (a good amount)
- Salt as required
- 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
First marinade the fish with turmeric powder and salt. Set it aside for 15-20 min.
In a deep wok, add mustard oil, heat till oil smokes (not a good option usually, however since our main curry element is the mustard oil, we need to heat it properly else it imparts a strong smell). Now add the fish pieces, fry on each side till light brown. Set it aside.
Discard the oil. Clean the pan or take another and add fresh mustard oil again (approx 100 ml) and heat it till it smokes. Reduce flame; add chopped onion, slit green chillies, add all the paste, fry till oil separates like about 4-5 minutes. Now add 100 ml of water, a bit of salt (required for gravy) and let the water boil and then add the fish pieces back and coat properly with the gravy.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley leaves.
The oil added in the dish may seem a lot but this is the beauty of this dish. The gravy is very rich and tastes awesome with rice.