Monday, November 28, 2016

Fish Butter Masala / Fish Makhani

I love the red hued curry of butter masala or makhani. Made with tangy red tomatoes and the signature style of Punjabi cuisine i.e. using butter and cashew nuts paste in abundance is something that sets this bright red curry apart from all the other curries of Indian cuisine. Besides they use Kasuri Methi which adds another pack of flavour to this already flavoured dish.

how to make Fish Butter Masala / Fish Makhani / Macher Makhani recipe and preparation

how to make Fish Butter Masala / Fish Makhani / Macher Makhani recipe and preparation

Since chicken and paneer have already been tried and tested and devoured with butter masala, the hibernating Bengali fish eating soul awakened inside me for a moment and made a mess of my mind. So...there, I went and made Butter Masala or Makhani with Fish. And I was like, holy ***t!! Why the hell did I not try this combo earlier???

how to make Fish Butter Masala / Fish Makhani / Macher Makhani recipe and preparation

Fish Buter Masala / Fish Makhani / Macher Makhani
Serves 4

how to make Fish Butter Masala / Fish Makhani / Macher Makhani recipe and preparation

6 large pieces of fish
1 small onion – finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic – paste
½ inch ginger root – paste
2 green chillies – slit
6 ripe tomatoes – pureed
3-4 tbsp heavy cream
7-8 whole cashew nuts
1 large cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 and ½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp crushed kasuri methi
100gm of unsalted butter (you can reduce the quantity if you are not comfortable with that much butter in your curry)
Oil to fry the fishes

Grind the cashew nuts in a grinder with a little water until you have a smooth, non-grainy paste. Keep the paste aside.
Smear the fish with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for 10-12 minutes.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and fry the fishes, until they become nicely golden from both the sides. There is no need to make them crispy and hard. Once they are done, take them out of the oil and keep aside in a separate bowl.
Remove all the oil from the kadai keeping just 1 tbsp and add 2 tbsp of butter to it.
Let the butter melt and then add the whole spices, i.e. cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms, cloves and bay leaves.
Sauté for some seconds and when you see the oil has become aromatic add the chopped onions.
Sprinkle some salt over them and cook the onions until lightly brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for a minute more.
Now add the tomato puree and stir to mix everything properly.
Add some salt to season and cook covered until you see the oil separating at the edges.
Add the rest of the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
Mix and stir and cook for a minute or two on low flame allowing the spices to develop their flavour.
Add the cashew nuts paste and cook until the sauce thickens.
Add 1 and ½ cup of water and let it come to a boil.
Add the fried fishes and cover the kadai.
Simmer on medium flame for 5-7 minutes.
Open the lid and pour in the heavy cream.
Add the garam masala powder and simmer until the gravy thickens and the oil starts to separate.
Once the gravy becomes thick enough, taste and adjust the seasonings.
Add the rest of the butter and kasuri methi. Stir to mix.

Then switch off the flame and serve hot with plain steamed rice or chapatti or naan.

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