Monday, August 24, 2015

Macher Kalia / Bengali Fish Kalia

Yesterday we went for our weekly groceries and vegetable shopping. I wanted to be in the budget. I was in complete control and picked up only those which were really really necessary. Then I calculated and the billing price was way low than the budget. So I thought to pick up some more stuffs. So, I went to the frozen section and picked up a packet of fish fillets. It was cheap. So it will not hurt that much!! I though. Then I went to the bakery section and picked up tutti-fruity, to make cake. Then I saw the promo counter, there they were selling Nescafe Dolce Gusto chococino at the half price. How can I let go that??? So I picked 1 packet of that too. Then I remembered that I needed a bottle of shampoo and 1 carton of whole milk. I rushed to pick them up. It was already evening, and the ques were starting become long in front of the counters. I had to hurry. And it was only at the time of payment that I realized my bill almost got double. Seeshh!!! How am I going to save in this way??

bengali style macher kalia recipe

Then we had to buy fish. Husband suddenly remembered that he saw fresh Sardines in another super market. And they were damn cheap. So...bye bye Bar fish, and hello Sardine!! We rushed to Hayat Supermarche, as it was already 6:30 and they close at 7:30. Thankfully they still had a big bunch, and we purchase 1 and ½ kg of fresh Sardines. Beside the Sardine, there was a basket of very small fishes. I really can’t remember the name, but they looked exactly like Mourala. And I had to take them. They were cheaper than the Sardines. So I took 500gm of them also.
Then in the way husband bought a bunch of bananas and a bag of passion fruits. Then finally he seems we are buying for a marriage ceremony. Bananas, fish...we have them all!!!
But I know what I have to do with them. Half of the bananas are going to be deep fried and made into an African snack named “Alocco”, and the passion fruits will become popsicles and sorbets.

bengali style fish curry recipe macher kalia

Abidjan has become so cold these days. In the evening the weather becomes similar like the wintery evenings of Kolkata. It seems as if we have just finished our picnic in the Alipoor Zoo and waiting in the chilly weather at the Bus Stoppage for our Bus to reach home, with all the baggage and baskets full of empty boxes, which were once full of yummy foods. Foods that Ma made in the dawn to devour in the noon.  All the rushes are left behind in the Zoo along with left out papers and plastics and torn bags of chips. And we were there waiting to return home with all our tiredness and soreness in body because of the day long play. Such an emphatic feelings feels me up every day when the chilling air brushes my skin with its soft thin layers.
Am I sad?? Am I happy?? But this particular time of the day always makes me feel melancholic. I can’t help but sigh and then pick up the breadth again, to continue walking.

bengali style macher kalia recipe

Macher Kalia is a classic Bengali fish curry, made with onion and garlic. If you look closely, then you will see, we do not add onion and garlic and every other fish curries. And that is what makes Kalia so very different. This addition of onion and garlic to tomatoes makes this fish curry rich and very very Mangsolo a.k.a meaty!!! So this meaty / mangsolo macher kalia is not an every day fish curry. It is reserved for the special occasions, to be eaten with special rice preperations.  You can make macher kalia with any fish of your choice. But Rohu and Boal is the popular choice for making Kalia. There is also a richer macher kalia...yes richer, which is generally prepared in marriage ceremonies, with rich, large and oily fishes. There is a slight variation and addition in that preparation. But that is for some other day!!

how to cook bengali macher kalia recipe

Macher Kalia
Serves 3-4

how to cook bengali style rohu fish kalia recipe

4 pieces of fish – cut in thik steak like size
1 potato – diced
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – puree
1 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped
4-6 garlic cloves – paste
½ inch stick of ginger – minced / paste
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ -1 tsp garam masala powder
1 medium stick of cinnamon
3-4 green cardamoms
3-4 cloves
 3-4 tsp sugar
3 tbsp mustard oil

Rub the 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt on the pieces of fish and let them marinate for 15 minutes.
Once done, heat oil and fry the fish pieces one by one, until they are golden brown from both the sides.
Once done, take out the fishes from the pan / kadai and keep aside.
From the pan / kadai take away most of the oil, keeping only that much, which you need to, complete the cooking. For that 1 tbsp of oil is enough.
Put t the flame on low and put the cinnamon stick, green cardamoms and cloves into the oil. Sauté for half a minute or until the oil becomes aromatic. Now add the sugar and sauté till it melts. The addition of sugar gives this curry a dark brown colour.
Then immediately add the chopped onions and sauté till the onions become slightly golden brown.
Now add the ginger – garlic paste. Mix and cook till the raw flavour of the garlic is gone.
Once the raw flavour is gone and the onions have become perfectly golden brown, add the tomato puree.
Mix everything, put cover and let the tomato puree cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the oil starts to separate.
Then add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix and simmer till the raw smell of the spices are gone.
Now add water according to your preference of gravy. If you want very thick gravy add ½ -1 cup of water. For medium consistency add 1 to 1 and ½ cup of water. And for a thin “jhol” like gravy add 2-2 and ½ cups of water.
Add salt.
Add the already fried fishes. Put cover and simmer for 5 minutes more, so that the fishes can absorb all the flavours.
After simmering, taste and adjust the seasoning. Macher Kalia is generally sweeter compared to other Bengali fish curries. So, adjust the sugar level according to that.
Sprinkle the garam masala powder, chopped fresh coriander leaves and again put cover.
Put off the flame and let it stay like this for 5 minutes more.
Then serve hot with steamed hot rice or simple sweet pulao.

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