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Doi Mach

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Yesterday I bought some very good Rohu fish from Chittaranjan Park and decided to get this preparation done for dinner. It is quite simple but very delicious. This dish is best done with thickish steaks of large Rohu or Katla fish, both belong to Carp family.
Doi Mach:
500 gms Rohu (carp) steaks
100 gms of mustard oil
4 cloves
4 small cardamoms,
2 inch pieces cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 onions,
1 inch ginger
1 small clove garlic
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
100 grams of curd
salt and sugar to taste
a few green chillies
2 tsp. ghee

Clean and wash the fish pieces thoroughly. Wipe dry.

Apply 1 tsp. turmeric and a little salt to the pieces. Set aside.

Grind the onion, garlic, and ginger to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Beat the curd with a little water till smooth and set aside.

Heat oil to smoking, lightly fry the fish pieces and set aside.

In the oil now, add the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. Then add the ground paste of onion, garlic, and ginger. Fry lightly till the spices are browned.

Now mix the remaining one teaspoon of turmeric powder and the red chili powder with three teaspoons of water and add to the frying paste. Fry again. Keep stirring to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan.

Now add to this the beaten sour curds. Stir the mixture, might need to add some more water.
Now add salt to taste and a teaspoon of sugar or less if you want but the sugar is important. Add the green chilies and cook a while till the excess water begins to dry up and till the gravy comes to a boil.

Now gently add the fried fish pieces and let it cook on high heat till the oil separates and floats on top. Before taking off from the heat add the ghee.
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Jyothida...In my version, I avoid using chilli powder and turmeric powder for Doi Maach to ensure a white coloured gravy. I generally add few cracked peppercorns, few red chillies to add get the right levels of spice. If I am cooking for guests, I would add two table spoons of fresh cream towards the end. Your thoughts??
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Yes Raunak bhai I know many who don't use red chillies. I have never used pepper corns in this preparation and also fresh cream. I have used cream in Malai Curries. Since you have suiggested this I will try it when I make Doi Mach again. Some fish is still in the freezer.
When I had gone to buy this fish I met one young man with the customary laptop slung over his shoulder who was in the process of buying huge quantities of various fish. I politely asked him about the number of members in his family. The young man grinned and told me there are only four in his family and he lives in greater Noida. It seems he drives more than 40 kms every ten days to buy fish from Chittaranjan Park. That's Bong's obsession with fish[img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
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[quote name='jyotirmoy' timestamp='1332391736' post='23230']
That's Bong's obsession with fish[img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
Rohu is an excellent choice of fish. Nice firm pieces of fish that can be used in a curry / fry.

"Thats Bong's obsession with fish" - thats hilarious Jyotida. [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]

Here is my poor attempt at replicating some quotes (No offence meant to anybody)

"You can take an Indian out of India, but you can't take the India(ness) out of the Indian".
"You can make a Bong like any cuisine, but you can't take the fish(obsession) out of the Bong" ... ok neither does it rhyme nor make sense [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png[/img]

That reminds me dada, Bengali Brahmins also eat fish right ? I remember as a kid playing football with my bengali friends at the [url="http://bhagyesht.blogspot.com/2009/02/kalibari-mandir-khadki-pune.html"]Kali-Bari[/url], Kirkee, Pune (Kali Maata temple) ground behind my house. It must have been when the temple wasn't in white marble yet, it used to be red in color. Of course cricket was my favorite game, but I would play football also whenever my friends would be in the mood. Every kid would contribute a small amount of money for the football and when we still fell short, one of the bengali uncles would usually pay the rest of the money we required for buying a football. When we would play football in the evening, some of the bengali uncles returning from the factory (Ammunition factory / High Explosives factory) would stop by and park their bicycles at the temple, watch the game and provide some tips and insights. Some of the uncles would even participate and demonstrate some tackle moves.

Sometimes when we played football during the day/noon time, the newly appointed young brahmin Pujari(brought from Calcutta) would yell (call) out to all kids to come and participate in Puja. All of us would at once stop the game and run into the temple for the Puja (of course, in anticipation for the Prasad / offerings to God). After the Puja, the pujari handed us rice and fish curry (with a piece of fish) in a [url="http://tasteofnepal.blogspot.com/2012/03/leaf-plates-of-nepal-tapari-duna-bota.html"]leaf[/url] bowl.
I must say, it was declious even though I was too young to recognize the variety of fish used. Once in a while, the pujari would participate for a short while in the game of football.

Sometimes I wonder, what may have started the first Brahmin off on the path of fish in Bengal...just rambling.
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Dear Termz bhai,
Unlike in rest of India Brahminism in Bengal doesn't advocate vegetarianism. Living along the coast and in the hinterland crisscrossed with rivers, canals and ponds fish is bound to form an important part of Bengali's diet. We also consider fish to be auspicious. Fish is used in our marriage rituals too. So you can see why Bengali Brahmins eat fish. The "Shaktos" offer meat and fish to goddess Kali. So, no wonder that you ate a prasad of fish curry and rice. And Rohu being the most commonly used & widely available fish for fish curry I can assume that you had eaten Rohu.
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The kasmiri Brahmins are at it too-and on a different note

i find the idea of cooking prasad of goat meat on kalipuja ( for example) without onions and garlic quite hilarious....this apparently renders the meat VEG and fit for the prasad. [img]http://www.gourmetindia.com//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Hmmm...food for thought here.

poor goat, too. To be classified as a veg probably does not do its soul any good .....
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