One thing that you must be careful of while preparing any Bengali dish involving 'sorshe' i.e mustard seeds is there are two types of mustard seeds available in the market. Black mustard and yellow mustard seeds. Black mustard seeds are usually used in cuisines for sauting purpose, but paste made from yellow mustard seeds is what used for preparing curry. Paste made from black mustard seeds is bitter in taste (learned from experience of mistakes) while yellow mustard seeds do not have any bitterness. Another thing you must keep in mind is whenever you add mustard paste into the curry, DON'T directly pour it into the oil, mix a spoonful of water with the mustard paste before tossing it into the hot oil. Raw undiluted mustard paste coming in direct touch with hot oil has the tendency to turn bitter in taste whereas dilution with water prevents the paste from burning and the taste doesnot get compromised.
Traditionally, most of the authentic Bengali cuisines are prepared using mustard oil only for the pungent smell of mustards is considered an essence to these delicacies. But since I cling on to lowsorb white oil for the sake of health issues, I prepared the cuisine using white oil. You may either follow suit with traditional ways using mustard oil or toe my line using white oil, it is left on your discretion.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 45 minutes
5-6 pieces of Bhetki
1/2 cup of yellow mustard seeds (turned into paste)
1 onion (chopped)
5 green chillies (made into paste)
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp black cumin seeds (kalo jeera)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
White oil for cooking
25 gm coriander leaves (chopped)
3-4 green chillies (slit in the middle)
1) In a blender make a paste out of mustard seends and green chillies. Keep it aside.
2) Rub turmeric and salt on the fish pieces. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fishes till they turn brown in color. Slide fishes into the oil only when it becomes smoking hot else the water content in the fish would make it stick to the bottom of the pan.
3) DON'T make curry in the same oil (I do prepare curry in the same oil though, but to be able to do that, you ought to fry the fishes alternately on medium & low heat else if the oil turns black and burns due to continuous frying on high heat, the curry prepared in that oil will taste bitter.)
4) Heat fresh lot of oil in a pan and when it turns hot, add black cumin seeds. Once cumin seeds begin to splutter, add the chopped onion and fry till it turns translucent. Add ginger paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder & salt and saute for 2 minutes.
5) Now add the paste made from mustard seeds and green chillies. Just as I mentioned in the beginning, add a spoonful of water to the paste before adding it to the oil.
6) Now saute the mixture on medium heat for 1 minute. Add water as required for gravy and bring it to a boil.
7) When gravy begins to boil, toss in the fish pieces and cook covered on medium heat for 5 minutes more.
8) Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves and slit green chillies. Sorshe Bhetki is ready to rock.