Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bottle Gourd with Fish Heads - Lau'er Muro Ghonto

Lau'er Muro Ghonto
A friend of Hubby's enjoys fishing and brought me some of his catch. We got into a discussion of how the fish he catches is cleaned. He catches salmon and trout that are pretty big in size. Fish is my protein of choice and he was quite surprised to hear that the head is the most tasty part of the fish. He throws the heads away, so I begged him to save a couple for me the next time he went fishing.

Today he dropped by with six big heads. So I'm all set for the next month. Can't believe I don't have to go to the Asian store and pay for my next fish head. These heads are so fresh which I could tell by the bright red color of the gills. It took me a fair amount of time to clean the heads, discarding the mouth, fins and gills.

Fish head or muro in Bengali is prepared with a number of different vegetables, such as spinach, potatoes, eggplant, cabbage and even in pilaf with cauliflower. Bottle gourd (chayote squash is a good substitute) also pairs well with them, so I spent this afternoon making Lau'er Muro Ghonto. Regardless of how big the squash is, it amounts to practically nothing once it's cooked and releases its juices, so use 2 bottle gourds or 5 chayote squash, if necessary.


2 large fish heads, each cut in half laterally, fins & gills removed
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 bottle gourd or 3 chayote squash, peeled and julienned
6 Tbsp. mustard or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cumin/jeera seeds
2 bay leaves
3 serrano peppers, sliced
2 tsp. garlic paste
2 tsp. ginger paste
1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
cilantro, minced, for garnish
salt and sugar to taste
1 tsp. ghee

  1. Clean fish heads well and marinate with turmeric and salt for half an hour.
  2. Heat oil, fry fish heads until golden brown, remove from oil and set aside.
  3. In the same oil, sputter cumin seeds and bay leaves.
  4. Add squash along with turmeric, ginger & garlic pastes, salt & sugar to taste and serrano peppers, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Place fish heads over the squash, cover again and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. When the juices from the squash evaporate, stir well, breaking up the fish heads.
  7. Add garam masala, adjust salt to taste, stir well and garnish with cilantro & ghee.
Serve over a bed of steaming, hot Basmati rice.

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