Machher kalia is a traditional Bengali spicy fish curry which is a part of almost every Bengali family’s everyday lunch menu. So this should be a mild type of curry with less spices and can be served with rice . Traditional Bengali dishes do not use tomatoes a lot.But you can use them to give the dish a red colour without using red chillies.
Turmeric is an essential ingredient and ginger garlic is also not compulsory.But if you use ginger garlic paste ,you have to use all spice powder to nutralise the flavor of ginger and garlic which may overpower the flavour of fish.
This dish is prepared with river fishes like rohu,carp or any fresh water fish which tend to have small bones.That is why the fishes should be marinated in turmeric and salt and deep fried before adding to the curry.That is the traditional way to do it.For a healthy variation you can shallow fry the fishes.
Potatoes and sometimes various vegetables like brinjals,radish can be added to produce a variety.
This is the easiest fish curry which I know so far.Because it needs only few ingredients which are always available in hand .But many people may not be habituated with fish curry without onion and garlic so I have added them into my recipe.
1.Freshwater Fish pieces or whole fishes or fish fillets [5 to 6]
2.Turmeric [1 tbsp]
3.Salt [as per taste]
4.Nigella seeds or onion seeds[1/2 tbsp]
5.Kashmiri or Regular Red chily powder [1 or 2 tbsp]
6.Onion [1 grounded]
7.Ginger Garlic paste [1/2 tbsp](optional)
8.All spice powder (to be added if you are adding ginger garlic paste)[consists of powdered cinnamon,cloves and green cardamom)
9.Green chilies(2 to 3 whole)
10.Cumin powder(1 or 2 tbsp)
11.Oil (1/2 cup)Mustard or any other oil
12.Potatoes or eggplants cut into large cubes [2 to 3](optional)
1.Marinate the fishes in turmeric and salt for 5 minutes.Fry the potatoes and eggplant pieces separately.
2. Traditionally the fishes are fried in mustard oil.
3.The mustard oil have to heated till it starts smoking and the fishes are added to the hot oil.This is one of the most difficult part.Because it causes a lot of oil spill.To avoid you can rub the fishes with some regular flour and shallow fry them,till they get a little stiff.
4.Add 2 tbsp of fresh oil into the wok.
5.Add Nigel seeds.
6.Add onion paste followed by ginger garlic paste at this stage.
7.Dissolve turmeric ,cumin powder,chilly powder into 1/2 cup of water and add to the fried spicy mix.
8.Add salt and little sugar (if you like).
9.Cover and simmer in low flame for 2 to 3 minutes .
10 add the vegetables.
12.Cover and cook till the vegetables get tender.
13.Add the fishes at the end.
14.Cover and cook for five minutes.
15.Add a pinch of all spice powder if you have added ginger garlic paste.
16.Break the green chillies and simmer.
17.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.