Doi Maach - A lighter Fish Curry with cute little potatoes

Fish. We are that part of the society who are true to its name of Maache - Bhaate Bangali. And do not even get me started about the varieties available in this country. Be it fresh water or saline, we might not get to repeat a particular fish, if we decide to have different kinds on each day, for a month !! We find opportunities to serve fish on every occasion of our lives, starting with annaprashan ( the first rice eating ceremony after birth ) till the Matsya - mukhi ( the day symbolised for eating fish after a period of mourning the death of a dear one ). And seriously, why not? If we have our fertile rivers and ponds to provide us with the protein rich perfect food and given a Bengali can find a million intellectual ways to spice that up in form and texture ( read : fish fry, fish chop, fish kabiraji, fish cutlet, baked fish, grilled fish, tandoori fish apart from the usual, fish parts in otherwise vegetable dishes or simple maacher jhol which itself can be made in some thousand ways ) then  shouldn't we be mere fools to give these all up? After all, life is a gift and all we need to do to stay eternally happy is embrace everything which it has to offer. And for some of us, food is happiness !!

Rohu or commonly called rui, a fresh water variety is part of a staple in an average Bengali household, because its pretty economical on the pockets, its versatile and has a certain sweetness to it. It has gained huge popularity because of its easy availability in every part of the country where this foodie - service class community resides. It doesn't have much bones and can easily be diversified into various curry preparations either light or spicy depending upon your moods and available time to prepare it. Bengali fish preparations are very basic and uses the ingredients one normally have in their kitchen shelves and doesn't need to go searching for special exotic spices in posh hypermarkets.

Yoghurt is one such thing. In the scorching summer heat, curd is something which is manufactured everyday in all Indian households and are eaten and drunk in multiple forms. Its easily digestible than milk and also provides you with multiple important nutrients. So, next time you try to cook some fish like Rohu / Catla/ Bhetki / Ilish, in a quick and easy way, find some dahi ( curd ) and minimum efforts to prepare a sweet - soury Bengali fish curry, Doi Maach. The zesty curd along with mild garam masala flavours and the sweetness of the gur / sugar are guaranteed to bring in soulful insights into your life and will leave you craving for more. This is one dish which you can have with rice, yellow pulao or even some fried rice. This is surely to impress those friends of yours, who are not too experimental about food and thinks of a rich, oily red tomato gravy in the name of non - vegetarian items. Show them the diversities we can volunteer in simple, unique ways to form something really delectable.

  • Rohu fish pieces - 600 grams ( approx. ) - any cuts

  • Curd - 300 grams ( approx. )
  • Gur - 100 grams ( approx. ) broken into pieces. You can decrease or increase the amount depending on your preferred taste. You can use sugar too instead of gur.

  • Potato ( optional ) - 1 medium, sliced into pieces
  • Garam masala - 2 Bay leaves, 3 Cardamoms , 1 Cinnamon stick and 3 Cloves
  • Garam masala powder - a pinchful
  • Turmeric powder - 2.5 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil - 2 tablespoon

  • Marinate the fish pieces with some salt and a teaspoon of turmeric powder and leave aside for at least 10 minutes.

  • Repeat the same with the potato slices with half a teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of salt.

  • Heat up a kadhai and add in the mustard oil. The oil should be steaming hot.

  • Now, lower the flame and put in the fish pieces in batches of 4 - 5 to shallow fry them. The fish should be a golden brown colour on both sides. Take them out and let them rest.

  • Shallow fry the potato slices too and let them rest.

  • Take the curd in a bowl and mix in the curd with the rest of the turmeric powder, chilli powder and some salt. Beat the curd consistently. Do not leave any lumps. 

  • In the oil, add in the garam masala and let them crackle.

  • Lower the flame completely and add in the beaten curd. Increase the heat and let it cook over high flame for around 7 - 10 minutes with regular splashes of water whenever it dries up.

  • Add in the gur / sugar in the curd gravy along with the potato slices. The sugar balances the sourness of the curd. Keep the flame on medium low, cover the lid and wait for 5 minutes till the sweetness gets dissolved and the potatoes are cooked through.

  • Finally put in some water and the fish pieces along with a pinchful of  homemade garam masala powder and wait for another 2-3 minutes over medium high flame with the lid on.

  • Check the consistency of the gravy to your liking. The seasonings should be perfect and then Voila! you are done.

Yoghurt work wonders with fish..yum!!!


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