Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tel Koi ~ An Inspiration # 1

Lately I have been craving for fishes like never before. Being raised in a proper North - Calcutta home...fish was something that I never felt any scarcity in my life. Meat or not....fish was an absolute important and not avoidable item in my mother's kitchen. And the way she cooked....that is something I miss sooo much now. And there was these variety of fishes that I only noticed after leaving India...because thankfully my in-laws are quite a good fish eater too.


One day I was talking to my sister when I said that all I am going to eat is fish back in Kolkata when I will return and I started counting the names - Rui, Katla, Tangra, Bhetki, Ilish, Pabda, Pona , Chuno, Koi, Telapia, Sutki and I was going for more....when she finally broke my motion and told me that I have turned into a total freak and all I do now is really eat and read and cook!!! Lol!!!
If you are a Bengali then you must be aware of the never ending egoistic war between Bangal and Edeshi....the typical devision between Bengalis who used to live in now Bangladesh and West Bengal. From my mother's side I am Bangal and seriously in my opinion Bangals are the best cook in the world. :):) Many Bengali recipes bear 2 different names from these two Bengal Parts and Tel Koi is such an exception. My mother used to call this Koi Macher Jhal whereas my husband knows it as Tel Koi. But as Shakespeare has said "what's in a name!!"..I throw away this war and confusion and simply go for the taste which is a showstopper and always a hit.



Since its impossible to get Bengal Fishes here in Africa...of course its not New York..to my much dissatisfaction, I applied the recipe to a local sea fish called Bar, and to my utter surprise it came out so good. So today I am sharing the recipe of Tel Koi which I cooked with a different fish. Now as far as I know there are 2 recipes of Tel Koi...one is with the onion and other without. Today I am sharing the dish with the onion.

Tel Koi
Serves 3-5 (depending on serving)


Ingredients:
  • 6 Koi Mach / Perched Fish
  • 1/2 onion - paste
  • 1/2 onion - thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger - paste
  • 1 tsp garlic - paste
  • 1 green chili - paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of red chili powder
  • 2 green chilies - silted
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsp mustard oil (this is not at all optional. This dish should and always be made with mustard oil and nothing else.)
Method:
  • Make a fine paste of the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Now marinate the fish with all the ingredients except oil and silted green chilies i.e.  with onion paste and slices, mustard and cumin seeds paste, ginger-garlic and green chili paste, turmeric powder and red chili powder.
  • Marinate the fish for 10-15miutes.
  • Heat the 1/2 cup oil in a pan and put the marinated fish in it. Put the marinating mixture also.
  • Let it sizzle in the oil for 3-4 minutes. Don't let it burn.
  • Then turn the sides of the fishes to the other side.
  • Let that side sizzle for 3-4 minutes again.
  • Now add 1 cup of water.
  • Put cover and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  • Now open the cover and cook the fish until the water is evaporated enough to make the gravy thick.
  • Add the rest of the oil now. Since it Tel Koi...the gravy is 70% made of oil. So don't be scared.:)
  • Simmer for a more 2-3 minutes.
  • Put off the flame and serve hot with plain steamed rice.:)
 

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