Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fish & Potatoes with Lentil Dumplings in Ginger-Tomato Gravy

Tengra Maach Alu Bori

Tilapia Maach Alu Bori
This recipe was inspired by one I saw on Facebook. I've made very few changes to the original recipe which was made with Rohu fish or carp which is not readily available in my neighbourhood. I soaked the boris in hot water to soften them up, just because this is how it's done in my family. To make the gravy, I heated the water along with the boris in the microwave and added it to the pan. 
Why two kinds of fish? The top one's for me. Made with whole bone-in fish it has cumin and chili powder in the gravy. The other fish is for Hubby, made with tilapia fillets and without chili and cumin powders. Both are cooked in a ginger and tomato gravy with potatoes and lentil dumplings (bori in Bengali).

The tomato gravy is made with Campari tomatoes which are of medium size and so sweet that it's not necessary to add any sugar to the gravy. Campari tomatoes are grown in Mexico, shipped to Ontario, Canada (for packaging I think) and then reach our markets in Michigan. Kind of a circuitous route, don't you think?

6-8 whole or filleted fish pieces, tossed with salt and turmeric
1 russet potato, cut in 2" lengths

2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Bori ( dried lentil dumpling) 
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil for frying and garnishing, respectively
1/4 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji/kalojeera)
1 Tbsp. cumin/jeera seeds, soaked in hot water and ground to a paste
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch, paprika or red chili powder

salt to taste
2 cups water, simmering
1 jalapeno pepper or 4 green chilies, sliced 


  1. Clean fish, toss with salt and turmeric, fry till golden brown and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat rest of oil, fry boris till golden brown and set aside. 
  3. Soak boris in a cup of water until ready to use.
  4. In the same pan, sputter nigella seeds, add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, Kashmiri mirch and cumin powder. 
  6. Stir-fry until oil resurfaces, add simmering water along with soaked boris and fish.
  7. Adjust salt to taste, cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and oil resurfaces.
  8. Remove from heat and garnish with green chilies.
Serve with hot, steamed Basmati rice with a splash of lime.

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