During my break I have been going through some terrible mood swings. My emotions appear to be swinging like a pendulum from one end to another. But I will not bore everyone with my sob story but yes I am once again trying to make a comeback to blogosphere.
I do face some problems every time I cook and this has led me to come to the conclusion that I am not exactly a great cook. Why do I say that? Well I do not measure the spices I add to the dish; I invariably resort to what we in India call ‘andaz’ – loosely translated it means an approximate judgement. Ma did the same that is I never saw her measure out the number of spoons, but she just knew how much to add as a result of which her dishes tasted perfect and consequently there was no variation in the the taste of a particular dish. This was perhaps why she was able to give me the measurements for the dishes featured in this blog. As for me, well a dish tastes very nice today quite like Ma’s --- okay that was a bit of an exaggeration but almost --- and tomorrow the same dish will taste quite different- I guess you get the message.
Therefore I have decided to bring in some changes in the blog, to begin with I will not be giving the recipe in the traditional way with measurements et al, I leave that to your ‘andaz’.
Bombay is basically a place for sea food, it is rather difficult to get variety of river fishes. Most of the time we have to be satisfied with the usual carp fishes like rohu and catla. Sometimes if lady luck smiles down at us then we may spot some other variety. Recently I managed to lay my hands on a variety of small fish called Pabda. This is a particularly tasty fish. Ma cooked it to perfection but I had no clue how to cook it. I was feeling a bit despondent when I remembered her cooking it with some onions and I remember asking her how she had cooked it. Though memory was failing me I jogged my memory and set about cooking it. I cannot vouch for the fact that this was exactly how Ma cooked it. Incidentally you can try it with any other fish.
It is quite simple actually. You will need:
- Some onions – I used 2 medium size onions for 4 fishes.
- One tomato
- A pinch of turmeric powder, red chilli powder according to your taste and a little bit of coriander and cumin mix powder.
- I used mustard oil for the cooking like a true Bengali.
- After washing the fishes (the fisherman had thankfully cleaned the fish) I applied some salt and turmeric powder to the fishes and kept it aside.
- I poured out some oil in a vessel and fried the fishes.
- In another vessel I poured some more oil.
- I had finely chopped the onions length wise and added this to the hot oil.
- After stir frying till it was golden brown I chopped the tomato and added it to the fried onions.
- Then went some salt to soften the chopped tomato and later came the powdered spices.
- After stir frying it to my satisfaction I added the fried fishes and some water. I stirred it up a bit and covered and cooked it till it was done. I also added a bit of sugar to enhance the taste.
- You can also garnish it with some chopped coriander leaves.
How did it taste? Quite nice but nothing like Ma’s but this was also not bad, quite tasty if I may so myself.