Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Aar Maach Kalojeera Bata Diye

My mother though very fond of fishes has this typical inhibition towards trying fishes she had not
tasted in her growing years. For example, she doesn’t eat aar maach, boyal, loitta etc on the ground
of having never eaten any of these fishes during her formation period. She would cook these fishes
with such precision that she doesn't know the taste of them would appear a bit shocking. Many a
time me and my sister tried all our means to convince our mother for having a bite into Aar maach,
the fish she cooks so deliciously taking an effort so much as asking neighbors and relatives for
recipes. But she is mulish not to even try.

 Those who have tasted Aar maach know how its taste bears a hint of boyal and bhekti combined
together. I for one love this fish a lot. My father and my in laws all are very fond of Aar Mach.
Though its not so easy availability outside Bengal has impeded this fish from growing popular, but
 for Bengalis, after Hilsa, Rui and Katla, Aaar maach creates a typical wow moment.


Ingredients:                                                         Cooking time: 40 minutes
ü  5-6 Aar Maach pieces (coated in a pinch of turmeric powder and salt)
ü  1 large potato (cut into wedges)
ü  1 cup of brinjal (chopped)
ü  1 cup of frozen green peas
ü  5-6 green chillies (chopped)
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  2 tsp cumin powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  5-6 cloves of garlic and 1/2 tsp kalo jeera or nigella seeds or kalonji (ground into paste)
ü  1/2 tsp kalo jeera or kalonji or nigella seeds
ü  Mustard oil for cooking
1) Heat mustard oil in a wok. Fry the fishes till they are brown in color. (You may fry the fishes on medium low heat, that way the oil won't get burned turning bitter in taste and you may use the same oil for cooking the curry.)
2) Take the fishes off the flame. Keep aside. Into the same oil, add potato wedges and shallow fry. Keep aside.
3) Next add brinjal and shallow fry. Keep aside. Into the oil, add kalo jeera and wait till it begins to sizzle.
4) Add the kalo jeera and garlic paste and sauté for few seconds. Add green chillies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, green peas and few tablespoons of water. Sauté the spices for 1 minute.
5) Toss the fried potatoes in and pour 1 cup of water. Add salt and bring the gravy to a boil.
6) Cook covered till potatoes are tender. Toss the fried brinjals and fishes in. Cook covered for 2 minutes.
7) Serve hot with steamed rice.

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