Doi Maach is a Bengali preparation of fish in a curd based gravy. Doi is curd and Maach is fish in Bengali. Fish is a very essential part of Bengali’s culture and that is why I’m fond of Bengali food so much as I love fish curry and rice!
As I understand, most Bengali preparations are very simple, especially the preparations with fish. Not too many ingredients, not a lot of fuss, the fish definitely stands out. This one, in particular, is prepared with Rohu fish, which is found in rivers in Southern parts of Asia. In case you cannot procure it, you may substitute it with Tilapia, or Seer fish works equally well. I love this recipe for its simplicity and the flavours. There is a perfect amalgamation of the fish with ghee, garam masala and curd with a hint of the flavour from onions.
If served with steamed rice, it the ultimate comfort food to have at home.
- 350 gms Rohu fish cleaned and cut into 4-5 fillets
- 2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
- 4 tbsp Mustard oil
- 1 leaf Bay leaves
- 3 pieces Whole black cardamom
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 3-4 nos Cloves
- 2 onions Onion paste
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 5 nos Green chillies slit
- 1 tsp Chilly powder
- 2 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Garam masala powder
- 350 ml Plain curd should not be sour
- 2 cups Water
- Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat mustard oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the fish fillets lightly on high heat. The fish should not get cooked completely at this point. A minute and a half on each side at a high heat should be enough. Keep the fish aside once done.
- Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan, add the cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Saute until the aroma imparts to the ghee.
- Add the onion and ginger garlic paste and green chillies. Add a little salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chilly powder and stir for a minute. Reduce the heat.
- Whisk the curd with a little water, take the skillet out of the heat and add the curd mixture and stir continuously.
- Bring it back to heat, add the fish. Add enough water till the fish is covered in gravy and cook it covered on slow heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the garam masala powder, check the seasoning and serve with hot steamed rice.
- If the ghee is not enough, please use the mustard oil used for frying the fish.
- In case the curd curdles during cooking, thicken the gravy further and it will be fine. Don’t worry :).
- You may use chopped coriander leaves for garnish. I like them as it is.
- Increase the quantity of green chillies if you like the heat.