Friday, December 18, 2009

MURI GHANTO ( fish head curry speciality)

Yesterday, I bought a medium size Rohu fish, about 2.5 Kg, and was wondering what to do with the head. I don't eat fish head. If SOMEONE sees the tail in the packet, will obviously ask, where is the head because she is very fond of fish head. If I take it home, it will be like digging my own grave of cleaning and cooking. Anyway I have already dug half of my grave and one foot is already in it, so better dig the rest now. So I did a bit of hypocrisy by thinking " Shame on me if I cant clean a fish head for SOMEONE so dear to me!!
Now what to cook with the fish head, there are mainly 3 recipes in Bong kitchen, Dal with fish head ( you all know the dal without fish head in my blog), the other option is with Cabbage and finally the Muri Ghanto with rice. ( There is an Oriya option " ChhinchDa", but Somoo has to publish that before I try). The Muri Ghanto with rice is a delicacy.
So to find out the recipe I had to rely on my blog circle of Bongs. ( I know few recipes but did not want to tax my brain and needed a fast route.) In our blog circle , we have 5-6 authentic source of Bengali recipes , and I finally found a great recipe at Bong Mom
All bengali fish recipies ( barring few) are based on sweet water fish. So I think I should say few lines on this dish cooked with the head of sea fish. ( Most of my foodie friends here eat sea fish)
Few years back, when I was in Korea ( a dream land for me) SOMEONE  was nice enough to join me for few weeks leaving few 'would be mothers' with other docs. We had gone to a restaurant, on the black pebble beach, with other Korean friends. The Restaurant specializes on raw fish dishes. ( cooked dishes are also there) .
One has to go to the big aquarium of the place, chose live  fish. They will take out the fish, slice into small fillet and serve with wasabi and other sauce. ( I dont mind eating it, as it is tasteless, smell less.).  The fish head is not served and destroyed. I told the girl to pack the head for me. The girl was very curious to know what I was going to do with the head. So I quickly explained to her in english what I was going to do with it. She did not understand a single word of English. So I had to explain her in sign language ( and a Korean friend was explaining ) that " I am an Indian Magician and I am going to grow rest of the fish again by using the head and eat again. She was so amused that she jumped on to my back and started showering lot of appreciation into my right ear...and then I heard in my left ear "SOMEONE " whispered  "Enjoying?"
" I wish I could, but my knees are buckling".
So that was the 1st and last time, I had used  a sea fish head in this dish. But I had to improvise the spicing system as Koreans cant eat Indian spice. Instead of Cumin and garam masala , I had to use quite a bit of Cinnamon only. Koreans are familiar with Cinnamon as it is used  in  special drinks and sweets.
 Although rice is added to this dish it is not a Pulao rather it is treated as a curry and eaten with normal rice. The main flavor comes from garam masala, onion and ginger with cumin note.
You can use a fresh sea fish head, if you eat it otherwise.
There is no deviation from Bong Mom's recipe, except an error. I did not notice that Bong Mom had used half the fish head and I put the whole. As a result the dish in the photo looks more : Fish heady" than " Rice-ee" . The taste is superb, at least SOMEONE is very happy. ( May be I will take the risk of loitering tomorrow) 
 For the detailed recipe, ingredients, method etc please visit Bong Mom's MURI GHANTO   

I am giving some photos of the dish I cooked. 
This is how it looked after cleaning
 how it looked after frying

Final Look

And finally the flower for you all


SE(Denufood) said...

funny incident story at the korean store..Since our cooking is mostly konkan based..if u make other then bengali dishes...u can try the goan fish fry, the next time u get the fish head....

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear SE
I cook all kind of dishes. In fact I am in this blogs, to learn other than bengali dishes and I am learning and cooking too.

I can cook very good Vindaloo. The problem is, sea fish brought into delhi is not good. The big ones like Surmai is OK. But the small sea fish somehow I dont like the smell. But the same fish I will devour if I am in a coastal area,
Now during winter, the sea fish available in delhi is good. So I will try Konkon, Malabar, Andhra style fish fry and other fish dishes.
Let me see how fast I get the fish
Have a nice weekend.

Gulmohar said...

lol..that was so funny..In Malayalam there is a saying "mackerel head can't be given to anyone, even if he is your in law...":D might have come from the belief that you serve the best things to your in laws..

Nostalgia said...

Awesome...looks are a fantastic cook and writer..:)

kothiyavunu said...

Hello Ushnish,
Ha ha that was funny story!!!enjoyed reading it..:) In kerela, fish head curry is famous dish in toddy hubby & kids, they are like u they won't eat fish head..and I am one. So its difficult to make.. cos I will end up eating u know what will I will drool at these pictures.YUM
so sweet of u preparing such a delicious dish for ur wife..
Thanks for lovely flower.:)
Have a great weekend.

Latha said...

It was nice reading about Your experience at Korea :). The recipe sounds new but interesting...

Vrinda said...

This is my hubby;s fav....he says fish heads r the best part...

Siddhi Shirsat said...

Hey nice fish curry luks nice...nice way of using the fish head...u come up with realy nice n unique recipes...keep it up

Sarah Naveen said...

hahahah...So the Indian magician, thats a lovely post ;)
My mom makes curries with fish head..and i m not sure whther u know fish head is a main item in local kerala toddy shops ;)Curry looks interesting..

PJ said...

very nice writeup! I come here as much for writeups as for recipes, I think :) I have not cooked with any other parts of the fish other than fish filet, but this looks wonderful.

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

The Indian magician cooks up magic ! Very nicely written post - enjoyed it!

Bong Mom said...

That was funny, you really cooked muri Ghonto for the Koreans ?
I don't think sea fish will taste good in this dish. What is your and boudi's opinion ?

You should sometimes blog the Bangal Muri Ghonto, the one I tasted was diff from the "Maacher Matha diye Dal" that we make

sangeeta said...

Magician with buckling knees ...

I wish loitering in the park was so easy...just cleaning n cooking a fish head.
i have a fish head aversion too but my dad likes this..i have once tasted muri ghonto n din't like it. The bandha kopi diye machher matha i liked very much , the way our guest house cook used to make there , please post that recipe whenever you make that..

sayantani said...

As always loved reading your post. ei recipeta amader barite sabari bhishon priyo. ami jodio khaina tabe khan duek matha fridge e jome gelei banai. amar rannate ami beshi matha aar kam chal di...jamon apni korechen. khub bhalo.

The knife said...

The first time i felt at home after moving to Mumbai was when I bought a rui head and made machher matha diye daal. Luckily my Parsi wife took a liking to it too. And i didn't have to wait anymore for my trips home for my mom to make it

Malar Gandhi said...

Lol, thats really Korean market place. Glad that SOMEONE joined you real quick, ha ha...kidding.

I like fish head. I always end up making them in curry form. Now I have a new recipe...thanks for sharing all authentic Bengali recipes. And thanks to Bong Mom, I like recipes as well:)

Dolly said...

Ur Fish head curry looks awesome. The only problem is I myself do not really like Fish head. But I know you being a Bengali, Fish must be so special to you. Also liked ur funny incident in Korea. I'm really curious to know, if you don;t mind how many places you have been once said on my blog u've been to Germany too.

BTw I just posted a thai Garlic shrimp recipe on my blog too..

Anonymous said...

i like fish head cooked in a simple broth. but i have never tried it curried.

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Dolly
I just try to make the blog bit more interesting by putting few funny incidents, I feel good that you liked it.
I just don't like fish heads but my wife does,hence all these troubles.:-(
I shall respond to you about my places of visit, I feel good , you wanted to know.
Of course I am going to read the recipe garlic and shrimps. I just phoned my wife to pick up shrimps from the market even before reading the recipe.. I just told he " Pick up shrimps, great dish from Dolly is waiting for you ...:-)
Have a nice week ahead

Sreelekha Sumesh said...

ohh yummyy dish.i love fish heads in fish curry..but never tried with veggies..keep going..
Have a nice day!

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sandeepa
In Korea that was an apology of Muri ghanto, only similarity it had was the fish head ( not fried), fist full of rice and 1 stick of cinnamon,rest were lot of kimchi, red chili powder, spring onion, etc and like a soup.
I did cook Muri ghanto ( in Korea) for my friends from coastal Kerala using sea fish head and it was awesome!!!
The Bangal Muri ghanto with dal is the one I have posted. I dont know any other.
But let me try to find out some other variation and will let you know.
Bhalo theko

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Kamana
You can try the fish head curry with rice in it. I am sure you dont mind the flavour of Garam masala ( cardamom,, clove and Cinnamon). Then you can try. Pl follow the link in my blog to get the detailed recipe at Bong Mom
Hvae a nice day

FoodLovers said...

Thanks Ushnish for ur kind words on my blog ....
iam also a seafood lover ur dish looks really tempting ..