Dum Chital

This is a traditional way to welcome new member in our family, be it welcoming new bride or groom or welcoming or wishing good luck to the newly or would be mother in the family. So, when my bro and sis-in-law came to visit us with their new born, I made this for them to make the visit memorable. Here, chital or clown fish is slow cooked in a rich gravy tempered with aromatic masalas and a masterpiece is born !!!


  • Chital Peti – 3
  • Mouri / Saunf – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Green chilli – 5
  • Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – a pinch
  • Whole garam masala
  • Bay leaves
  • Curd – 3 tbsp
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Kishmish – 1 tbsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – as required
  • Salt, turmeric
  • Whole dry red chilli – 1
  • Sugar – 1 tsp

Smear salt and turmeric to the fishes and fry till golden brown.
Add oil and 1tbsp ghee to the same pan. Add mouri/fennel seeds, bay leaf, whole garam masala, dry red chilli and hing to the oil. Let it splutter.

Then add the ginger garlic paste, chopped green chilli and fry well. Next add the cumin powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar and the kashmiri red chilli powder. Sprinkle some water and mix well. Fry till oil surfaces. Add the curd and continue frying till oil comes out. 

Next add 1 cup of  hot water and mix well. When water starts boiling, add the fish pieces and cook over low heat with cover. 

After 5 minutes, add the remaining ghee and kishmish. Cook for 5 more minutes with a heavy lid ( cooking in Dum). When oil surfaces, switch off the heat. Sprinkle garam masala powder and keep covered. Serve with plain rice.