Rui Macher Kalia / Rohu Fish Curry

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I have often written as to how being in North isn’t the best place to lay hands on the best seafood, however considering the modern logistical wonders and also appreciating the fact that India has one of the largest coastlines of the world with the caches of Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal we can hardly complain about the seafood shortage, in any weather condition i.e. India also has one of the largest coverage of rivers in its plains, so freshwater fish is also never elusive.

The winters however brings a flood of carps, catfish etc. in the river plains which sometimes become hard to distinguish if you are not a subject matter expert 🙂 !

Rohu fish or Rui maach is a very popular fish in Bengal state. I mention it’s bengali name since the dish I offer here is bengali too. It is a common carp that prepares many a sprawling spreads on tables. Rui Macher Kalia is one such dish that I first remember having over a lunch in a delhi restaurant and feeling it’s taste lingering throughout that day thereon. It uses your simple kitchen spices and leaves a bowlful of absolute pleasure. So, read on ! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 3.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes + 15 minutes to prepare
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat, serve it with steamed rice and some Kimchi Salad as I did.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Rohu fish, cleaned, 250 grams approx. : Rohu has better quality meat and higher in Vitamin C than other carps. This is one of the most commonly eaten fish in our country.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use coarse salt for authentic essence .
  • Potatoes, 2 round cut : With virtually no sodium, no fats and no cholesterols and packed with potassium and Vitamin C  this fibre rich tuber veggie is undoubtedly one of the most famous ones across the globe.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/3 teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Garlic, 4 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 2 slit : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin..
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/2 cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Bay Leaf, 1 : Also from my garden’s bay leaf plant. Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon : Light coarse jaggery can also work.
  • Mustard Oil.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and keep aside for 15 minutes at least.
  • Use this time to get your potatoes etc. ready and laid for later use.
  • Grind the onion and ginger garlic paste.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a non stick pan and allow vapors to come out. The moment it steams, put the gas on medium heat and place the fish pieces in the pan to stir fry mildly without breaking or sticking. Do so for 5 minutes and then take off heat and keep aside.
  • Now heat cumin over a separate pan. Heat till it crackles.
  • Add ginger to it and saute’ for 30 seconds.
  • To this add garlic and onions and saute’ further for 2-3 minutes till they turn golden brown.
  • To this, add tomatoes and stir cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add remaining turmeric, salt, sugar, red chili, green chilies and saute’ further for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1 glass water (about 200 ml.) and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes to it and cook further for 10 minutes or till your fish is well done.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : This one can be stored for a couple of days easily, but then you are making just 250 grams ??

Missing Something ? : You can use some cinnamon and black cardamom to enhance the flavors !!

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