Bengal’s short and sweet winter is laced with delicious food and this tyangra machh er jhol or light catfish curry is one such dish which we enjoy the most. You will get quite good quality tyangra in the fish market, with lots of fish oil ( omega 3 anyone ? ) and you get deliciously soft brinjals and fresh coriander leaves. Throw some fried lentil balls aka ‘bori’ towards the end of cooking and you are done. It will have this light stew like consistency which brings out the best of the fish and the brinjal and can be enjoyed with hot plain tice on an wintry windy afternoon. An afternoon siesta is must under your quilt after having this.
- Tyangra fish – 4, I got them this big, shiny and dripping oil
- One brinjal – cut into big chunks
- Bori or dried lentil drops – 10-12
- Coriander leaves – a bunch
- Green chilli
- Tomato – , chopped
- Nigella seeds / kalo jire – 1/2 tsp
- Salt, turmeric , cumin powder
- Mustard oil
Sprinkle some salt and turmeric onto the fish and keep aside for 15 minutes. Then fry in mustard oil. Be careful from the spattering of hot oil as soon as tou release the fish onto the pan. It is better to cover the fishes immediately after releasing the fish into hot oil. This tip for the novice cook, I got from my grand ma when I have first started cooking.
Donot fry the fish too much or else it will become rubbery. Remove from heat and keep aside. In the remaining oil, fry the bori till brown and keep aside.
Add some more mustard oil in the pan and when it is hot add slitted green chilli and nigella seeds or brngali ‘kalo jire’. Let it splutter.
Add a chopped tomato and wait till it releases the juice and become mushy.
Add salt, turmeric and cumin powder, fry till oil separates.
Add the brinjal chunks and give it a good stir.
Now add 2 cups of water and let it boil.
When the water starts boiling add the fried fishes and mix well with masala and brinjal. Since the dish would be of stew consistency, add enough water so that everything is covered under water.
Give it a good boil for 7-10 minutes. Check if the vegetables are cooked. Then add the fried bori and again boil for 2 minutes These boris will absorb some water so keep an eye for that too.
Adjust the seasoning and add lots of chopped coriander leaves. Keep covered for 15 minutes to infuse the aroma of coriander leaves into the stew or ‘jhol’.
Serve hoy woth plain rice.