Doi Maachh

I had bought this Bong Mom's Cookbook a long time back but hadn't really got the scope of exploring the recipes in practice. Mostly because I don't generally cook Bengali food at home (what are Mothers for, haan?) and also because I'm not much of a Bong food fan (waiting for brickbats!). But when a Mami of mine came down from Bombay for a night and my Moher had a lunch invitation the very same day, I chose to share her burden and take up the responsibility of proteins and sweets for dinner while she did bhaat, koraishuti diye moong dal, dimer chop, muri ghonto and anarosher chutney.

My Mami has been living in Bombay for at least the last 10 years now and comes down to Cal only once in 2-3 years. So cooking traditional Bengali fare for her was was absolutely necessary. And since there would be other cousin Mamas and Mamis and Mashis present, the items had to be absolute crowd pleasers. So I settled for Bong Mom's Doi Maachh. Now Doi Maachh is something all Bongs adore, and it's really difficult to go wrong with it. Previously, whenever I've made this dish I've followed the traditional family recipe but on this day I those to give it a slight twist Bong Mom style. And believe you me, the moment I entered home from work late at night, all the figures sitting around the dining table chorused as to what my special ingredient was!

Recipe adopted from Bong Mom's Cookbook
Serves: 8


Fish (Rohu): 10-12 pieces
Mustard Oil: 1 tbsp + for frying
Vegetable Oil: 1 tbsp
Onions, chopped: 2 large
Ginger: 3 tsp
Green chillis: 4
Hung curd: 1 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts: 1/2 cup
Turneric: a pinch
Red chilli powder: 2 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Whole Garam masala (Bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, clove and mace): 1 1/2 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste

For Marinade:

Turmeric: 2 tsp


1. Marinade the fish pieces with turmeric and salt and leave for 2 hours. Then fry in mustard oil and keep aside.

2. Heat the vegetable oil and saute the onions till soft and translucent. Set aside and allow to cool.

3. Once cooled, blend the onion, green chillis and cashewnuts (previously soaked in water) with a dash of water to make into a thick paste. It should look something like this.

4. Now in a big bowl, beat the hung curd with 3 tbsp of the onion paste, 2 tsp ginger, red chilli flakes and a pinch of turmeric.

5. Now for the cooking. Heat mustard oil in a non-stick kadhai and add the whole garam masala. When it begins to splutter add ginger.

6. Now add the remaining onion paste and sugar and cook till the oil separates.

7. Add the curd mixture and half a cup of water and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add salt in between.

8. Add the fish pieces and very carefully coat each of them with the gravy. Don't stir now. Allow to cook till the gravy reaches your desired consistency.

9. Add a dash of ghee and sprinkle some garam masala and serve hot with steamed rice. Aquarium on your plate!


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