Cooking fish as a most important side dish while preparing lunch or dinner for the family is almost an each day job of a Bengali home maker. The eminent saying “Machhe Bhate Bangali ( Fish and Rice make a Bengali ) “ is so very apposite for us, the people of Bengal. Here I must talk about the importance of poppy seeds, mustard oil and mustard seeds in fish or any other vegetable preparations. These three ,predominantly the former two (poppy seed and mustard oil) are very exclusive and widely used ingredients in a Bengali Kitchen which have the capacity to turn the taste of any ordinary preparation into a very luscious one.
Anyway, let’s start discussing today’s topic. I am going to share a simple Bengali fish recipe now. Rohu/katla Fish In Mustard and Poppy Seeds Paste Gravy. A very simple yet a scrumptious preparation which would go perfect when served with steaming hot rice.
Here is the recipe:
- Katla /Rohu Fish Steaks: 5/6
- Poppy Seeds Paste: 2 tbsp.
- Mustard Seeds Paste:1 tbsp.
- Green Chili:3/4
- Onion:2 medium ( thin sliced)
- Salt: To taste
- Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp.
- Red Chili Powder: 1 tsp ( adjust according to your tolerance)
- Tomato: 2 ( chopped)
- Onion Seeds( Nigella Seeds): 1 tsp . (Optional though)
- Water: 1 Cup ( Warm)
- Mustard Oil: 3 tbsp.
- Wash and pat dry the fishes. Now marinate them with ½ tsp turmeric powder, salt and 1 tsp of oil . Keep it aside for 5-10 minutes.
- Now heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil in a deep bottomed vessel and slightly fry the fish steaks on both the sides and take them out. Soak the extra oil using a kitchen tissue and keep aside.
- Then discard the fried oil and heat 1 tbsp of fresh mustard oil . Add the onion seeds and the green chili. Let them splutter from few seconds and now add the chopped tomatoes.
- Once the tomatoes become little mushy, add the sliced onions and fry until the onion slices become translucent. Add the poppy seeds paste and mix thoroughly.
- Mean while dissolve the mustard seed paste with little water and add into the vessel. Subsequently add the ½ tsp of turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder. Mix well and cook for few minutes. Then add a cup of the warm water into the spices mix dissolve thoroughly. Let it boil on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the fried fish steaks into it and cover and on low flame cook until all the water gets absorbed and the gravy comes to a thick consistency. Taste the seasoning. If required add little salt and mix.
- Turn off the flame and pour ¼ - ½ tsp of raw mustard oil on top and serve with steaming hot rice,garnishing with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves.
Enjoy Your Food...!!!