Macher Kalia, is the second most favorite fish after Illish /Hilsa recipes. A Bengali can not only cook and eat fish, but can also dream, talk, walk and feel a fish 😉 😀
It is sacrilege if Macher Kalia is not served in any family gatherings, functions or weddings 😉 It is a part of traditional Bengali cuisine.
Over the years, this Kalia has undergone several cosmetic surgeries 😉 but the basic ingredient has almost remained the same.
This can be cooked with several types of freshwater fish and lately I have tasted this type of gravy used in sea-fish as well.
Usually large sized fresh water fish over 2 kilos are apt for Kalia, because larger the fish, more the fat and more the fat, tastier the gravy will be 😀 Definitely this recipe is not for health watchers !! 😉 😛
In my recent visit to the fish market, I came across this gorgeous chunk of Katla’s peti. Peti means the stomach part of a large sized Katla. I almost drooled at the thick fat lined Katla peti 😛 ……now that’s the Bengali soul in me 😉
After the purchase, I could only think about going home making the kalia ❤
Of course, this gravy goes perfectly well with fish steaks also.
Here’s what I did………..
500 grams – Katla peti
3/4 cup – mustard oil
For the gravy :
1/4 cup – onion paste
1 1/4 tsp – ginger paste
1 tsp – garlic paste
2 nos – large sized tomatoes
1 tsp – tumeric powder
1 tsp – red chili powder
1 tsp – coriander powder
1 tsp – cumin powder
1/4 tsp – garam masala (optional)
1 tbsp – yogurt /curd
1/4 tsp – cumin seeds
1 nos – bay leaf
1″ stick – cinnamon
1 cup – warm water
1 tsp – chopped fresh coriander /cilantro (optional)
salt to taste
For marinade :
1 tsp – tumeric powder
1 tsp – salt
Wash the fish pieces in running water. Drain the water. In a large bowl, add the tumeric, salt and the fish. Rub the fish well with tumeric and salt and keep it marinated for 10 -12 mins.
Soak the cumin, coriander, red chili and tumeric powder in the yogurt.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the tomatoes.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till tender. Take it off fire and cool. Once cooled, grind it to paste.
Heat the remaining oil, and deep fry the fish pieces till golden brown. Keep it aside on an absorbent paper.
The remaining oil will be sufficient for the gravy/ curry. If it is extra, one can remove some quantity.
Temper the oil with bay leaf, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Add the onion paste and fry till translucent. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry till fragrant. Add the yogurt soaked spices and fry for 2 mins. Once the oil is released, tip in the tomato puree/ paste and cook for another 2 mins.
Add the warm water, lower the flame, cover and cook for 5 -6 mins.
Slide in the fried fish gently into the simmering gravy. Cover and cook for another 3 mins. Add the garam masala and chopped coriander at this juncture, if one wants to. Take it off fire.
Serve with steaming,flaky rice.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀
Note : ** The amount of oil mentioned here is sufficient for the recipe. Incase, one wants to use less oil, pan fry the fish. But the resulting taste will be different.
** One can use refined oil in place of mustard oil. Traditionally, Bengalis use mustard oil.