Eight Baby-Steps to Get the Bengali Yogurt Fish Curry Right. Doi Macch

Doi Machh is a yogurt based, mildly spiced fish curry from Bengal. It is prepared with a fresh water fish called Rohu or Greas carp Fish. If Rohu or Greas carp Fish is unavailable, this curry can be prepared with any other fresh water fish. The fish is cut into Bengali style pieces which means it is cleaned, the scales are removed, it is cut lengthwise and then cut into regular slices, which gives you thick triangular slices(Half of a darne).
The best thing about this recipe is that it is simple and delicious. Bengali moms will tell you that the head of the fish is the most flavourful part. Even if you don’t want to eat the head of the fish, add it to the curry while cooking and discard it later.

Doi Machh – Serves 4

Ingredients

Fresh Water Fish (Rohu)     600g, cut into Bengali Style Pieces
Turmeric (Haldi)    1 ½ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon
Salt (Namak)   to taste
Unsalted, Clarified Butter (Ghee)   2 tablespoons
Dried Red Chilli (Sukhi Lal Mirch)   2
Bay Leaf (tej patta)  1
Green Cardomom (Chhoti Elaichi)  5 pods
Clove  (laung)   3 cloves
Cinnamon (Dal Chini)  ½ piece
Onion (Pyaz)  2, small, quartered
Ginger (Adrak)  1 inch piece
Yogurt (Dahi)  1 cup
Refined Flour (Maida)  1 tablespoon
Almonds     6, blanched, peeled and grind into a fine paste
Method:

Rub salt and turmeric to the cut pieces of fish. Set aside and let it stand for thirty minutes.
In a pan, heat clarified butter (ghee), once the ghee is hot, add in dried red chilli and the whole spices, bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon.
Once the spices turn a shade darker, add in the onion, add in ½ teaspoon of turmeric and stir, allow the onion to brown.
Add in the fish and stir. Add in ½ cup water, stir and allow the fish to cook on a low flame for five minutes.
In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of refined flour with 1 cup yogurt. Whisk the mixture well.
Add in this yogurt mixture to the fish and stir well.
Allow the curry to simmer for three minutes.
Add in the almond paste, stir it in and allow it cook for another two minutes.
Put the fish pieces in the serving bowl.  Strain the curry before adding it to the fish in the serving bowl.
Serve hot with Luchi (Bengali Bread).
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