Loittya Shutki – Dried Fish Bhuna

The famous or better say notorious ghoti – Bangal Debate started way back the partition days and a major point of fight is the style of cooking. Whether it is Chingri / Ilish ( prawn vs. Hilsa), or amount of sugar in a dish, level of richness and hotness of gravy, the debate continues till today. However, this one particular dish, which even some Bangals fear to consume, leave apart the ghotis, is the Shutki or Dry fish curry. Many fishes are cleaned and sun dried and available in the form of Shutki, the most famous one is the Loittya or Bombay Duck.
I being a bangal, generally biased towards the Bangal style of cooking, but don’t like a very hot dish or lots of chillis. I have never seen my mom or grand mom cooking shutkis, so never had it before marriage. It was my mom-in-law, who introduced me to Shukti. Initially I too was a bit hesitant, but ultimately my adventurous foodie self won, and I have started loving it. If you can overcome the initial pungent smell during cooking, it is a treasure for the tastebud, I must say.



  • Dry Bombay Duck – 5
  • Brinjal – 1 small, cubed
  • Onion – 3, chopped
  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli paste – as per taste, it should be hot
  • whole green chilli – 4-5,
  • tomato – 1, chopped
  • Tomato Ketchup – 1 tbsp(Optional), if you run out of tomatoes
  • Salt, Turmeric
  • coriander leaves – chopped

Cut the dry fish into 1 inch pieces after removing head. Wash thoroughly. I bought packaged shutki from Metro cash and carry, which are machine dried, so there are not much sand or other impurities, which you will find in the shutki available in the open market. (I always buy the machine dried one.). Now pour some boiling water onto the fish and keep covered for 15 minutes.

Discard the water. Fry the fishes till golden brown and keep aside. ( beware of the smell ?)

In the same oil, add chopped onion and slit green chilli with a pinch of salt and fry till golden brown.


I sometimes add the garlic paste first and then add the onion . Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.


Add tomatoes and then continue frying.

Add cubed brinjal with salt and turmeric and mix well.

Fry a little, then add the fried fish pieces with 1 tbsp of Tomato ketchup. This one is optional, you may omit this.

Mix well, then add very little water and cook over very low heat with the lid on.

When the brinjals are cooked and soft, mix it with the masalas, and stir continuously so that the water dries up and oil comes out. Adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and Serve with plain rice.