I was in for a surprise when yesterday while shuffling through my recipes, I discovered the recipe of Rohu Fish Kalia missing from the list. It's unbelievable. In my attempt to try a whole spectrum of unique fish preparations, I gave the most common yet the most popular Rohu curry of Bengal a miss. Trust me, it was not deliberate. Rui Macher Kalia is quite staple in our home, but somehow the recipes which are not so easily available on the net or which are not so common a preparation in our part of the world got more preference in my blog or rather simply put, I was more in favour of this idea of posting the experimental recipes frequently in my blog than the common ones which are cooked at every home. Whatever the reason may be, I was shocked not to have found the recipe of Rui Macher Kalia uploaded in my blog. As far as my memory goes, I have taken the pictures of the curry every time I made it at home, but at the last moment I might have become engrossed with something or the other. My mind never remains in one place for long, normal for anyone tugged between career and family. So the skip happened.
Anyway better late than never, Rohu Fish Kalia as I have mentioned is one of the popular rohu fish preparations in Bengal. Before the fashion of caterer service or verbosity of menu came into picture, traditionally in our marriages in West Bengal, all the food arrangements on special occasions like marriage or rice ceremony were done by a group of 'thakurs' who had been into the profession of cooking from generation after generation. Rui Macher Kalia used to be a sacrosanct item in their menu. In my childhood I attended many such marriages or occasions where Rui Macher Kalia or Katla Macher Kalia were served in the fish menu. The oil and ghee glistening on the surface of the gravy easily came to notice evoking temptation. However, these days no longer Rui Macher Kalia is served in marriage ceremonies, other fancy preparations having taken its place.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 30 minutes
ü 6 pieces of Rohu fish
ü 1 large size potato, cut into wedges (shallow fried)
ü 1 small size onion (ground into paste)
ü 5-6 green chillies (ground into paste)
ü 1 tomato (pureed)
ü 2 tbsp plain yogurt, beaten
ü 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
ü 1 tsp cumin powder
ü 1 tsp turmeric powder, plus extra for marinating the fish
ü 1 tsp coriander powder
ü 1 tsp kashmiri red mirch
ü 1 tsp garam masala powder
ü Salt to taste
ü A pinch of sugar (for caramelization)
ü Mustard oil for cooking
ü 1 tsp ghee
ü 1 bay leaf
ü 2 dry red chillies
ü 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1) Remove the scales from the fishes and wash them under running water repeatedly. Pat them dry and toss them in turmeric powder and salt.
2) Heat mustard oil in a wok. When oil comes to a smoking point, slide the fishes and fry till they turn brown in color on medium to low heat alternately, this will prevent the oil from burning and you can use the same for making curry. (Oil should be smoking hot or else the fishes will stick to the bottom of the wok.)
3) When the fishes are fried, take them off the plate and keep aside. Into the same oil, add the ingredients for sauté and allow them to crackle.
4) Then add onion-green chilli paste. Add a pinch of sugar to caramelize. Fry the onion till it turns translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and tomato puree. Add turmeric powder, kashmiri red mirch, cumin powder and coriander powder. Sauté the mixture for 5 minutes till oil floats on the surface.
5) Add yogurt and mix in well. Add salt and 1 cup of water. Bring the gravy to a boil. Toss the shallow fried potato wedges into the gravy. Cook covered till potatoes are tender.
6) Dung the fishes into the gravy. Sprinkle garam masala powder and add ghee. Cook covered for 2 minutes before turning the heat off.
7) Serve hot with rice or pilaf.