|Mouri Bata Diye Koi Maacher Jhol|
Catfish Steaks in Fennel Seed Sauce uses the very same ingredients with just a few differences. The gravy is much thicker in this dish and I've used climbing perch here instead of catfish.
This fish, also known as Koi Maach in Bengali, is purchased live in India and is well-known for its recuperative qualities. In the U.S. and in Michigan in particular, we have no option but to buy frozen climbing perch which is sometimes available in some Oriental and Indian grocery stores. Although the flavour of the live fish is far superior to the frozen variety, it is still a good alternative to using other species of fish, such as catfish or tilapia.
1 lb. climbing perch, cleaned and gutted
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
½ tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. Kashmiri mirch or chili powder
2 + 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds, roasted and ground to a fine powder
½ tsp. sugar
salt to taste
4 green chilies, slit
1. Wash fish well and make two slanted slits on each side of each fish between the head and tail. This allows the sauce to penetrate to the center.
4. Stir remaining 1 Tbsp. fennel powder and sugar with 2 Tbsp. water and set aside.
5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry fish in oil on both sides and set aside.
6. In the same oil, fry fennel seeds until they sputter, then add the tomatoes.
7. Cook tomatoes with 1st batch of fennel seed paste until tomatoes break down.
8. Add a cup of boiling water in 4 batches, stirring well after each addition.