Friday 24 February 2012

Oh Fish!

Fish out of a water is a scary feeling. Fish in water is a happier thought. Fish in mustard sauce is as close to divinity as a fish-lover can get. Machcher Jhaal is a hot favourite not just among Bengalis but all their non-Bong friends who have tasted it in their house. 
This is for the Bhai who ditched me. He had promised he'd call me on Saturday for the Kashmiri Chicken recipe. And the next thing I know is he has taken a train home! Leaving me to freeze in the English cold. The saga does not end in betrayal, though. He came back from home & joined the Food Stall. And is not leaving in a hurry. I hope! Don't allow me to let you believe that all HR personnel are like this. As an employee, this gent is the best resource you could ask for. Smart working, reliant, punctual. Nothing fishy about him.

Make Machcher Jhaal bhai, you'll love it. Shankar will wipe the plate so clean, it may not need a wash. And Sunny may want to oust the cook if  you guys have not already done it! You had one, right?

 You need:
1. 6 pieces of fish(any)
2. Ground Mustard & Posto(khus khus)paste- 1 1/2 tbsp
[soak mustard seeds & khus khus in water & grind them together with 1-2 green chillies]
3. Chopped onion- 1/2 cup
4. Kala Zeera(kalonji)- 1/5tsp
5. Water - 1 1/2 cup 
6. Salt- to taste
7. Mustard oil- to cook

How to:
1. Marinate the raw fish in 1tsp turmeric & 1tsp salt & keep aside for 10 minutes. 
The turmeric neutralizes the fishy odour, the salt makes the fish tender.

 Note: For this recipe, we are using turmeric only for marination, not cooking. 

2. Wash the fish pieces after the marination.
    Heat mustard oil, add 1/2tsp salt & shallow fry the fish.
                                                                                                                                                         Do not make it hard & brown.                                                     
                                                                                                                                                 3. Keep the fried fish aside. In the same oil, splutter kalonji & saute the chopped onion on medium heat till translucent.          
4. Add the mustard posto paste, mix well, add more salt according to 
taste, add 1 1/2 cup of water(if you want more gravy) & bring to boil.                                                                                                      
5. Drop the fried fish into the gravy & let simmer for 7-8 minutes on medium heat.
                                                                                                                                                          Remove from flame. Enjoy it hot with plain rice.


Mother's Tip: Grind the mustard. Add 1/4 cup water to the paste. Strain this to get mustard water, without the blackish peel.
Grind posto & chilli together. Bring the strained mustard water & the ground posto to boil before cooking the fried fish in it.
This gives the Machcher Jhal a smooth texture.

Hey guys, anyone looking for a dynamic HR person? Contact bhai. He'll not only be a boon to the organization, he'll also cook fish for the team! What more does one ask for :)   


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