Friday, August 8, 2014

Muri Ghonto / Macher Matha Diye Muri Ghonto

I often write about my aunt who cooks the best Kosha Mangsho and Chicken Biriyani. But there was another person who was even better that her and lent all her learnings to my aunt. She is my grand mother. Fish was her forte. She was mind boggling with it. No matter what fish it used to be a show stopper, an instant hit. My earliest memory of her cooking is "Macher Matha Die Muri Ghonto" which is a spicy dry curry cooked with rice and fish head. She cooked it best. And whenever she used to cook this she used to send them to her every child and we used to devour it like a "hungry caterpillar". She is the only one from whom I liked eating Sutki Mach which is nothing but fermented fish. It is usually cooked with a mother-load of spices and oil to let go of its smell. But the way she cooked it, it was almost impossible to recognize that.

how to cook bengalis style traditional muri ghonto

Generally I throw away the fish head. But sometimes I keep them and cook Rosha or Muri Ghonto or Macher Matha die Badha Kopir Tarkari. All three of them are very popular Bengali dishes. Today I am going to share the recipe of Muri Ghonto. The word "Muri" comes from the word "Muro" which means head, here "fish head" and "Ghonto" means a mashed up situation. So the name kind of gives some hint of the dish. Here the fish head is fried and mashed up and then cooked with rice.
So..come, lets cook Macher Matha Die Muri Ghonto.

Bengali style sweet rice dish with mashed up fish head
Dish Reminder:

  • Its a very rich and oily dish and cooked mainly with mustard oil. But if you are not comfortable with mustard oil you can go ahead with any kind of unflavored oil.
  • This dish has deep sweetness in it. So don't be surprised at my use of sugar in it.
  • Try to use a giant fish head. It gives a very rich flavor to the dish. Because the bigger the fish, the older it is and it makes them richer in taste. We bengalis call them Paka Mach.
  • The recipe tells that how Muri Ghonto is originally made. You can easily make it less in calorie by cutting down the quantity of oil and using a small fish head.

Macher Matha die Muri Ghonto / Muri Ghonto
Serrves 4/5

how to cook authentic traditional muri ghonto


  • 1 giant fish head / 2 small fish heads
  • 1/3 cup uncooked dry Basmati rice
  • 1 small onion - thinly slices
  • 1 small potato - cubed
  • 2 green chilies - chopped
  • a handful of green peas
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tsp + 2tbsp + 1tbsp +1tsp mustard oil
  • Marinate the fish head with salt and turmeric powder and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Wash the rice and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and put the washed rice in it.
  • Sauté until it becomes dry and sticky. Since we are using mustard oil the rice will become yellowish.

  • Now heat the other 2tbsp oil in the pan and put the fish head in it.
  • Fry until both the sides are golden brown.
  • When properly fried and cooked, mash the fish head with a large spoon, or with whatever you feel comfortable with. Be careful not to spill any oil on yourself.

  • Now put the mashed fish head in a bowl and keep aside.
  • From this put away the strong part of the fish head that might be hard to chew and also the bones which does not have any flesh on it.
  • Now put the rest of the oil and put the whole garam masals in it.
  • When they become fragrant add the sliced onion.
  • When the onion becomes translucent add the ginger-garlic paste.
  • Now sauté until their raw flavor is gone and the onion has become golden brown.
  • Now add the fried raw rice.
  • Add salt and sugar.
  • Mix evenly with the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, giving then rice time to be a little tender.
  • Then add the mashed fish head along with the cubed potatoes and chopped green chilies.
  • Put the coriander and cumin powder.
  • Mix everything and put 1 cup water in it.
  • Cover and let them cook for 6-7 minutes.
  • Now check whether the potatoes and rice are cooked yet.
  • If not then cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add water if it had become too dry.
  • Now open the cover and let the water evaporate. Potatoes and rice must be cooked in between.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning. If required add a little more of the coriander and cumin powder.
  • Add the last 1tsp mustard oil.
  • Simmer until the dish has become totally dry.
  • Serve hot with steamed plain rice.

1 comment:

  1. I came across your blog while looking for some bengali food recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye on your post.