On the earlier leg of our culinary journey, we found ourselves in Bihar exploring the delights of traditional Bhojpuri and Bihari cuisine. In today’s post, we will travel eastward to the neighbouring state of West Bengal – and to its bustling capital city, Kolkata, famed (among other things) for its legendary street food.
Of the mind-boggling, tantalizing and utterly dazzling array of street food items that one can find on the streets, lanes and by-lanes of Kolkata, one snack stands out, particularly if you are a fish lover. It is the legendary Fish Chop – or “Machher Chop” as the Bengalis call it.
The Bengalis certainly know their mustard – and they use it extensively in their cooking, and they do so in many creative ways. The recipe that we will be exploring today uses Mustard Oil and mustard seeds to create this delightful snack which is served with a traditional Bengali mustard sauce known as Kasundi.
In our version of this traditional Machher Chop, we will add a tangy twist to the recipe by using raw mango as one of the ingredients. The sizzle of green chillies and the gentle warmth of red chilli powder and garam masala will subtly be accentuated by the sourness of raw mango. That’s what makes this version of the Fish Chop truly unique. The pleasant memories of its flavour will remain on your taste-buds for a long, long time.
Here are the ingredients that you will require.
Fish Trimmings: 200 grams
Lemon Juice: 50 millilitres
Green Chillies: 2
Onion: 1, medium sized
Tomato: 1, medium sized
Potatoes: 3, medium-sized
Peanuts: 1 tablespoon
Mustard Oil: 100 millilitres
Mustard Seeds (Rai): 1 teaspoon
Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Raw Mango: Half a mango
Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 tablespoons
Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 2 teaspoons
Red Chilli Powder: 2 teaspoons
Garam Masala: 1 tablespoon
Breadcrumbs: 10 tablespoons
Salt: to taste
The quantities mentioned above are for two servings. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.
In a mixing bowl, take the fish trimmings. Add the lemon juice, salt and a little water (a couple of tablespoons should be enough). Mix well using your hands. Then keep the bowl aside for around 30 minutes, allowing the fish to marinate.
After 30 minutes, drain the lemon juice and water, and pat the fish trimmings dry. Keep aside.
Finely chop the green chillies.
Finely chop the onion.
Finely chop the tomato.
Finely chop the raw mango.
Coarsely grind the peanuts.
Wash and peel the potatoes. Then boil them till they become soft (use a fork to check that they are properly done). When the potatoes are done, use the back of a spoon to mash them. Keep aside.
Heat 30 millilitres of Mustard Oil in a frying pan. When the oil becomes hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Sauté till the seeds begin to splutter. Then add the onion, tomato, peanuts, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt to taste. Mix well and sauté. Next, add the mashed potatoes and stir to mix well. Finally, add the fish trimmings and sauté till the fish is cooked. Then turn the flame off and let the contents cool down to room temperature.
Once the contents cool down, add the raw mango and green chillies. Mix well. Divide the contents into four portions and use your hands to shape each portion into an elongated cylinder-shaped piece.
Break and beat the egg in a mixing bowl.
Spread the breadcrumbs out evenly on a tray.
Take one cylinder-shaped portion and dip it in the egg to coat it properly. Then roll the piece in the breadcrumbs till the piece is evenly covered all over in breadcrumbs. Repeat this for the other three portions.
In a pan, heat the remaining Mustard Oil on a High flame till it reaches its smoking point and wisps of white smoke begin to rise from the surface of the oil. Then reduce the flame to Medium.
Deep-fry each portion till it turns golden-brown in colour. It is best to deep-fry the pieces one at a time to ensure perfect, even browning and to avoid the pieces getting burnt. Once you are through with the deep-frying process, turn the flame off.
Your traditional Bengali Machher Chop is now ready. Arrange the four chops on two plates (two pieces per plate) and serve with spicy Kasundi (Bengali mustard sauce). And if you want to replicate the perfect Bengali mood for this snack, serve it with hot cups of tea amidst loud, free-flowing conversations (which the Bengalis call Adda).
You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/