The world of delicious small fishes | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 23, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 23, 2020

The world of delicious small fishes

Many people don't know that small fishes are a rich source of important micronutrients including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, as well as high quality protein.

Fish intake is linked to reduced mental decline in older adults. People who eat fish regularly also have more grey matter in the brain centres that control memory and emotion. Eating small fish has been linked to a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes and several other autoimmune conditions. Some studies show that children who eat more fish have a lower risk of asthma. With the nutritional aspect out of the way, time to focus on how to make them taste as delicious as possible with these unique recipes.

BEGUN TANGRA (BRINJAL AND TANGRA FISH CURRY)

This is a Bengali recipe. Tangra fish has a lot of iron and as it has only a backbone which is significantly noticeable, it is very suitable for young ones. It is very important to clean tangra properly by rubbing it on a hard surface with salt, as its natural environment are the ponds or muddy areas.

Ingredients

250g tangra fish

3 brinjal, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces

¼ cup chopped onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

3 green chillies

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

4 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

Method

Cut and clean the fish thoroughly. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onion and garlic until it is soft. Add the brinjal and potatoes. Shallow fry the vegetables. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and fry for a few minutes. Add water and fish. Cook on medium heat with the lid on. Check if the potatoes and brinjal are softened, add coriander leaves, and green chillies. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

PUTI MAACHER TOK

Ingredients

250g puti fish, cleaned and rinsed well

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 dry red chillies, broken into halves

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 green chillies, slit

1 green mango, cut into pieces

Salt to taste

Method

Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chillies. After it stops sputtering, add green mango, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well and add the fish. Stir slowly and add water. Simmer on a low to medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes or till the gravy is slightly reduced. Switch off the flame and serve with plain steamed rice.

LOITTA MAACHER JHURI

Ingredients

250g loitta fish

1 cup chopped onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cumin powder

5-6 green chillies

¼ cup oil

Salt to taste

2 tbsp coriander leaves

Method

Cut the fish into pieces and remove the bones. Wash the fish pieces with salt. Strain and keep it aside. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onion and garlic until light brown. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and salt. Mix well and add boneless fish pieces, green chillies and cook. Don't use extra water as the fish will release some. Cook on medium heat until the water dries up completely and the oil floats to the top, separated. Add coriander leaves and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and serve.

KACHKI MAACHER BORA

Ingredients

1 cup kachki fish

½ cup grated onion

1 tsp grated garlic

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp gram flour

1 tsp chopped green chilli

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

Method

Wash the fish and leave in the strainer for 15 minutes. Mix all the ingredients except the oil. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Fry the bora until golden brown. Serve it with rice or tea.

Tip: When storing kachki fish in your freezer, keep them in a pot full of water. This will keep the fish fresh for a long time.

MOURALA MAACHER CHORCHORI

Ingredients

250g mourala fish

½ cup onion, thinly sliced

2 potatoes, fine Julienne cut

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

4-5 green chillies

½ tsp cumin

2 tbsp coriander leaves

4 tbsp mustard oil

Salt to taste

Method

Cut and clean the fish by rubbing with salt, and then wash them properly. Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onion and garlic. Fry them in medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the onion becomes transparent. Stir in-between. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and salt. Mix it well and add the potatoes. Fry for 2 minutes. Add water, fish, and green chillies. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on the top. Cover the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

KAJOLI/BASHPATA MAACHER JHAAL

This simple yet delicious fish curry is a favourite for most of the Bengali crowd. Kajoli maach is a small variety of river water fish. It is prepared in many ways, either with mustard paste, tomato purée, chorchori, or just a simple thin gravy. It is relished with plain steamed rice for a satisfying meal any day of the week.

Ingredients

250g kajoli fish

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 onion, chopped

½ tsp garlic paste

½ tsp cumin powder

3 tbsp mustard oil

2 green chillies

Salt to taste

1 tbsp coriander leaves

Method

Cut, wash and then marinate the fish with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic paste, sauté till light brown. Now add all the dry spices mixed with a little water. Fry the spices on low flame until the oil separates. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Gently add the fish and simmer for 10 minutes or till you get the desired consistency. Add coriander leaves and remove from heat. Leave them for 10 minutes. Serve with hot plain rice.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Food and Styling: RBR

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