Fish Cutlets (Bengali Macher Chop)

Macher chop‘ or fish cutlet is among the most popular street foods in Kolkata. Spicy mashed fish content makes the cutlet savoury inside with a crunchy outside twist. This is the newest addition to my list of chop & cutlet recipes which I shared earlier. This is a perfect evening snack, a party winner and a delight to your guests. Any fish with less bone can be chosen for this recipe, for example Rohu, Bhetki, Lote (Bombay duck fish) etc. So with no more delay save a little fish from your daily menu and try this mouthwatering snack.

Fish Cutlets (Bengali Macher Chop)

Fish Cutlets (Bengali Macher Chop)

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Fish Cordon Bleu

Cordon bleu is a cutlet in which a thin slice of pounded meat is wrapped around cheese, then breaded and pan fried or deep fried. Various meat can be used for this purpose, such as chicken, veal, ham etc.

But as the name reveals I replaced meat with fish fillet and made a fish cordon bleu. I used Atlantic Cod fillets which can be replaced well by our favourite ‘Bhetki’ fish. The combination of fish with molten cheese made it so exquisitely delicious that is hard to explain in words. So better to prepare and try yourself. 😉

Fish Cordon Blue

Fish Cordon Blue

Ingredients to serve 2-4 :

  1. Fish fillet – 1 (approx. 150 gm)
  2. Onion paste – 1½ tbspoon
  3. Ginger – garlic paste – ½ tbspoon
  4. Green chilli paste – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  5. Lime juice – 1 tbspoon
  6. Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard sauce or “Kasundi” – 1 tbspoon
  9. Grated cheese – 3-4 tbspoon
  10. Chopped Parsley – 2 tbspoon (heaped)
  11. Egg (beaten) – 1
  12. Breadcrumbs to coat
  13. Flour – 2-3 tbspoon
  14. Oil for pan fry

Procedure :

Clean and take out 4 medium size thin fillets of square or rectangular shape out of the large fillet. Try to cut them in equal size as they are going to be sandwiched with one another.

Fish fillets

Fish fillets

Marinate the fillets with the ingredients from 2-7 for at least 2 hours.

To make the filling, mix together the grated cheese and chopped parsley in a bowl.

Now coat one side of a fillet with ½ tbspoon of mustard sauce, spread half of the cheese filling over it, then sandwich it with another fillet. Prepare the other one following the same way.

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Coating the fillet with mustard sauce & cheese feeling

Sandwiching the fillets

Sandwiching the fillets

Now spread the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate plates.

First coat the sandwiched fillet with flour, then dip in the beaten egg and finally coat with breadcrumbs.

Now heat oil in a pan over medium heat and shallow fry both sides of them till golden brown.

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to fry

Fish Cordon Blue is ready to serve

Fish Cordon Bleu is ready to serve

Transfer them on a paper towel and then cut diagonally in gentle hand.

Serve hot with mustard sauce , chopped parsley and salad.

Note :

  1. You can also deep fry the fillets. Always maintain the oil temperature moderately hot.

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsa

Ilish or Hilsa is the king of fishes for Bengali. This fish is generally found in sweet river water and possess a distinctive silver like shining body. What sets it apart from all the other fishes is its supreme unbeatable taste which however comes at the cost of innumerable thin bones in the flesh. But as they say, the more bones a fish has, the more tastier it becomes. When the soft Hilsa flesh melts in your mouth, it gives you a feeling nothing other than which should be called absolute ‘divine’.

In my previous post, Salmon macher paturi / Salmon smoked in Banana leaf, I briefly mentioned about Hilsa. We can prepare hilsa in different ways, among which the the most popular and super delicious is “Bhapa Ilish” or smoked Hilsa. The recipe is  quite simple yet lip smacking. And it requires less oil too.

Hilsa is not at all a common fish here in Europe. It is exported from sub-continent and found frozen in Asian stores, if one is very lucky. 🙂 This time our luck favoured and we got it. The image and the text below is telling you the rest of the story. Enjoy 🙂

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsha

Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsha

Ingredients for 4 pieces :

  1. Hilsha fish – 4 pieces
  2. Green chilli – 4
  3. Mustard seed (black/white) – 1½ – 2 tbspoon
  4. Poppy seeds – ¾ – 1 tbspoon (optional)
  5. Grated coconut – 2 – 3 tbspoon heaped
  6. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard oil – 1-2 tbspoon

Procedure :

Wash the hilsha pieces well and smear with salt and turmeric powder, keep aside.

Hilsha coated with salt & turmeric powder

Ingredients

Now grind mustard and poppy seeds along with 2 green chillies to make a smooth paste. Add little salt while making the paste to get rid of bitterness of mustard. When it is almost done add grated coconut and again grind to blend the coconut with the mustard paste.

Now take a steel bowl with lid (preferably tiffin box) and place the fish pieces into it.

In another small bowl take the paste, mustard oil, pinch of turmeric powder, salt to taste (remember you have earlier added little salt to the paste and fish too) and little water and mix them well.

Now pour this mixture onto the fish and coat them well with it. Slit remaining 2 green chillies and put into the fish mixture, cover the bowl with its lid.

Ready for steaming

Ready for steaming

Now boil water in a large pan or kadhai over medium flam and then place the covered bowl/tiffin box into it. Place a heavy thing at the top so that the bowl/box can’t be displaced while water is boiling.

Steaming process

Steaming process

Let the fish cook over medium flame for 20 minutes, then put the gas off.

Bhapa ilish is ready to be served

Bhapa ilish is ready to be served

Serve with steamed rice.

Note :

  1. Best if you make the mustard paste in flat stone grinder i.e. “Shil nora”. Because it is not very easy to make a paste in blender from such a small quantity of mustard seeds.
  2. Hilsha is a very soft fish, often break while using, so handle with care.

Fish Roll

Rolls, the wrapped rotis/parathas with meat mince, egg and even vegetables mingled with ketchup are known to be quick tasty snacks. However, when the stuffing gets substituted by fish, things get a new high. Interestingly, here the wrapping is also made of fish, sliced thin. I adopted this recipe from a well known snack corner in Kolkata. However unlike them, instead of Bhetki fish, I had to use the ‘Kabeljou’, a local sea fish as a poor substitute. It was indeed lip smacking to have the fish roll dipping in mustard sauce with a bite of salad. Enjoy 🙂

Delicious Fish Roll

Delicious Fish Roll

Ingredients for 3 – 4 pieces :

  1. Fish fillet – 300 gm.
  2. Onion (large) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  5. Chopped tomato – ½
  6. Chopped green chilli – 2
  7. Chopped coriander leaves – 2 to 3 tbspoon heaped
  8. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
  10. Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
  11. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Lemon juice – 1 tbspoon
  13. Egg – 1
  14. Flour – 3 tbspoon
  15. Breadcrumbs
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Cut 3 or 4 thin, square/rectangular slices from the fish fillet. Marinate the slices with lemon juice, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder and salt.

Roughly chop the remaining fish.

Finely chop the onion. Make a smooth paste of ginger and garlic.

Beat the egg in a bowl by adding pinch of salt and the remaining pepper powder. Add the flour and make a lump free batter followed by adding a bit of water. The batter should neither be very thick nor be very thin.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Shallow fry the chopped fish into it, adding a bit of salt. With the help of a spatula break the pieces into smaller fragments. Don’t fry it for a long time, our intention is only to cook the fish, not making a hard fry. Now transfer the fish into a bowl and keep it aside.

In the same pan heat 2 tbspoon of oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fry till it becomes translucent. Then add the ginger-garlic paste and again fry till the onion turns brown. Now add chopped tomato, chopped green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, fry till the tomato gets softened. Then add the fried fish and cook till oil separates from the mixture. Put the gas off, add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and give it a good stir. The end product should be a spicy,mushy fish mixture.

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Ingredients ready for assembling to make the roll

Now add 1 or 2 tbspoon of breadcrumbs to the fish mixture to bind it and then divide the mixture into 3 or 4 equal parts.

Now make long shaped balls from each part and wrap it with a thin slice of fish.

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Wrapping the fish mixture with fish slice

Now coat each wrapped fish ball first with breadcrumbs, then with the prepared batter and finally with the breadcrumbs.

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Coated fish rolls are ready to fry

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a pan for deep frying and fry the fish rolls on moderate flame till golden brown in colour.

transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and serve hot with salad.

Fish rolls are ready to be served

Fish rolls are ready to be served

 

 

 

Salmon macher paturi / Salmon smoked in Banana leaf

Baked fish with mustard paste or “Fish Paturi” is quite phenomenal if you are a fan of spicy fish dishes. The whole idea of wrapping the raw fish in Banana leaf to be baked in light heat with letting the flavour of mustard and chilly infused into the flesh is unique indeed. Hilsha or Ilish is the most suitable for this delicacy, however if you do not find it easily, Bhetki or in my case Salmon proves to be tempting too. The best part of this recipe is that it is quite fast to make if your ingredients are ready which are not many in numbers. Try out this to surprise others and earn applause.

Salmon Paturi or Salmon smoked in banana leaf

Salmon Paturi or Salmon smoked in banana leaf

Ingredients to serve 2 :

  1. Salmon fish – 200 – 250 gm.
  2. Banana leaf – 2
  3. Black mustard seed – 1½ to 2 tbspoon
  4. Freshly grated coconut – 4 to 5 tbspoon
  5. Green chilli – 4
  6. Mustard oil – 2 tbspoon + extra for greasing
  7. Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Salt to taste

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

Procedure :

Remove scales of the fish and wash it well. Cut the fish into 2 medium size pieces and coat with salt and turmeric powder. Keep it aside for 20 – 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile make a smooth paste with mustard seeds, coconut, 2 green chillies and a bit of salt.

Add 2 tbspoon mustard oil and salt (as required for gravy) to the paste. Also cut the remaining two green chillies lengthwise and add to the mustard paste.

Now coat the pieces of Salmon with this mustard paste.

Wash the banana leaves and wipe off the water using a cloth. Then roast the leaves on medium flame just for few seconds. When you are putting each leaf on flame you can notice that the colour of the leaf is changing, as it is turning more glossy.

Now brush little bit of mustard oil over banana leaves and place single piece of fish, along with generous amount of mustard paste, at the center of each leaf.

Mustard coated fish on banana leaf

Mustard coated fish on banana leaf

Now fold the banana leaf, containing the fish, like a small parcel and tie it with a thread or seal the parcel with a tooth pick. Again apply some oil over the banana leaf parcel.

Banana leaf parcels containing the fish

Banana leaf parcels containing the fish

Now heat a frying pan over low to medium flame and put the parcels in the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then flip them over and again cook for 10 to 15 minutes on low flame putting the lid on.

Now you are ready to serve the delicious Salmon Paturi. 🙂

Salmon Paturi is ready to be served

Salmon Paturi is ready to be served

Note :

  1. You can use white mustard seeds instead of black one. I love the tangy flavour of the black mustard seeds, so I used that.
  2. You can also add 2 or 3 tbspoon of poppy seed paste along with the mustard paste.
  3. Here mustard paste solely makes the gravy for the dish, so try to use generous amount of it.

Fish batter fry

“Fish batter fry” is a celebrated fried dish back home, often served as starter to the guests in occasions and parties. Its recipe is not very demanding, with the only important requisite of a good quality fish. In Bengal, we generally use “Bhetki fish” fillets to prepare the batter fry, which is a very tasty, soft and mouth melting fish, perfect for this recipe. I owe this recipe to my mother-in-law.

In Europe though “Bhetki” is not available, there are other fishes which can substitute it very well, for example the Cod fish or Pangasius. There is a small open or fresh market in a 5 minutes walking distance from my current house in Utrecht which holds 4-5 big fish shops with a variety of fishes. These shops are always full of customers which reminds me about the fish market in my home town Kolkata. Every weekend me with my husband go there and buy fish from those crowded shops, usually have to wait long in the queue. Interestingly those shops do not only sell raw fishes but also the fried fish known as “bak vis” in Dutch, which is pretty similar to our fish batter fry. This fried fish comes with different delicious sauces too.

Here I tried the recipe with “Pangasius” fish which comes out really well. The recipe follows below.

Yummy fish batter fry :)

Yummy fish batter fry 🙂

Ingredients for 4 fries :

  1. Pangasius fish fillet cut into 4 pieces
  2. Ginger & garlic juice – 2 tbspoon
  3. Onion juice – 1 tbspoon
  4. Lemon juice – ½ tbspoon
  5. Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  6. Flour – 2 – 2½ tbspoon
  7. Baking soda/powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Butter – 1 tbspoon
  9. Egg – 1
  10. Milk – 2 tbspoon
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Marinate the pieces of fish with salt, pepper powder, onion, ginger, garlic and lemon juice for at least half an hour.

Marinated Pangasius fillet

Marinated Pangasius fillet

For preparing the batter, mix flour, a bit of salt, baking soda and butter very well. Beat the egg with milk and add to the flour mixture. Make a lump free batter, add more milk if needed.

Heat sufficient amount of oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Dip the marinated pieces of fish into the batter and deep fry in oil.

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Fish batter fry, ready to serve

Note :

  1. Fish fillets should not be very thick.
  2. Batter should not be very thick or very thin.
  3. The oil should be moderately hot while frying the fish otherwise the batter envelope will burn and the fish inside will remain uncooked.

 

 

Salmon with yogurt gravy (Doi Mach)

Bengalis are very fond of fishes which feature mandetorily in their daily diet.  Mainly those fishes are sweet water ones and are quite different from the sea-fishes.

In Europe, among various kinds, Salmon ranks high due to its unparallel taste with thick flesh and smoothy fat. We mostly go for Salmon whenever hit by fish fever and give it a Bengali treatment.

Doi-mach or fish in yogurt gravy is quite a popular and rich dish in Bengali cuisine. So here I present the recipe of Salmon with yogurt gravy which you will love for sure. In contrast to its usual baked recipes, here Salmon goes for a complete make over.

Salmon in Bengali style, "Doi mach"

Salmon in Bengali style, “Doi mach”

Ingredients to serve 4 :

  1. Salmon fish – 400 gm.
  2. Onion (medium) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch
  5. Plain yogurt – 6 tbspoon
  6. Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Pinch of turmeric powder
  8. Whole garam masala
  9. Bay leaf – 1
  10. Cooking oil
Ingredients

Ingredients

Procedure :

A large piece of Salmon

A large piece of Salmon

Remove the scales of salmon keeping the skin intact. Wash it thoroughly and then cut into medium size square pieces.

Make a paste of garlic and marinate the pieces of salmon with that garlic paste, yogurt and salt. Keep it for at least 1 hour.

Marinated Salmon

Marinated Salmon

Finely chop the onion. Make a paste from ginger.

Heat 1 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan over medium flame. Add whole garam masala and bay leaf, saute them till the nice aroma of dry species comes out. Add chopped onion into it and fry till light brown. Then add the marinated fish, sugar as per your test, salt if needed and a little bit of water (optional). Mix very well and cover with a lid. Turn the flame on low-medium and cook till the fish completely cooked and the gravy thickens. Serve with rice.

Salmon in yogurt gravy

Salmon in yogurt gravy

Note :

  1. There is no need to fry the fish before marination.
  2. Don’t use much oil as Salmon itself releases lot of oil.
  3. Don’t add much water in the gravy otherwise yogurt will curdle.

Chingri macher malaikari or Prawn in creamy coconut gravy

Prawns, however often touted by perfectionists as a sea food not really featuring on the fish category, actually hold high status for us Bengali/Indians as a celebrated fish item and even remain as demanding as Hilsha, the undoubted queen of fishes. Prawns particularly the large ones like tiger prawn make a good dish itself while the smaller ones enhances the taste of many other dishes when used as one of the major ingredients. Today I am giving a well-known bengali recipe called “chingri macher malaikari”, which is seemingly the most popular prawn dish, where the larger prawns are soaked in coconut milk and make a proud combination of fish flesh and rich gravy.

Prawns in creamy coconut gravy

Prawns in creamy coconut gravy

Ingredients to serve 6 – 7 :

  1. Prawn (preferably king prawns) – 500 gm.
  2. Onion (medium) – 1
  3. Garlic – 2 – 3 cloves
  4. Ginger – 1 inch
  5. Tomato (medium) – 1
  6. Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
  7. Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
  8. Garam masala powder – ¼ teaspoon
  9. Whole garam masala
  10. Bay leaf – 2
  11. Thick coconut milk – 250 ml.
  12. Salt & sugar to taste
  13. Cooking oil

Procedure :

Prawns with shell

Prawns with shell

Wash, clean and devein the prawns. Peel the prawns but keep the shell on head and on tail. Smear salt and turmeric powder on prawns and keep aside for 20-30min.

Cut the onion and tomato into four parts. Then make a smooth paste with onion, ginger, garlic and tomato in a blender and arrange the ingredients as shown in the picture.

Main Ingredients

Main Ingredients

Heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add the prawns and fry till they start changing colour. Do not overcook the prawns, otherwise they will turn chewy and hard. Keep the fried prawns aside.

Fried prawns

Fried prawns

In the same pan or kadai add some more oil. Do not need to throw away the oil from fried prawns on which the fresh oil can be added. As the oil heats up, add bay leaf and whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves), cook till the spices release nice aroma. Then add the already made paste of ginger, garlic, onion and tomato. Cook them for 2-3 minutes, then add turmeric powder and chilli powder and cook until oil comes out from the mixture. The paste should look like the picture given below before adding the coconut milk.Now add the coconut milk and a little bit of water. As the mixture boils add salt and sugar as per your taste and then the fried prawns. Cover and cook on low-medium flame for 3-4min. do not overcook the prawns. Check seasoning, accordingly add salt and sugar. Switch off the heat. Sprinkle garam masala powder, close the lid immediately. Let it stand for 10min. Serve with steamed hot rice.

"Chingri macher malaikari" ready to serve

“Chingri macher malaikari” ready to serve

Note :

  1. I have used packed/canned coconut milk, which are readily available in any grocery stores. If you like you can make fresh coconut milk. For that scrape  the coconut and keep soaked in hot water. Make a fine paste of the coconut and strain it, your coconut milk is ready.
  2. You can use cumin powder as well as cumin seeds in your curry. I don’t like to add them in this curry of mine, so I skip them.