Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Rui / Katla Maachh-er Kalia - Spicy Rohu Curry
I have been away from the blogging world for a while now. A lot has actually changed from the last time I scribbled something here. I am still choking from the last breath of a loved one gone by. Yes, I lost someone very close to my heart for the first time, I experienced what blinding excruciating pain can be, I lost my loving Maternal Grand Mother, my Didu on the 16th of January 2013. I still wake up in the mornings even after more than a month has passed, thinking that it has all been a bad dream and everything is the way it is supposed to be. But no, reality stings when I hear stories from my Mother about what my Didu’s heirs are trying to do to her now vacant room, how they are planning to split her belongings which she has left behind, it hurts so much – I sometimes look up at the lone twinkling star in the sky and tell her ‘Good that you are not there, good that God relieved you of all your pains and I hope and pray that you will always be happy wherever you are’.
I have mentioned my Didu in so many of my earlier posts as she has been an integral part of my life. The fact that I could not see her for one last time will always remain like a raw open cut right on my heart; however, I am slowly learning to get used to the fact that she is not there anymore & I have to make peace with her memories and treasure them in as many ways as possible. When I look back at what she loved to do I always remember, she was an excellent cook and ‘Fish’ was her favorite, until the end of time. I still remember the olden days when live Fish was brought from the Market & she would sit on the portico of her house and do the scaling and cleaning and chopping; the same Portico where her lifeless body was kept for her loved ones to see for one last time before it was taken out to the Cremation Ground. I am sorry, but I can’t keep myself from relating each and every little incident since the day I lost her. Rohu is an integral part of a Bengali household and it is cooked almost every day. Didu made Rohu Curry about 2-3 times a week too and every time the dish tasted exquisite, out of this world. I tried to replicate it in my own small way and it came out good, not close to what she used to make; but I felt she was smiling down at me while I was preparing the dish, my little gift to her.
Here is what you will need to make Rui / Katla Maachh-er Kalia
Rohu / Katla Fish – 4-6 pieces
Onion – 1 – chopped
Tomato – 1 – chopped
Green Chilies – 3 – clit
Ginger – 1” stick – grated
Garlic cloves – 3-4 – grated
Dry Red Chili – 1
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder – 1tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
Mustard Oil / If you do not have Mustard available, use any other Oil of your choice
Salt to taste
Sugar to balance
· Clean the fish pieces, pat dry, rub turmeric and salt on to the pieces and set aside for 15 minutes.
· Heat Mustard Oil in a pan till smoking, if you are not using a non stick pan – add little salt to the Oil, this will help the hot Oil not to splutter once you drop the fish pieces in.
· Once done drop in the fish one by one and shallow fry the pieces, approximately 5 minutes on each side and keep aside
· In the same Pan, add the cumin seeds and dry red chili and let them splutter
· Add the Onions and fry till translucent
· Add the grated Ginger and Garlic – cook for about 2 minutes
· Add the Tomatoes and keep cooking till they are mushy
· Add Salt to taste, Sugar, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Red Chili Powder and Garam Masala Powder and cook till the spices are not raw any more
· Add warm water to this mix for the gravy as per desired thickness
· Once the Water starts boiling, add the Fish pieces
· Turn and cook both sides, cover with a lid if needed, this will make sure the remaining cooking is done in the vapor
· Once done, put into serving dish, garnish with the slit green chilies and serve with Steamed Rice