Give me a plate full of hot rice and Mourala machh er jhaal, or anchovy fish curry and I will not look at the chicken dish kept by the side, I swear. Trust me, that is the kind of love I have for this tiny small fish, size of my little finger may be, with silvery sign. Apart from taste, it is full of nutrition as well. I cook it in various ways, may be in the form of a chorchori, or a paturi dish. Sometimes I just stir fry it with some onion and capsicum. Whichever is the process, the taste is divine.
For some, the head of the fish may taste bitter, if so, you may remove the head before cooking. However, I love the bitter after taste and keep it as it is. This is how I make a curry out of it, so that you can serve it as a side dish to your rice for a satisfying Bengali meal.
Ingredients for Mourala Machh er Jhaal:
- Mourola or Mourala or anchovy fish – 200 gms
- Brinjal – 1, cubed
- Onion – 1, chopped
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Green chilli – 4
- Salt, Turmeric
- Tomato – 1, chopped
- Coriander powder – 1 tsp
- Kashmiri chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Mustard oil
How to make Mourala Machh er Jhaal:
Clean the fish thoroughly and then marinate with salt and turmeric for 30 minutes.
Heat mustard oil in a pan and then fry the fishes lightly. Keep aside.
In the same oil, add green chilli and chopped onion. Fry till translucent . Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone.
Next goes the chopped tomato and fry till the tomato is mashed.
Now is the time to add all the powdered masalas like the turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and fry well. You may need to sprinkle a bit of water to avoid burning of masalas.
Add the brinjal cubes and give it a good stir so that the brinjal pieces are well coated with masalas.
Next add the fried fishes and after a careful stir, add a cup of hot water. I was looking for a gravy dish hence added the water, if you want the drier version of the dish, please adjust the water accordingly.
Once the brinjal is cooked and the gravy reaches your desired consistency, check for seasoning and remove from heat. You may add some coriander leaves at the end. Serve with plain rice.