Sunday, June 25, 2006

Koi Macher jhol (Koi Fish Curry)

Koi Mach or Gangetic Koi is also known as Climbing Gouramie. It belongs to the perch family. (Perhaps the sporty cousin of the kissing gouramie??). This is one of my favorite fish dishes ever. And I have never cooked it myself. Never had to. Ma and K (our temepermental cook) have always obliged. K dictated this recipe to R who then emailed it to me. (Its a bit different from the other koi recipes available on the net, the most common being tel koi or koi in oil).

Koi is widely available. So do try this one. I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.

You will need:
Koi 1 kilo
Potato 1 large
Turmeric powder 1 heaped tsp
Cumin seed 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp (made into a paste with a little water)
Coriander powder 1& 1/2 tsp (made into a paste with a little water)
Bay Leaf 2
Ginger grated 1 tsp
Water 2 cups
Coriander leaves
Oil for frying

How to:

1. Ask the fish seller to de-gill the fish. Smear salt on fish
and wash well.
2. Drain. Smear 2 tsp salt and 1 heaped tsp turmeric on the fillet
and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Slice the potato lengthwise into sections.
4. In a wok / kadai heat 1/2 cup oil to smoking.
5. Medium fry the fish (if required in batches) and set aside.

6. In the same kadai, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves.
7. When the cumin seeds start crackling, add the potato sections
and stir.
8. Add 1tsp cumin paste, 1 tsp coriander paste, a little turmeric,
1 tsp ginger paste, a little salt and a pinch sugar.
9. Stir well and fry a bit.
10. Add the water.
11. After two minutes add the fried fish and cover.
12. Cook for 5-7 minutes or till potatoes have softened and fish
well soaked in gravy.
13. Add the coriander leaves remove from fire.
14. This curry has to be eaten with steamed rice (a must).

Note: K prefers to take cumin grains, grind them using a shil patha (a stone block with fine carvings to aid in the grinding. The spices are ground using another stone not unlike in shape to a rolling pin - also carved - but smaller). Same for coriander. I, on the other hand, would have little qualms of using powdered spices and making them into a paste with a few drops of water!