Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Macher muro diye Bhaja munger daal (Dry roasted yellow lentil with fish-head)

It's only the other day "he" was complaining about the simple stews and stir-fries or those low-cal foods I am cooking these days. This is the biggest challenge to have a typical "bong" husband, specially if you are trying to shred at least few pounds! He just can't have enough of Bengali food (And of course you must not think about calorie-part when you are having it!). Well, won't deny that I was not tempted to make it, when he requested.
"Bengali's" are rightly synonymous to "fish". There must be very few bengali who doesn't like fish. I love fish-head. Most of the times I just fry it in mustard oil with salt,turmeric and a chilli. But sometimes we add in dry vegetable curries (like "Bandhakopir torkari" or "Chyachra") or even in "daal". "Macher muro diye Bhaja munger daal" (dry roasted yellow lentil with fish-head) is one of the very authentic Bengali dishes. This is rich, aromatic and of course super-tasty.

Ingredients for "Macher muro diye Bhaja munger daal":
Serves 4:

  1. Fish head (Rohu or Katla) 1 large (cut into quarters)
  2. Mung daal/ yellow lentil 1 cup
  3. Red onion 1 large (sliced)
  4. Tomato 1 medium (chopped)
  5. Ginger paste 1 table spoon
  6. Chilli paste 1/2 tea spoon
  7. Cumin powder 1 tea spoon
  8. Chilli powder 1/2 tea spoon
  9. Turmeric powder as required
  10. Garam masala powder 1/4 tea spoon
  11. Whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves)
  12. Dry red chilli 1 
  13. Bay leaf 1
  14. Cumin seed 1/2 tea spoon
  15. Salt and sugar according to taste
  16. Mustard oil or any other cooking oil 4-5 table spoon
  17. Ghee/clarified butter 1 tea spoon

How to prepare "Macher muro diye Bhaja munger daal":

  • Take a heavy bottom pan and dry roast daal until nicely fragrant and get a nice reddish hue. Keep the flame medium to low.
  • Marinate fish-head with salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes.
  • Wash daal few times and boil with salt and turmeric powder. Cook daal till 90% done. Keep it separately.
  • Heat oil in a separate pan. Fry fish-head golden and little crisp. Take out from oil and keep aside.
  • Reduce the oil to 1 table spoon. Temper remaining oil with cumin seed, red chilli, whole garam masala and bay leaf. Let it get nicely fragrant.
  • Add onion and fry until golden. Stir in tomatoes followed by ginger and chilli paste. Cook spices until you get nice aroma and oil comes out at the edges. Now mix with cumin powder, chilli powder, few pinch turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Cook for another minute or two. 
  • Mix with cooked daal. Shimmer covered on low flame a minute. Add fried fish-head and shimmer until daal is nicely cooked. Add sugar and adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat.
  • Lastly add ghee before you serve. 
  • Serves best with plain rice.

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