Friday, January 4, 2013

Muri Ghonto

One of the very popular Bengali dishes, Muri Ghonto is traditionally cooked with a special variety
 of rice available only in Bengal and rohu fish head. Gobindobhog rice is small grain rice
prevalently used in concocting myriads of delicacies, Payesh, khichuri to name a few. Sweet in
flavour, it is known for infusing a beautiful fragrance into the dishes. Outside Bengal, gobindobhog
is not very easily available as upon months long scouting we came across a shop in Bangalore at Hal
 Market selling the rice only on some selective days. So we had to check over once in a while as
 regards the availability of the rice, which again was a painful job as the market was considerably
far from our home and going there every week called for a compromise on other necessary chores.
 Therefore, most of the time we relied on the supply brought from Kolkata.

Muri Ghonto has its variation too where instead of rice, lentil goes into the making but across West
 Bengal, Muri Ghonto with rice is the most popular version and I love it this way because at my
home, my mother used to prepare it with rice only. If gobindobhog is not available in your region,
you may substitute it with any other small grain rice to your liking, but then I cannot vouch for the
taste. Since carrying over rice of any sort from India is banned in US, I now rely on the online
shopping of gobindobhog conveniently couriered to my home.  Though the purchase overall is little
expensive compared to that of India but it's worth the price.

Ingredients:                                                          Cooking time: 40 minutes
ü  1 rohu fish head
ü  1 cup of gobindobhog rice (240 ml)
ü  1 large potato (cut into cubes)
ü  1 onion (chopped)
ü  5-6 green chillies (chopped)
ü  1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
ü  3 tbsp cashew nuts
ü  2 tbsp raisins
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  1 tsp kashmiri red mirch
ü  1 tsp cumin powder
ü  1 heaped tsp garam masala powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tsp sugar
ü  2 tsp ghee
ü  Mustard oil for cooking
For sauté:
ü  3-4 green cardamoms
ü  2 bay leaves
ü  1 inch cinnamon stick
1) Wash gobindobhog rice under running water repeatedly. Keep aside.
2) Boil the potatoes in microwave for 7 minutes or till tender. Drain the water and set aside.
3) Heat mustard oil in a wok. Rub the fish head with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. When oil turns smoking hot, add the fish head and fry till brown in color. Keep aside.
4) Into the same oil, add the boiled potatoes and shallow fry till potatoes are golden brown in color. Take them off the flame and set aside.
5) Into the same oil, add the ingredients for sauté and allow sputtering. Add onion and green chillies. Fry till onion changes color. Add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, kashmiri red mirch, cumin powder, sugar, cashew nuts and raisins. Sauté for 2 minutes.
6) Add gobindobhog rice, salt and 3 cups of water. Cook covered till rice is cooked through. When rice is done, sprinkle garam masala powder and add ghee. Mix in.
7) Turn off the flame. Keep the wok covered to let the aroma of ghee infuse into the curry.

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