Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tomato Maach / Fish in a silky smooth Tomato Curry

This Tomato Fish Curry resembles a bit of Kalia but brilliantly doused with ripe red tomatoes, this silky smooth curry is also distinctively different from that one. A fish curry that I found in between the worn out pages of an old Bengali cookbook has recently become one of my prized possessions.

The book has two versions of tomato fish curry. One...I am familiar with, which is prepared with nigella seeds and lots of tomatoes but this one I came across for the first time. The original recipe calls for the “bhapa” method, where all the ingredients along with the tomatoes and onions and the spices are placed in a kadai with a generous amount of ghee and then cooked until done. I tried that method...but really was not happy with the outcome.

I and my husband both prefer to add fried fishes into the curry rather than cooking the fish along with the the previous flavour did not quite go along our taste buds. Therefore I decided to make the curry using conventional method...and this time the recipe clicked. A striking red curry with thin oil floating on top of it is perhaps one of the most tempting fish curries...I have seen so far....

Tomato Maach / Fish in a silky Tomato Curry
Serves 4

4 thick pieces of fish (use the fish of your choice. Generally Rohu will work well with this curry)
½ of a medium onion – grated
2 ripe tomatoes – pureed
1 ripe tomato – finely chopped
2 green chillies – finely chopped
½ inch ginger – paste
2 tbsp ghee
2-4 tbsp oil to fry the fish
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp sugar
A handful of fresh coriander leaves – finely chopped

Marinate the fish with 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pan and shallow fry the fishes until they turn lightly golden. Take them out of the pan and keep aside.
Heat the ghee in a kadai and add the grated onions into them.
Sprinkle some salt and sugar and cook the onions until they become translucent and golden around the edges.
Add the ginger paste and cook for a minute or so.
Add the chopped and pureed tomatoes and chopped green chillies to them.
Mix them well and cook until you see the oil at the edges.
Add the remaining turmeric powder and red chilli powder and give a good mix. Add a little water and cook the spices for a minute or so.
Add ¼ cup of water to them and simmer on medium flame until all the water dries out.
Add ¼ cup of water again and simmer. Repeat this process 3-4 times or until the curry turns real smooth and mushy.

Season the curry accordingly and add 1 cup of water.
Add the fried fishes and make sure they are well under the water.
Put cover and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
After 10 minutes open the cover and simmer until you have your desired consistency of the curry.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top of them and put off the flame.
Serve hot with some plain steamed rice.

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