With hardly any bone and more than a taste of sea fish, ‘Bhetki’ is quite a popular and counted among the elites of fishes to Bengalis. “Paturi” (smoked fish cooked with mustard paste in banana leaf) is the best and a top class preparation out of Bhetki. Even the base for fish cutlets and fries is unimaginable without it. However today, I describe a preparation which is very simple and common in Bengali house holds and quite similar to the fish curry prepared with Rahu and vegetables. The added attraction is the cauliflower and green peas in it and of course the charm of Bhetki itself.
Ingredients for 6 pieces :
- Bhetki fish – 6 pieces
- Potato – 2 (cut into long slices)
- Cauliflower – 10-12 large florets
- Handful of green peas
- Tomato – ½ (chopped)
- Slit green chilli – 2-3
- Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon heaped
- Cumin seed – ½ teaspoon
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cumin powder – 2 teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Mustard oil – ½ cup
Remove the scales of Bhetki pieces, keeping the skin intact, and wash them thoroughly. Coat the pieces with salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, leave for 10-15 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium flame.
Fry the fishes into the hot oil and keep aside. Do not over fry them as they will turn hard in that case.
Now fry the cauliflower florets and potato slices separately in the remaining oil. Sprinkle salt while frying the vegetables. Keep the fried vegetables aside.
Now add cumin seeds and bay leaf in the remaining oil and let the seeds splutter.
Add chopped tomato, green chili, green peas and ginger paste, cook till tomato gets soft.
Add cumin powder, remaining turmeric powder, red chilli powder. Cook till the raw flavour of dry spices disappears and oil comes out from the mixture, add little water if the spices seems to get burnt.
Now add fried potato and cauliflower in the spice mixture and cook for couple of minutes in low -medium flame.
Now add 1½ cups of water and salt, if needed.
As the water starts boiling put the fried fish into it. Cover the pan and let it cook over low-medium flame.
Put the gas off as the gravy thickens to your desired consistency. Give it a standing time for couple of minutes.
Serve with steamed rice.