If you ask a Bengali what the word ‘Fish’ means to them, their eyes will light up through their thick lensed glasses and their mouth will start watering instantly – well that’s your answer.
In Bengali cuisine, fish – especially Rohu and Katla, and of course the Ilish during special occasions, are cooked in several styles – with mustard seed paste , onion seeds, curd or milk – but all cooked in Mustard Oil, because that’s what according to our East Indian palate enhances the taste, aroma and flavour of the fish. 😛
Ma prepares a particular fish curry only when we bring white or black Pomfret from the fish seller, as this kind of gravy tastes good particularly with this variety of sea fish.
I’ve travelled so much around the country, getting Rohu, Catla, let alone the Ilish is not easy. So I make do with the white/ black Pomfret fish curry, as that is readily available in most fish shops.
So here goes…
- Pomfret Fish slices – 4-6 nos.
- Tomato – 1 large, finely chopped
- Green Chillies – 2-3 cut in half
- Chilli powder – 1-2 tsp (or according to taste)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Mustard Oil
- Once you have cleaned the fish slices, apply salt and turmeric and fry them in hot mustard oil till golden brown on both sides and keep aside.
- In the same oil, add the tomato and the green chillies and fry well until it turns into a paste.
- Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder and mix well.
- Add water once the paste thickens and once it begins to boil, add the fish pieces. You can add more water if you want a little more gravy.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.