Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chaal Diye Muror Ghonto - Fish Pilaf

Chaal Diye Muror Ghonto
In Bengali, muro means fish head and ghonto is a melange of different ingredients. Adding rice and potatoes is one way to cook fish heads in the Bengali style. Muror Ghonto can also be made with a variety of vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage or bottle squash. It can also be combined with mung dal and served as a lentil course. 

Most Bengalis love fish. Filleted fish is only used to make breaded fried fish. In most Bengali households, the entire fish, bone-in and including the head and tail, is consumed. In fact, fish head is considered to be the tastiest part of the fish. In my experience, the heads of rui or katla (both of which belong in the carp family) are the tastiest. I've tried using salmon head and love its flavour, but the bones are very sharp and takes expertise to remove in order to avoid injury to the throat. Today I was in the Asian market and picked up a package of grouper head. Unfortunately, rui & katla are not as readily available.

Hubby won't touch fish head because of a fear of its bones, but enjoys the rest of this pulao. For him, I included a few pieces of fish, devoid of bones. Make sure to marinate the fish head in a lot of garlic paste to get rid of the fishy odour. Even though it's getting very cold outside, the doors and windows were opened wide while this was cooking. 

A combination of mustard and olive oil has been used to cook this dish, but any vegetable oil will do.