Monday, January 09, 2006

Daal with Fish Head

Call it by any name, maccher matha diye daal, muri ghonto, daal with fish head, this is one of my favorite dishes which I prepare and have with such gusto as would give any Bengali such pleasure as a south Indian would have seeing a northie really enjoying currd rice.

Back home we rarely cook fish head except when we fry it with potatoes and peas or we put it in the fish curry since I loved to suck the fish head dipped in the thin fish gravy. Murighonto, or this dish first came across my plate when I was in guwahati during my college when I was in hostel.

Now, that there is a deep rooted antagonism between Bengalis and Assamese in parts of Assam. The feeling is mutual, so I won’t give a political judgement here. However, they share a common love for fish and murighonto is a common dish. The Assamese also love this dal-fish head concoction as much as I love it ;-) and when I was senior enough to have a say in Hostel affairs, never went a festive occasion or a hostel feast without the ubiquitous Murighonto and I ate nothing else those days.

By the I had posted it as a quick and good dish a long time back.
Parna also posted it, here.
I use a little different daal. A mix of Arhar( tur) and masuri( the red one).

Now here goes,

3 parts arhar and 1 part masuri. Total should come upto a small cup.
Wash well and keep aside with a little water lest the wet dal gets stuck in the cup.
A small Onion or half a medium onion chopped well.
5 cloves of garlic and half an inch finger of ginger ground to a paste.
And of course heeng ( Asafoetida) , Meethi( fenugreek), Jeera( fennel) powder as well as whole and dhania powder( coriander). 2 bayleaves.
Don’t forget a pinch of red chilli powder and two red chillis shredded into two pieces each.
And 2 green chillis sliced in half. ( you may or may not put this)
Last and most important.
2 large Fish Heads cut in half shallow Fried in a pan. Rohu head is the best.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, and when hot put the bay leaves, red chilli and whole jeera.
Fry for one minute or till before they turn black.
Put the onions and fry till translucent. Add a pinch of asafetida and half tsp of meethi.
Now add the ginger garlic paste.
Fry for 1 minute and add
#1 tsp each of jeera powder and Dhania powder
#1/2 tsp each of red chilli powder and turmeric( add turmeric with your judgement-some are strong and some aren’t)
#Add the pre-fried fish head and fry for some time. Press the fish heat with the spatula so that it gives out a JEEEZZZ sound. But don’t break it altogether. It is just to mix well.

Add 2 tomatoes finely chopped.
Fry for 3-4 minutes and add the dal. Add salt to taste.
Add water to your measurement-say 2.5 to 3 cups for 1 cup water, and cover the pressure cooker.
Three whistles should do. Put down the cooker from fire after three whistles and wait for it to cool down.
When just cooled, open the cooker and heat again.
Let the dal thicken.
Garnish with coriander.

There you go.
My other daal recipes, here.


Blogger Parna said...

this version of the fishhead with dal looks almost like the way i make it. but i use arhar dal only. and murighonto is made with rice, not dal :) am planning to make it some day soon. shall put up a post. have been playing the houdini though lately. appologies, in case you check the foodblog.

1/10/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeez i never knew that. You see i mostly cook on my own after a few experiments and i thought i was coking muroghonto. Even called up an assamese fren a few minutes back and he said yes they put rie and that murighonto is a bengalit but that was my original recipe... like all other

1/10/2006 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have such nice recipes that going away without dropping a line wld have been bad.We also call fish head with dal as muri ghonto and fish head with rice muri ghonto too.But as long as it is fish .. I'd say what is in a name :-)
I did not get the ootti's pronunciation .. one of them must be as in 'tie' I guess ... but which one?

8/12/2008 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

@Sharmila.... Ahhh Well said.. whats is a name when it taste heaven.. My favorite..

Not Tie.. It should be pronounced "T"

Like Ooty.. the "place", but don't linger on the 'TY'.. jusyt cut it short :) like Tea?

8/15/2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger D Chaudhury said...

Hi! You have some awesome recipes :)
by the way, Murir Ghonto is something totally different. It has rice and fish head and is dry.
Macher mathar dal is what you have described - and I love it!

5/25/2009 01:57:00 PM  

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