March 22, 2013

Fishy Affair

We, Bengalis fondly call us mache bhate bangali and we include fish in any meal of the day.  Now for all fish loving Bengalis Doi Maach 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 special occasions. I made this with Rohu (a fresh water fish from the carp family) or Rui Mach.
  • 1 kg fish cut into little thick pieces
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 medium-sized onion ground to a paste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 4 tbsps mustard oil
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1" stick of cinnamon
  • 1/2 dried bay leaf
  • Salt to taste


  • 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.
  • 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 a little of turmeric powder for the color and beat.
  • In another pan put 2 tbsp of mustard oil, add whole garam masala, bay leaf.
  • 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.
  • Put back the Kadai/Frying Pan on heat.
  • Add salt as required .Add about 1/2 - 2/3 cup of water at this point.
  • 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 and serve with piping hot plain boiled rice.

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