This recipe is a golden find for Eastern Indians who eat the fresh water fish, ‘Rohu’ and its close cousin ‘Katla’. It is such a pleasant change from the curries that get usually made with this fish. In a Bengali household this fish is as regular as its family members at meal times. The fish has a natural sweetness to it, even though it has fish bones; they are not difficult to work through.
For fillet eaters, the recipe can be replicated with any fleshy pink or white fish. A salmon may not turn out as good though. This recipe was enthusiastically shared by my friend’s cheerful aunt-in-law who was visiting and she made it a point to teach me her marvelous recipe. The recipe is innovative and its beauty lies in its rather simplistic treatment.
My food word for this recipe would be uncomplicated.
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The recipe would be;
Marinade six to eight pieces of fish cut like one would use in a Bengali curry with bones with salt and pepper. Be generous with the pepper. Set aside for an hour.
Make dough with a cup of wheat flour.
Finely longitudinally slice two red onions and ensure each onion scale is separate from the other. Finely cut an inch of ginger in thin juliennes.
Cook this while recipe in medium to low heat. In a deep thick base bowl take two tbsp ghee, temper with two bay leaves. Then drop in a bruised cinnamon stick, four green cardamoms and eight peppercorns. When these whole spices begin to sputter add onions and ginger. Toss a bit and place the fish one after the other. Gently move the fish around with a sprinkle of salt. Sprinkle water with your hands.
Beat a cup of yogurt lightly and pour it in. Slit three really fresh green chillies and throw them in. Again slowly move the fish about. Cover with a lid. Seal the lid with wheat flour on all sides. Cook the fish in its ‘dum’ for fifteen minutes in low heat. Ensure the fish does not burn or stick to the base.