Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Baby Catfish (Tyangra Maach) in Fennel Seed Sauce

Tyangra Maach er Mouri Bata Jhol
This same fennel seed sauce was borrowed from a previous post that used Climbing Perch or Koi Maach. Baby catfish is considered to be nutritious, especially if the fish is sold live in the fish market. The fish monger willingly guts and cleans the little fish after weighing them. In the West, fish consumed by Bengalis is available in Bangladeshi markets and fish, like tyangra, come frozen in slabs of ice. They can be defrosted by placing the package on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. If need be, should the block still be frozen the next day, it can be placed in a sink filled with water to thaw. 

1 lb. baby catfish/tyangra maach, 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, a
pply salt & turmeric to fish and marinate for half an hour.
2.  Make a paste with 1 tsp. oil, ginger paste, salt, Kashmiri mirch & 2 Tbsp. fennel powder.
3.  Stir remaining 1 Tbsp. fennel powder and sugar with 2 Tbsp. water and set aside.
4.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry fish in oil on both sides and set aside.
5.  In the same oil, fry fennel seeds until they sputter, then add the tomatoes.
6.  Cook tomatoes with 1st batch of fennel seed paste until tomatoes break down.
7.  Add a cup of boiling water in 4 batches, stirring well after each addition.
8.  Adjust salt to taste, add fried fish, cover and cook for 5 minutes. 
9. Turn fish over and cook for another 5 minutes.
10. Add 2nd batch of fennel seed paste and stir gravy gently without disturbing the fish.
11. Garnish with green chilies and serve with steamed Basmati rice.

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