We Bengalis have this immense capability of eating each part of fish, head, tail and the bone even. Then how can we forget fish eggs/roe.
Fish roe/egg - mach'er dim is a delicacy in Bengali cuisine and the desire to eat them is profound in Bengalis as well. So, come every monsoon, as these are available in plenty we like to make them with spicy gravy- mach’er dimer jhaal, as fritters or cutlets -mach’er dimer bora and as sweet/sour chutney or mach’er dimer tok or ambol.
I have blogged already about Hilsa fish roe/ilish mach’er dim bhaja few years back- Here.
I know there are some sect of believers who like to abstain from eating fish particularly in monsoon/ or sharavan mash according to Bengali/Hindu calender. People from Maharashtra specially the coastal regions of Maharashtra who do like eating fish; abstain from eating them and specially the fish caviar/eggs, as this is the time when most of the fishes in general hatch their eggs.
But lets not generalize this practice to a particular region, as I have seen my parents also, well sometimes abstaining from eating fish particularly in the month of Sharavan mash or monsoon .May be the influence came from, could be their place of living which was the epitome of cultural amalgamation or may be due to the fact they are “Probashi Bengali.” I know few eyebrows are being raised now. But in this world of express trains, jet and frequent fliers special packages, aren’t we all have become “Probashi Bengali” or at least once in our lifetime?
And most of us are compelled to follow this practice, particularly if we are living abroad or may be up to an extent outside Bengal as fish particularly high quality fishes like Hilsa or Pabda which is known to have excellent chunks of fish caviar/eggs are not that readily available.
However in my parent-in-law’s side and here in Kolkata as well, people generally don’t like to go with this practice as for them without a whiff of fish or it’s any part, thier afternoon lunch is incomplete. So, every morning “Bengali Bhadralok” will definitely be going to fish markets, even if it’s raining and will bring back home day’s best catch also. And then the Bengali homemaker like me will be making fish curries as their routine job.
This recipe is very simple and makes a lip-smacking dish quickly. Fish roe/caviar/egg is fried well and then added to spicy gravy of potatoes and green chilies. If you really like to eat a little spicier version then an onion/ginger/garlic paste and freshly grounded coriander over sheel/nora ( stone slabs and a stone roller) will enhance the flavor.
Fish Roe/eggs Spicy Curry- Mach’er Dim’er Jhal
Recipe requirementsAbout 350-300 gms of fish roe/eggs
To marinate fish roe/egg
2 tsp of grounded turmericSalt as per taste
Few tsp of flour to coat the fish caviar/eggs.
For the gravy2 tsp of grounded red pepper
1 tsp of salt or to taste1 tsp of grounded turmeric
3-4 green chilies
2 medium size potatoes
1 tomato chopped finely
3-4 tbs of mustard oil
- Usually while frying fish caviar/roe/eggs in hot oil, you need to be cautious as they tend to tear out and scatter while frying or popping out with great speed and may catch you unaware if you are less attentive. So, it’s better to coat them with few tsp of flour and then deep fry them covered at med-low flame.
- Marinate the fish caviar/eggs with grounded turmeric and salt.Coat with the flour/atta/corn flour or besan whatever is available.
- Now heat up a saucepan, add cooking oil and fry the fish eggs slowly at med –low flame covered each side for about 4-5 mints approx.
- Take out the fish eggs and drain.
- Now add some more oil, add in cut potatoes and fry them well for 2-3 mints at med high. Add salt.
- Now add about 1-2 cup of water, then add grounded turmeric and red pepper, green chilies slit in between.A tomato chopped finely adds to the tanginess of the gravy.
- Cover the pan and let it cook well or till the potatoes turn out soft or edible.
- Serve with warm cooked rice or rotis whatever way you prefer eating it.
Alternately you can prepare this like a mach’er kalia which may sound like mach’er dim’er kalia with onion/ginger/garlic paste.
If you wish you may visit this recipe for -Pomfret Kalia or - Rui mach'er Do Pyaza and substitute the fish with fish eggs.
Happy Cooking Friends