Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tiny Whitebait in Onion & Tomato Gravy - Kachki Mach-er Jhol

Kachki Maach-er Jhol
They're called whitebait in English and keski or kachki maach in Bengali. Compare the thickness of the translucent strips of onion in the picture above to the opaque, skinny whitebait. 

I had whitebait for the first time at my sister, Rene's, home and she advised that to remove any fishy smell, the fish should be marinated in turmeric and garlic paste as soon as they're thawed. Stir-fried in onions and tomatoes, there's no need to add water to get a gravy because more than enough moisture is released by the sliced onions and tomatoes.

Mustard oil would be the best oil to use for this dish, but if it's not available vegetable oil would work just as well.

Frozen Blocks of Whitebait
Whitebait comes in blocks of ice, three to a package, in the Vietnamese market. The package is labelled silverfish mainly because of the translucent, silvery colour of the fish. In some Asian markets the fish is called Chinese Whitebait.

Thawed Whitebait
When they're thawed, whitebait look like silvery threads that are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length which turn white when cooked.

1/2 lb. frozen whitebait, thawed in a bowl of tap water
1 large or 2 medium onions, thinly sliced in crescents
1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/paprika/chili powder
2 tsp. garlic paste
1 tsp. ginger paste
2-3 green chilies, diced
1 bunch green onions, cut in 1" pieces
4 + 2 Tbsp. mustard or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. nigella/kalonji seeds
salt to taste

  1. Rinse the whitebait in a colander under running water and drain.
  2. Marinate fish in turmeric, paprika and garlic, and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sputter nigella seeds and chilies.
  4. Stir-fry onion slices until translucent, add ginger-garlic pastes & tomatoes.
  5. Cover and simmer until oil resurfaces, then stir in fish and salt to taste.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes, adjust salt to taste and garnish with remaining oil and green onions.
Serve over steamed, hot basmati or jasmine rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from all of you, so please feel free to leave a comment.

If you have a question I will reply to your comment. If you prefer an email response, please mention that and make sure your blogger profile is linked to your e-mail, otherwise I will not be able to e-mail you back.

Please note that any and all comments posted by 'Anonymous' persons are deleted without exception as a means of nuisance abatement.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this post.