Being a non-fish lover I used to contemplate that cooking fish would be a dreadful job to do, during my former period of life before marriage. Then after being married to a emblematic fish lover I had no option other than cook the same whether I eat that or don’t. But I should acknowledge here that he always hesitates to buy fishes, he loves to eat, thinking of me. But nowadays when I see not only him, but also the little one of our family is a distinctive fish lover and loves to palate different types of fish items I never dither to buy different types of fishes and tryout various dishes with those.
Today I am going to share a very old-fashioned, traditional Bengali fish recipe of Bhetki fish ( Barramundi ), Bhetki Kalia which I prepared using baby potatoes.But before that I should give a small description about the above mentioned fish for my non-Bengali readers who are not familiar with the same.
The barramundi or Asian seabass should not be confused with the Barramundi cod or the Australian members of the genus Scleropages (which sometimes are referred to as barramundis). The fish is of large commercial importance; it is fished internationally and raised in aquaculture in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Israel, Thailand, the United States, Poland, and the U.K. Barramundi have a mild flavour and a white, flaky flesh, with varying amount of body fat.In Australia, it is an iconic table fish revered as a quintessential Australian brand.
In Bengal, locally caught bhetki (barramundi) is a popular fish among Bengali people, mainly dished in festivities like marriages and other important social events, cooked as Bhetki macher paturi, bhetki macher kalia or coated with suji (semolina) and pan fried. It is very popular among people who are usually sceptical to eat fish because of their tiny pin bones. Bhetki fillets have no pin bones in them.
However, let's come to the topic now. Here is the detailed recipe I am going to share today :
Bhetki Kalia , Spicy Bhetki Fish Curry with Baby Potatoes :
- Bhetki Fish Fillets :8-10
- Baby Potatoes: 6-8
- Onion Paste : 3 tbsp heaped.
- Ginger -Garlic-Dry Red Chili Paste (2-3 dry red chili): 11/2 tbsp.
- Tomato: 1 Large & Juicy (Finely chopped)
- Salt: To taste
- Sugar:1/2 tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 2 tsp.
- Coriander Powder : 1tsp.
- Cumin Powder : 1 tsp.
- Garam Masala (Dry roasted and ground powder of 1/2" Cinnamon stick, 2 Cardamoms and 2 Cloves ) : 1/2 tsp.
- Mustard Oil : 4-6 tbsp.
- Yogurt : 1 tsp.
- Warm Water : 2 Cups.
- Fresh Chopped Coriander Leaves.
- Fresh Cream : 1 tsp.
- Wash the fish fillets well and wipe them off with a kitchen towel or tissue paper. Marinate them with turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside for few minutes.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp of mustard oil in a deep bottomed vessel and fry the fish fillets till golden yellow and keep aside. Discard the blackish fried oil.
- Wash and peel off the baby potatoes and fry them in a pan with little white or mustard oil along with little salt and turmeric powder. Keep these potatoes aside.
- Now take 4/5 tbsp of fresh mustard oil in the same vessel. Add the tomato cubes and sprinkle salt and cook until the tomato cubes becomes mushy.
- Now it's time to add the onion paste. Add it and cook until the onion paste gets mixed with the tomato & becomes translucent
- At this time add the turmeric powder, salt, sugar, coriander and cumin powder and cook till the raw smell goes off.
- Now add the ginger-garlic and dry red chili paste & the beaten yogurt and mix thoroughly. Add the fried potatoes at this time.Cook until the oil starts releasing from the sides of the pan.
- Now pour the warm water and cover the vessel and cook in increased flame until the potatoes become tender and cooked well.
- Uncover the vessel and add the fried fishes. Cook it in low flame for 5-7 minutes. Now taste the seasoning and add salt or sugar if required.
- Adjust the gravy now. If required add little more warm water. This is not a very watery or a very thick curry. Add the garam masala powder and cover the vessel for a while so that the curry could absorb the smell. Turn off the flame now.
- Bhetki Kalia is now ready. Garnish it with cream and coriander leaves.
- Serve it with steaming hot rice and enjoy.
Enjoy Your Food..!!!