Category: Sea Food


Bod actually means head in Konkani. At my mom’s place, we hardly ate fish head. The maid who cleaned fish would take the heads away. But on rare occassions, they were retained to make this curry. My Annu (dad) and Annamma (granny) loved it. Specially during days when my Granny would be feeling sick and not feeling like eating anything, Amma would make this or any other spicy curry get her taste buds back alive.

I made this curry with mackerel and licked the last bit of the gravy off. You can make it with minimal ingredients that are easily available in any Indian kitchen. I prefer to make it with coconut oil. Do give it a shot, if your taste buds don’t get tantalized, then ‘pasia waapas’

Ingredients:

  • Mackerel Fish – 2, cut into 3 pieces
  • Onion – 3 nos, medium sized, finely chopped
  • Chilli powder – 2 tbsp or more as per spice tolerance
  • Tamarind extract – 1 tbsp, if thick ( I used readymade extract)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil – 3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and saute till they turn golden, do not brown them much.
  2. Add chilli powder and saute for a minute on low flame.
  3. Add tamarind extract, salt and 2 cups of water.
  4. Add in the fish pieces, cover and let it simmer covered.
  5. Stir lightly in between.
  6. Switch off the gas once the gravy has attained your desired consistency. (It should neither be too runny nor thick)
  7. Serve hot with steamed rice.

  
I had a meagre amount of prawns lying in the freezer. As I was on the lookout for recipes to use it up, I bumped into this recipe by Sandeepa. The original recipe idea belongs apparently belongs to her SIL. My refrigerator always stocks up Brinjals. I decided to give it a try. The recipe was a huge hit. Infact, when we licked off the bowl in which it was served at the end of our meal, Abbas said that his heart ached that such a yummy dish got over too soon. It will certainly feature in our meals frequently from now on.

Ingredients:
Brinjal – 1 medium sized, cut into thin long strips like french fries
Onion – 3 medium sized, sliced
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 small, finely chopped
Green chillies – 3-4 or more as per spice tolerance
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Prawns – 10-15 peeled, deveined, cleaned (I used 8 large ones)
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – handful, chopped
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (Optional, actually I forgot this)
Oil – 6 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp

Method:
1. Marinate prawns with salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry it, remove from oil. Once cooled, grind to a coarse paste and keep aside.
2. Marinate brinjal fingers in salt, turmeric powder and a pinch of sugar. Keep it aside for a while and then shallow fry them. (Addition of sugar reduces the amount of oil absorbed by brinajl)
3. In the same oil, add sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
4. Add ginger and garlic paste, saute till raw smell goes away.
5. Add chopped tomatoes, use the back of spatula to mash the tomatoes as you go sauteeing.
6. Once tomatoes turn mushy, add chillies, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. and combine. Grind into a smooth paste once it gets cooled.
7. In a pan, heat a tbsp of oil. Add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds.
8. When they splutter, add the fried brinjal fingers, ground masala paste and ground prawns. Add salt and a little water. Cover and cook till brinjals are cooked and the extra moisture dries out.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Of all the Bengali Fish Curries that feature various veggies in different permutations and combinations, this one is my favourite. Medium sized florets floating in the curry appeal to me more than the fish pieces. Here’s the recipe for ya:

Ingredients:
Rui Fish pieces – 5-6
Cauliflower – 1 small – cut into medium sized florets
Potato – 3 medi sized, cut into quarters
Onion – 2 small or 1 big, finely chopped
Ginger paste – 2″ piece
Tomatoes – 2 small
Cloves – 2-3
Cardamom – 2-3
Cinnamon – 1″ piece
Star anise – 1 (optional)
Bay leaves – 1-2
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp for tempering + 1 tsp for paste
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp + 1 tsp for frying fish
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 5-6 or more depending on spice tolerance
Coriander leaves – a handful chopped
Sugar – a pinch
Oil – 6 tbsp (I generally mix sunflower oil and mustard oil)

Method:
Preparation:
1. Grind ginger and cumin seeds together to a fine paste.
2. Coarsely pound together cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
3. Marinate cleaned fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry till crisp yet soft from within.
4. In the same oil, add some salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry cauliflower florets till they turn crispy from outside. Keep aside. Repeat the same with potato cubes.

To make the curry:
1. In the same oil, add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add bay leaves, star anise and pounded garam masala.
2. Once nice aroma emanates, add a pinch of salt, add chopped onion. Saute till onions turngolden brown.
3. Add ginger cumin paste and saute till raw smell goes away.
4. Add chopped tomatoes and slit green chillies, once they turn soft, mash them using the back of spatula.
5. Add red chilli powder, salt and combine.
6. Add shallow fried florets and potato cubes and combine.
7. Add water as per desired consistency. Adjust salt of required. Add fried fish pieces and chopped coriander leaves. Let it boil.
8. After the first boil, cover it and let it cook on sim till the veggies are cooked.

Crab Ghee Roast


As I seem to be on a draft-clear-off spree, here’s yet another one. I had seen Paneer Ghee Roast on Divya’s blog which led me to the recipe source. The author Kudpi Raj and his wife have recreated the flavours of Chicken Ghee Roast of Hotel Anupama. The pics of Prawn Ghee Roast had me drooling and wanting to dive into the plate. The comment section also was flooded with people sharing their success stories with this recipe. I had the urge to make it ASAP and hence substituted prawns with crabs which I had on hand. The outcome was liked by all of us.

Ingredients:
Crabs  – 1 Kg, cleaned
Refined vegetable oil – 30 ml (I reduced both oil and ghee quantity, started off by a little and added a bit more as I went by)
Pure Desi Ghee – 30 ml
Chopped Coriander leaves – A handful
Lemon wedges – To garnish


For marinating:
Juice of 1 lemon
Curd – ½ cup
White Pepper powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste

For masala – grind together:
Red long chillies – 30 roasted (I had only 1 variety and used the same)
Red short chillies – 8 roasted
Coriander Seeds – 1 tsp roasted
Cumin Seeds – ½ sp roasted
Fenugreek Seeds – ½ tsp roasted
Garlic flakes – 12-16
Tamarind – Cherry size ball soaked in 2 tbsp water

Method:
1. Marinate crabs with ingredients called for in the marinade section.Keep it marinated for 8-24 hrs in the refrigerator.
2. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Roast the marinated crabs till they cook. Drain and keep aside.
4. In the same oil, roast the ground masala till oil leaves the sides and raw smell disappears. Add salt to taste, the marinade and the cooked crabs. Mix well and keep for 2-3 mins on slow fire. Add ghee, mix and cover. When the masala gets thick, transfer to serving dish, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges.


There are a few go to blogs where I hop for specific recipe needs, without worrying about the end result. Pree’s blog is one among them. Mostly for non-veg dishes, I have been lately referring to her recipes on and off coz they have given me accolades each time. While surfing through her recipes I saw an impromptu invention of hers in the form of Prawn Biryani. I modified the recipe as per ingredient availability in my pantry and the pulao came out delicious to say the least.
Here is how I made it:
Basmati rice – 1 1/2 cups
Seer / King fish – 5-6 medium sized pieces
Onion – 1 medium sized, finely sliced
Garlic – 7-8 cloves
Ginger – 2″piece
Green chillies – 4 or as per spice tolerance
Coriander leaves – a handful
Lemon juice – few drops
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1 tsp
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Cardamom – 2 (Green and black)
Cinnamon – 1 stick
Bay leaves – 2
Star anise – 1 
Nigella seeds – 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg – a pinch grated
Salt to taste
Method:
1. Boil fish pieces in enough water with salt and turmeric powder. Once the fish pieces are cooked, strain the water and reserve. Remove the bones from fish and keep aside.

2. Grind ginger and garlic together. Keep aside.
3. Grind green chillies and coriander leaves together. Keep aside.
4. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and saute onion slices till brown.
5. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a few minutes till the raw smell goes away.
6. Add chilli-coriander chutney and saute for 4-5 minutes.
7. Add fish pieces, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, salt and combine.
8In another frying pan, heat the remaining one tbsp oil, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, nigella seeds, star anise and stir for a minute. Add the rice and fry till the grains get coated with the oil. Add the grated nutmeg, and salt (carefully as our prawns already have some). Fry for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. 

9. In a microwave safe bowl, add the rice, fish mixture, one cup of thick coconut milk and one cup plus two tbsps of water.
10. Microwave on high for 20 mins and let it stand for atleast 10 mins.

Just out of the microwave oven…

After giving a light stir…

Vison is called Brahmin fish. You know why? The fish has a single thin line on its body which resembles the thread that Brahmins wear as per religious customs. Vison to Konkanis is what Betki is to Bong if I may say so. In Kannada, this fish is called Arakozhi (Ara meaning half, Kozhi meaning Chicken) because of minimal bones and texture is close to chicken. Back home we used to fry fish by marinating in masala and rolling in semolina. But since my Bong family does not prefer semolina coated fish, I have begun coating in rice flour which turns out yummy too.

Ingredients:
Seer Fish – 3-4 slices, medium sized
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp or as per spice tolerance
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Rice flour – 2-3 tbsp
Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp (I prefer coconut oil, any other cooking oil can be used)

Method:
1. Marinate fish pieces with ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice. Keep aside for atleast half an hour.

2. Roll the marinated fish in rice flour so that it is well coated on both sides.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan, place the fish pieces in the pan and on low flame let it cook for about 5 mins. Invert the fish pieces. Once the fish pieces are cooked, increase flame and let it get roasted well on both sides.
4. It can be served with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Jamai Sasthi is a festival celebrated in West Bengal (not sure about other regions) which was very new to me as are several other Bong festivals. This day is special for sons-in law of Bengal. They are invited for a grand meal at their in-laws’ place and pampered to the zenith. Mothers-in-law observe fasting on that for the well being of their son-in-law or Jamai. A platter full of exquisite dishes is spread for the Jamai and he gets special honour and is under the limelight. Fathers-in-law get busy with shopping for their Jamai leaving no stone unturned to make this day special for him.
When in Kolkata, all my married colleagues wrapped up work as early as possible and rushed to leave for the day. The glow on all married men’s faces looking forward to the feast and special treatment was worth watching. Abbas always sported a sad face as he would never get this ‘Jamai Adar’. So, I would always cook something special and tell him – “What if you don’t get to be a part of Jamai Sasthi? We will have Bor and Chele Sasthi for you!” (Bor meaning Husband and Chele meaning Son)
How I wished there was ‘Bou-ma Sasthi’ as well observed by mothers-in-law for their daughters-in-law. What say women???
Well, this dish is one of the must-haves on a Jamai Sasthi menu along with other delicacies. Here goes:
Ingredients:
Prawns – 400g, deshelled, deveined and cleaned
Mustard Oil – 3 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tbsp
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Garlic paste –  1 tbsp
Cumin paste – 1 tbsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 6, slit
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp (Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon – pounded or powdered)
Coconut milk – 1 1/4 cup (I used Maggi Coconut Milk powder)
Ghee – 2 tsp
Method:
1. Marinate prawns in a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Shallow fry in oil and keep aside.
2. Heat mustard oil in a pan and add sugar and cumin seeds.
3. When cumin seeds splutter, add ginger paste, garlic paste, cumin paste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and saute.
4. Add prawns and slit green chillies and stir for a few minutes.
5. Pour in the coconut milk and salt, cook for few minutes.
6. In the end sprinkle garam masala and ghee on top and serve.

Kosha Crab – Crab Curry

Abbas had never tasted crab till we tied the knots! My in-laws never ate and that’s the reason it was never cooked at home. When they weren’t there at home, we both went out to the fish market on a Sunday and brought crabs. One SOS call to my Kakima and she explained me the procedure to clean it and cook it the Bong way. Coz I was sure Abbas wouldn’t like crabs had I made it the Amchi way with coconut in the gravy. The crab curry turned out finger licking good. One of his friends turned up that day and we served him this Crab Kosha. He too was bowled over… 
Ingredients:
Crab – 1 kg
Tomatoes – 2 medium sized, chopped
Potatoes – 5-6 medium sized, peeled and cut into halves.
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
To grind to a paste:
Onion – 3 medium sized
Ginger – 2” piece
Garlic – 7-8 pods
For the masala powder:
Red chillies – 10-15
Coriander – 1 tbsp
Cumin – 2 tsp
Cardamom – 2-3
Cloves – 4-5
Cinnamon – 1” stick
Method:
1. Clean the crabs and wash thoroughly. Click here to see a step by step pictorial of how to clean crabs.
2. Dry roast the ingredients called for under the masala powder head and grind them to a fine powder. ( I microwave the masalas instead on high for a min)
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add a tsp of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder. Drop in potato pieces on a high flame. Stir for 2-3 mins. Lower the flame and cook covered till the potatoes turn golden on all sides. Remove them from the oil and keep aside.
4. Boil the crabs and potatoes in enough water with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt.
5. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add onion-ginger-garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes.
6. Add chopped tomatoes and saute till mushy..
7. Now combine the crabs, potatoes and the masala powder. Add water to suit your desired consistency. You may adjust salt at this stage. 
8. I would recommend that this dish be prepared well ahead coz it tastes better and better the more it stands. 

I love surprises especially when I’m not at the receiving end. Frankly speaking, I’m glad Abbas seldom throws me surprises. Reason?
1. His tummy tickles itself till he blurts out to me.
2. He wouldn’t want the surprise to turn out as a shock!
Even today, the child in me gets excited at the sight of ‘Jack popping out of boxes’. What if the Jack hides in my food… The idea struck me as I was planning to make Mackerel Doddak. I had a few shrimps lying in my freezer and the quantity was too meager to make a stand alone dish out of ‘em. That’s how this idea was born. I initially wanted to bake the stuffed fish but later ended up shallow frying on a griddle by coating them in rice powder. The fish fry was good but I loved the shrimp masala more…
Ingredients:
For Shrimp masala:
Shrimps – ¾ cup, deshelled, deveined and cleaned
Salt to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
For the masala:
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Red chillies – 5-6 (increase or decrease as per spice tolerance)
Tamarind – 1 small marble sized ball
For the fish fry:
Mackerel / Bangda / Raju – 8 nos
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Juice of half lemon
Rice powder – to coat
Oil – for frying
Method:
  1. Grind the ingredients called for masala with little water if necessary. Mix with salt and shrimps. Saute this masala in coconut oil for 3-4 mins till it is dry and can be stuffed inside fish.
  2. Make a huge slit in mackerel sideways and clean it well. Also, make some light slits all over the body.
  3. Marinate with Red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice.
  4. Stuff the shrimp masala and keep in refrigerator for atleast 10-15 mins.
  5. Roll the fish in rice powder and shallow fry on a tawa by covering for some time Flip the fish so that both sides are well cooked. I used coconut oil to fry.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and chillies.

Sungta Hinga Udka Randayi literally transaltes to Prawn Asafoetida Water Curry which simply makes Amchi’s mouth water… One of my favourites


Ingredients:

Shrimp – 1/2 kg, deshelled, deveined and cleaned
Coconut gratings – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp or according to ur spice tolerance

Asafoetida/ Hing – 1tbsp (use LG Hing according to ur hing tolerance)

Tamarind – 1 small marble sized

Salt to taste
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp

Method:
1. Grind together coconut, red chilli powder and tamarind to a fine paste.

2. Simmer this masala for a few minutes .

3. Add the washed shrimps in the simmering masala adding very little water because the water leaves out as soon as the shrimps r added. Simmer till the shrimps are cooked.

4. Add salt to taste and asoefotida powder. Drizzle coconut oil in the simmering masala.

5. Stir well and serve withe rice. Yummy…