recipe by Koel
Yield 6 People
Usually this dish is made from the head of a fish. Mudi in Bengali means "head". Koel has chosen to use fish fillets instead. If you do not have katla mach available where you are, any fresh water fish like red snapper or cod will do.
- 2 lbs. fresh water fish such as carp, red snapper, cod, or halibut. Cut into large pieces. Kiya used katla fish (Katla mach or "boro fish")
- 2.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 Indian bay leaves
- 2 dried red chilis
- 1 large red onion
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp ginger paste
- 2 Tbsp garlic paste
- 4 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1.5 cups gobindo bhog rice or basmati
- 3-4 cups water
- 3 Tbsp ghee optional
- Marinade the fish with turmeric and salt.
- Heat oil over low heat until oil becomes fragrant.
- Add the marinated fish and fry for 5 minutes or until brown on both sides.
- In another pan add 1 Tbsp of the oil, then put in bay leaves and red chilies, stir for few seconds till they release their flavor.
- Increase heat to medium and add onions. Cook until onions are caramelized; then add sugar, salt (to taste), ginger, and garlic.
- Add 1/4 c of water, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and garam masala.
- Add rice and slowly add water ¼ cup at a time cooking until the liquid is absorbed over a low heat.
- Continue adding water ¼ cup at a time until the rice is fully cooked. (This is the absorption method of cooking rice). This process takes about 20 minutes to fully cook.
- Add the fish pieces and submerge. Cook for another 5 minutes. (Be sure not to overcook fish as it is already cooked
- Garnish with a drizzle of ghee.
Koel was so excited to cook for us. She also wanted to cook for her entire community of sister at the Loyal Workshop as a treat. We of course encouraged it. So the proportions you see in the photos are what is required for a large group. With the assistance of our culinary partners in Kolkata, all our recipes have been scaled down to feed a family of 4-6 people. Enjoy!