Monday, December 28, 2009


I love all kinds of small fish and given a choice I don't eat big fish. But small fish ( I mean real small ones from 3/4 inch to 3 inches). It is very difficult to get, as there is not much organized supply and if at all,these are available, they are very expensive. These are all sweet water fish. But if I can get fresh anchovies nothing like that.
While in Kuwait I ate all types small fish which I had not eaten for a long time.There is a sizable number of Bangladeshi people in Kuwait. As a result , huge quantities of sweet water fish, small and big ones, are imported from Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh etc .
 I thought, I should post few dishes which I normally cook with small fish. The most used recipe in Bengal is Machher Tak or Ambal ( fish in sour gravy or sweet and sour gravy, Bong style). This recipe is available on the net .
This dish was cooked in Kuwait and I am using the photograph of that time.. The name of the fish is Mourala.
Today I have also purchased Mourala from Delhi and will make a dish later. NO-ONE is interested in cleaning the fish, so I need to.
THE RECIPE: It is very simple recipe used for cooking mainly small fish like ( all bengali names) Puti, Mourala, Batasi, Kajoli, Tyangra , Pabda etc and I used anchovie too whenever I got them. In this recipe I have used small eggplants ( jhumko or clustered ). As all of you know this variety of eggplant maintains shape even after prolonged cooking.  This dish is traditionally  hot with red chili powder and green chili. I haven't used garlic here to keep the mild fragrance of the seasoning and fried eggplant.
Mourola fish  150 gms
onion 11/2 medium, cut into thin slices
Green chili 2 for seasoning and 3-4 for cooking
Small brinjal 8
Tomato ,medium one cut to 4 pieces.
Red chili powder 1 tsp level (More , or less you decide)
Turmeric powder, 1 tsp
Mustrad Oil 21/2 tbsp ( you may use white oil, olive oil)
julienne of ginger 1 tsp
Additional Oil for frying fish.
for seasoning
Nigella ( Kala jeera ) 3/4 tsp
Green chili 2, cut to 2-3 pieces

Clean fish , marinate with salt and turmeric for 10-15 min.
Slit  the Brinjal longitudinally about 3/4th of the length, You can keep it half or make it 4 parts ( Star cut).Dont detach.  Smear bit of salt and keep aside.
Soak chili powder in water to make a thin paste.
Soak Turmeric powder in water to a thin paste .
Fry fish to golden brown ( It will be crispy and dont start eating it after frying. It is irresistible)

Stir fry the Brinjal ( you may dip fry) just to change the skin and keep aside.
Take 21/2 tbsp oil ( fresh or same oil used for frying) and heat.
Give Kala jeera and green chili seasoning.
Add Onion and soute for a minute, ( Dont fry )
add ginger and Tomato, soute for a minute
Add red chili and turmeric, salt saute for few minutes.
Add brinjal and 1/2 cup   of water and cover.

When the brinjal is done, add the fish.
Add 1/2 tsp raw mustard oil ( optional for Bong friends) and mix.
Add green chili and slowly drive out almost all the moisture and oil should come out.
Eat with rice.

For my foodie friends, Indian wild oak acorns


Gouri Guha said...

Dear Ushnish,

Been a long time I cooked Mourola mach. You know its so difficult to get small fish in Delhi. I love small them is troublesome but tasty to eat. I love maurola macher ambol, that tangy touch maybe a female tongue likes the tak tak bhab. I have never used onion for cooking maurola mach for my Ma never added onion and I have stuck to it.
With begun some fishes do go well. Have you tried ilish mach with begun and tentul. Sorse bata, begun ar tentul diye o bhalo khete lage.

Simply delicious recipe, will love to cook this dish if I get mourola mach.

Yours is the Recipe of my Day...daydreaming with the taste...ha ha ha.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Gouri
Thank you so much. Actually I know and cook many versions of chhoto machh including Ambal. I am going to mal e Bati chachDi of Mourola shortly, no onion or tomato.
This recipe I normally cook with hard fried Tyangra or pabda.
I guess you are in delhi. You get small fish in CR park. Call Sumanta , the No-1 fish vendor and ask if he has small fish on a day you are planning to go to CR park. His number is 9810121115..he is an old friend, give my reference ' Ghoshda of Noida, who used to be in CR Park.
Best wishes
Happy New Year

The knife said...

Wow this is a new dish. Looks amazing.

Like a lot of Bong men I normally gave small fish a miss and stuck to rui and ilish.

But my Bawi wife is a fish freak and pabda, tangra and parshe made an appearance at home

I have made some interesting pastas of late with canned sardines

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Kalyan
many thanks.
Will be waiting for the pasta sardine recipe..

Gouri Guha said...

Thanks for the helpful information.
Wish you a very Happy New Year. May you bring more recipes and let people cook and enjoy their treat.

...and keep smiling...

Vrinda said...

fish with brinjal,never tasted this combo...thanx for sharing...sounds gr8

SE(Denufood) said...

This dish in very very new to me..and adding that brinjal to it is amazing. Having bought up with not combining non-veg with veg...the combinations are all new to me!..thanks for sharing the recipe

FoodLovers said...

Ushnish Hope ur doing great !!
Thanks for ur kind comments on my blog ...
i love baking so i always find excuses to bake ..
one more tempting dish from ur side Ushnish .. the moment i saw fish feels like grabbing it ..and the combo with eggplant is again unique recipe ...great job

prasu said...

like always another superb one.......we coook dried shrimp with brinjal but never tried samll fish.........looks tempting.Happy, Delicious New Year......

Faiza Ali said...

Very unique recipe again from you and a very tempting one. never tried this fish and brinjal combo , but this looks very yummy. Happy new new to you and your family :)

sangeeta said...

looks very tempting !!
i have tasted the best pabda and parshey , puti machh them fried or even stir fried..
now it's almost impossible to get it here as i can't go out hunting for these small fish...feasting on your recipes till then ..
the wild fruit looks great in the picture !!

kothiyavunu said...

Hello Ushinish,
This recipe is very new to me Fish with brinjal... combo sounds great...Looks delicious and tempting..
Wishing u & ur family Happy New Year!!

Sarah Naveen said...

I love small fish...
We make something called theeyal with this combo..Looks yummy yumm..

Dolly said...

That is one irresistible fish recipe. I have never cooked fish and eggplants together. Also never tried this fish. Looks yummy. Also I cannot help myself..I do sample some fried fish b4 they end up in the gravy. So had a good laugh when you gave ur warning "It will be crispy and dont start eating it after frying. It is irresistible"
lol. Good to know You've been to Kuwait as well.

Malar Gandhi said...

I am crazy for and esp' small fish...count me in:) But it so hard to find seafood in my area:(

Very rarely...if I spot dry anchovies in Korean market' defientely this is the curry for me. We too, in South India make more or less similar curry with brinjals.:) The pictures are really tempting, need to make a trip to korean market:)

PJ said...

Hi Ushnish,Wishing you and all your dear ones a very happy new year and may it be filled with all that is best and beautiful in life!!

Kanchan said...

Being from Bombay - the konkan area I never had River fish, Sea Food Rocked for me :D
So never had this small fish dishes, would love to try.
Had been to Oh Calcatta restaurant here, can you suggest what to go for to get this small fish dishes ?

The knife said...

Hi Ushnishda,

Here's the sardine pasta recipe I had made it in two ways. This post will have a link to my first experiment

Kanchan I am jumping in as I from Mumbai. The closest to small fish preparations in restaurants would be Paarshe or Pabda curry. You could get thish at Oh Calcutta (tardeo) or Calcutta Club (near Oshiwara police station)

Pravs said...

What a combination of fish and brinjal.. never tried. I love small fish too. This dish looks so tempting. If only i could get some small fish now to try this.

Nostalgia said...

Awesome.. I have never made them with bringjal but I love this fish.. We deep fry them after marinating in salt and paparika and I can keep munching them like they are chips :) Thanks for the recipe and beautiful post.. I am going to write about the oak today.. been postponing enough.

vineetha said...

Thank you so much for ur encouraging comments.I am so happy that u tried fish fry from my page..I will definitely try your chicken 65 .Even before u suggested abt chicken 65 I read abt ur chicken 65 in Akaals saapadu and was planning to try it.
Wish u and ur family a happy new year.

Gulmohar said...

What a terrific combo...Never tried this myself though :-)I love this fish and after coming to US I am getting only the frozen ones :(We make fry and thoran (with coconut)
Thanks for sharing those acorns..Never seen them in India..(never been to Himalayas either !!!)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Friends
Brinjal is used in many fish preparation in Bengal. This is just one. You can try if you like Brinjal. I have tried Brinjal in Malabar fish spicing system and was liked by my southern friends also.

@ Prasu, dried shrimp and brinjal is a great combo..try it with your spice system.
@ Gulmohor
I suddenly took lot of interest in acorn after reading Sunitha's article on acorns. In fact I took these photos of Indian oak acorn for her.
@ Vineetha
Please try the 65, It is one of the best recipe of 65 that I use.
@ Suneetha
Thank God , you realized that you were not posting to your other blog, I am eagerly waiting for quite some time
Dear pravs
If you r not getting , small fish try with other fish just hard fry a bit on high flame
@ kalyan -knife
Thank you, will try the dish

@ Kanchan
Thank you..try fresh Anchovies ( sea fish),Knife above has given some idea about small fish that you can try. I shall ask my cousin sis in Pune from where to get small fish.

Thank you so much, I wish you the same

Thank can try hard fried other fish too

Thank you...You wont get these small fishes in US. But you may try some fresh frozen Anchovie
Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the visit and the comment. I'm glad you posted this mourala macher recipe. When it comes to mourala or puti, I like them just fried. Especially with khichuri. But now I'm tempted to try your version too.

Have a wonderful year ahead!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

This dish looks awesome and it is very creative too. I haven't seen anyone use fish and eggplant combo. I will have to try this for sure after I return home. Your wife is very lucky to have a creative cook for a husband. I love the acorn shot as well. Reminds me of the movie "Ice age".

Ushnish Ghosh said...

@ dear Sangeetha , lassie, arundhuti
Thank you so much for the appreciation.
Brinjal is used in many fish dishes in Bong as well as Oriya recipes.

Siddhi Shirsat said...

Hey awesome way of cooking for me...nice idea of using brinjal with fish...liked it a lot...yummmmm...nice recipe...thnx

Sudeshna said...

Hi Ushnish,
Wish you a very Happy New Year too. The last photo made me remember that Ice age little animal, that was really funny.
I love morola mach, thanks a lot for sharing the recipe.

Sayantani said...

oma ei puchke begun guloke jhumko begun bole jantam nato. ki mishti naamta. mourola hubby'r khub fav kintu ekhane je paoya jayna nayto oke kore dile chetepute khabe.

Muraligeetham said...

great recipe..I like small fish..and in malayalam we call this fish 'kozhuva'. This combo is new to me .really tempting ...

Akal's Saappadu said...

Dear Ushnish,

let me wish you & your family a very happy New Year !!!!

I wanted to comment on the colourful BEGUN TOMATO MICRO CHA-CHADI but couldn't resist to scroll down after seeing this delicious fish/eggplant curry!!!

I love small fishes too, I couldn't identify the names you've mentioned but I know a similar variety named "Nethili Meen" in tamil. I do a curry with egg plant too but in a sour tamarind curry; yumyumy, just saying it is making me mouthwater :):)

your curry sounds absolutely tempting too; I'd have loved to add a full garlic to the curry :) I love the flavor of garlic in fish;
your version looks equally succulent; our indian small brinjals variety give a wonderful taste too (better than the giant ones I get here ) and moreover I would finish half the fish fries already after frying them :):) !!

the addition of kala jeera in this curry is something new for me too (I add only to my pilaf/ ghee rice preparations)
have a nice day Ushnish!!!

Balakrishna Saraswathy said...

Wow looks so mouth-watering my granny use to add these fish to sambar..really gives delicious flavor to the curry..First time here..nice space u got..keep it up..will go tru all recipe asap!!

Anu Santanu said...

Wow nice recipe.. Anekdin ei choto mach khaoya hoye na.. Next time I get them will try your recipe.. Begun diye mach will be very comforting..

Bhalo Khabo

khushi said...

Being a Bengali...m fond of fishes....specially mourola....etto sundor bhaja hoye je emni i puro kheye nite icche kore...but this one seems to be a little different recipe from what my mom used to cook. I liked this one. :)

Pranati Nath said...

wow chunaa macha.....I couldn't stop myself from commenting...Looks just so good n perfect...yummm....1st time dekhili ki baigana padi emti kebe try karini....hmmm jai chuna macha anee...aau e recipe try kare..:)

Neelam said...

Hi Ushnish,
Liked your blog. I came across this fish in Lucknow. I hope it is the same species that you've mentioned here. I hope to make the curry like the way you did.

Mohua Ray said...

Hi Gauri....thanxs so much coz these taste remain but the mom and grand moms are no more a part of the family. When we rarely come across some of the fishes it is people like you who help to get back memories of childhood in our meal..thanxs again MOHUA