Today morning as I woke up and looked outside the window, the sight of the snow clad lawn sprawled in front of our apartment caught my eye. We will soon be rolling into the month of April and it is still snowing here, thankfully, the temperature is tolerable. It is still below minus, but compared to what it was even a month back, the weather is turning for the better. At least one can walk in the open for 30 minutes at a stretch without much ado. With winter beginning to backtrack, the teeny weeny bit of rise in the temperature is telltale sign of an imminent spring.
Already due to the clock being set forward by an hour, we see the sun up in the sky shining in full glory till around 8 o'clock in the evening. It feels really nice.
Anyway, few weeks back I posted the recipe of Aar Maach Kalo Jeera Bata Diye which is earning me a lot of page views, reasons enough for feeling motivated to post another recipe of Aar Maach with eggplant and bodi floating in mustard based gravy. I used a mixed batch of home-made masur dal bodi and urad dal bodi. In case if you are not familiar with bodi, bodis are tiny sun dried or oven baked dumplings that are used extensively in Bengali preparation, mainly vegetables but sometimes with unusual fishes like Aar Maach, addition of bodis takes the dish to entirely a new level of enjoyment.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 45 mins -1 hr. minutes
ü 6-8 pieces of Aar fish
ü Half of a medium size eggplant (chopped)
ü 1 tsp turmeric powder, plus extra for coating the fish before frying
ü 5-6 green chillies (slit in the middle)
ü 1 tsp ginger paste (optional)
ü 4 tbsp black mustard seeds
ü 4 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
ü 1 tsp kalo jeera or kalonji or nigella seeds
ü Salt to taste
ü 1 tbsp sugar
ü 10-15 dal bodis (available in Indian stores)
ü Generous amount of mustard oil
1) Coat the fish pieces in a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and 1 tbsp of mustard oil.
2) Heat mustard oil in a wok and when oil turns hot, add the fish pieces and fry till they turn crisp golden brown. Keep aside when done.
3) Meanwhile as the fish is getting fried, grind two kinds of mustard seeds together with 1/4 cup of water in a blender into fine paste.
4) Heat mustard oil in a wok. When oil turns hot, add eggplants and fry. Take them off the flame and keep aside.
5) Into the same oil, add dal bodis and fry till golden brown in color. Take off the flame and keep aside.
6) Into the same oil, add kalo jeera and green chillies. Let them crackle. Add ginger paste and sauté.
7) Add mustard paste. (Make sure mustard paste is diluted with water or else mustard turns acrid coming in direct contact with oil. Experience!!)
8) Add salt and sugar. When the gravy comes to a slight boil, toss the bodis in and cook covered for 2 minutes.
9) Add eggplants and the fishes. Cook covered again for approx. 4-5 minutes before turning the heat off.
10) Serve hot with steamed rice. Yumm.