Bengalis are the legendary fish cooks in India. Their mantra ‘Rice and fish, Fish and rice’ – says Nigel Slater, food writer, journalist and broadcaster. There is no second opinion about it 😀
Morola/ Whitebait is usually tossed with some tumeric powder and salt and deep fried in mustard oil till crisp. It is then consumed as a whole, heads and all 😉 This was one of the fish which used to lit up my father’s eyes ❤ Every time I cook and eat this fish, it reminds me of him. 😦
Whitebait is more a style of fishing than a particular type of species. It is a collective form of immature fish. Marketing of whitebait species differs in different parts of the world.
Morola is called Mola Carplet in English. A freshwater fish, not always available in the market due to strict control on it’s fishing.
Morolar Tok or Ombol, signifies a recipe which will be not only sour, but also a watery gravy. Another traditional Bengali cuisine.
Tok is where the broth is usually made with tamarind pulp or raw mango or dry mango powder( amchoor). I planned to use dry mango powder (amchoor) and some tomato.
250 grams – morola/ whitebait
2 tbsp – tomato puree or blanched, peeled and grated
3 tsp – dry mango powder/ amchoor
1/4 tsp – nigella seeds
2-3 nos – green chillies, slit from the centre
1 tsp – tumeric powder + 1 tsp- for marination
1 tsp – jaggery
1 tbsp – mustard oil + oil for frying the fish
2 cups – water
salt to taste
Since I get my fish cleant from the fishmonger, my work gets easier. Rinse the fish well and marinate with some salt and tumeric powder of 10 mins.
Mix the tomato puree, dry mango and tumeric powder. Keep aside.
Heat oil for frying the fish. Deep fry the fish to semi crisp. Drain on a kitchen paper.
Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a separate pan and temper with nigella seeds. Tip in the tomato puree mix and fry till oil is released. Pour in the water. Add the green chillies, jaggery and season with salt.
Cook the broth to your desired consistency and slowly slide in the fried fish. Cook for another couple of mins. Take it off fire and keep it covered till serving time.
Serve hot with plain boiled rice.
Happy cooking !! 🙂
Cheers !! 😀