Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fishy tales - Tel Koi - Spicy fish curry

I have been so fascinated by Koi Maach..I tried googling for its English name but didn't find a satisfactory name so am going to stick with "Koi". As a child I dared not eat this fish as it is full of small sharp bones but the taste is just so unique so I would ask maa to clear the bones and put the flesh on my plate and I would devour it. Over the years it is only when I visit Maa that I get to eat Koi maach.By the way even today she has to clear the bones for me but that's what moms are all about! "Tel Koi" is her speciality and this is her recipe that I am sharing with you today.

It is a very Bengali fish as far as my knowledge goes and this recipe that I am sharing is a spicy one in onion -ginger gravy and is best enjoyed with plain steamed rice. I would also advise anyone trying this dish that you must get the fish cleaned from the market as its almost impossible to clean it at home.

I suddenly remembered another story about cleaning Koi my thammas home I would see the Koi maach being cleaned on a bed of ash as it is otherwise too slippery even to hold. Life is made of such wonderful food memories that I could just go on and on : )


Koi maach - 4 - 6 nos washed and cleaned.

Onion paste - 4 tbsp.

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp.

Cumin paste - 2 tsp or you could use cumin powder same quantity

Turmeric - 1 tsp

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp or adjust acc to your spice levels

Bay leaves - 2-3 nos

Green chillies - 6-8 nos half slit

Mustard oil - 4 tbsp. for frying the fish + 2 tbsp. for gravy + 2 tbsp. for garnish

Salt - to taste


First of all, take the cleaned koi fish , rub with turmeric and salt and fry in hot mustard oil.

Keep the fried fish aside.

For the gravy:

In a pan heat the mustard oil. Add the bay leaves.

Next add the onion and ginger paste and fry till brown in colour. It is important to slow roast the paste so that there is no pungent smell of the onion.

Once browned add the cumin paste , turmeric , red chilli powder and salt. Fry well. Add water as required while frying.

Once the masala starts leaving oil on the sides ,know that it is ready. Add a cup of warm water.Once it simmers add the fried fish and the green chillies.

Let it simmer for 2-3 mins. Just before you turn of the heat add 2 tbsp. of raw mustard oil to the gravy. This Maa says makes all the difference!

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