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.


Salmon Cooked with Onions & Tomatoes in a Mustard Gravy

Salmon Maacher Jhaal
Daddy loved fishing, although he didn't get much time for his hobby. He worked as a family physician at his clinic from Monday through Saturday and half-day on Sunday. I remember the time when, from one of his fishing expeditions, he brought home a sea turtle and laid it on the kitchen floor. We were fascinated by this sea creature, but strangely enough, I can't remember what happened to it. We didn't have it for dinner, I don't think.

When I was living in California, my aunt and I met a family from Burma and Mr. Fenton also loved to fish. His favorite fishing spot was Puddingstone Reservoir and he would return home with loads of blue gill which he would drop off at my place to clean. Blue gill tastes a lot like climbing perch (Bengalis call it koi maach). The taste of fresh caught fish just can't be beat.

Here in Michigan, Hubby has re-connected with a friend from work who has been fishing since he was a young boy. He goes fishing in the St. Clair river and showed me a picture of the salmon he caught a couple of days before. His question was whether we'd like some fresh salmon or smoked, so I asked for a little of both. The smoked salmon was outstanding and I marvelled at how well he had cleaned the fish. There was not a scale in sight and believe me, they were miniscule.

So the fresh piece of salmon brings me right back to this blog. I cut the fillet into cubes and cooked it the way Bengalis love their fish - in mustard gravy. Salmon reminds me of Ilish (or Hilsa) and they both have similar spawning habits. Both species of fish live in the sea or ocean, but make their way back to the river in which they were born and swim against the current to spawn. Just like Ilish, Salmon is an oily fish and is full of flavor.