Thursday, 17 February 2011

Doi Maach / Rohu Fish in Yoghurt Gravy

( Vegetarians ... do stay tuned. The next post will be on the veggie version of this wonderful dish. )

It has been a while since I made a post on fish last.
Not that I've not been eating my staple diet ... just that I make something quickly, 
seem very pleased with the results
and serve myself a hot hot meal.
Just do not feel like picking up the camera, arranging and clicking.

Doi Maach is very common to Bengalis ... a very common dish on a Bengali lunch table.
And there are many ways of making this.
You can make it with a lot of masalas. You can make it spicy.
Or you can make it simple ... like I do.

This dish is supposed to be creamy, very light coloured.
But there are no hard and fast rules here.
Add more turmeric if you like the colour ... add more chilli powder if you like it spicy 
( and it gives colour too ) ... etc. etc.

I keep my recipe straight and simple. 

One very common problem while making the Doi maach is the curdling of the curd.
One of the reasons I hated eating Doi maach at home or at a relative's place was due to the curdled doi/dahi.
I abhorred the watery liquid that separated the solidified curd
... with the woebegone fish lying in
in the joke called Doi maach.

The reason is ... most people use sour curd ...
i.e. curd set at home and is older than 2/3 days.
Later when I started my affair with the kitchen, I learnt a lot.
Like when you add sour curd, no matter how well you beat it, 
to a dish cooking on  high heat, it will curdle.
What to do?
Nobody had the  right answer to this query of mine.

And then I learnt how to make the kadhi !!
SIL, on her description of the recipe, had mentioned the addition of a very little besan/gram flour 
to the curd mixture so that it does not curdle.
And bingo!!
I had my answer!

While my very pure vegetarian SIL patiently explained to me how to make the Kadhi,
 I was busy with visions of the perfect Doi Maach that I can finally relish 
swimming before my very eyes!
No ... I did not let the gentle soul know about my visions ... 
 ... of the most unthinkable non veg food ... the fish! 

And ever since I've always been able to make the Doi maach sans a curdled gravy of doi/dahi!

I keep the gravy of my Doi Maach very mild flavoured and light coloured.
I do use a little onion paste here ...
( if you are a regular on Kichu Khon you will know how little I use onion,ginger,garlic pastes).
And I love the flavour of the cardamom that infuses with the paste while cooking
and gives a beautiful flavour to the gravy.

Need :

4 Pieces of the Rohu fish
( washed, marinated with salt and turmeric and lightly fried in Mustard oil )
1 cup of Fresh curd / dahi / yoghurt
1 tbsp of  Besan / Gram flour
A Pinch of Haldi / Turmeric
2 Green Cardamoms
2 small pieces of  Dalchini / Cinnamon
2/3 Whole dry Red Chillies
4 tbsp of Onion paste
1 tsp cooking oil
Salt and sugar to taste

How to :

Beat the curd and the besan well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadahi / wok.
Add the cardamom, dalchini and whole red chillies.
Add the onion paste and keep stirring on low heat till the oil leaves sides and 
the onions lose their raw smell.
Now add the curd and besan mixture, turmeric and a little water.
Keep the heat on low all the while.
When it starts to boil slowly, add the salt and sugar.

Cook for a while.
When it reaches the desired consistency, add the fried fish pieces.
Let them simmer for some more time.
( Do not cook for a  long while after adding the fish ... the pieces will soak up the gravy and 
turn very soft  ... might break when serving).

Serve hot.

Goes great with steamed plain rice.
Enjoy !!

Other Dishes with Dahi / Curd on Kichu Khon


  1. I am visiting after a while, but its so good to see you back here Sharmila..really really happy that you are back with blogging...came here to check your cookies recipe...stick around always...

  2. You let me on the kadhi secret Sharmila while I was attempting my kadhi :)

    This fish looks absolutely delicious.

  3. Amar o Doi Maach khub bhalo lage. To avoid the curdling, I usually switch off the heat, count till 60, add the well beaten yogurt and then put the kadhai back on heat after a count to 30, lot of counting there ;-)

    The besan trick was suggested by a reader in my Doi Maach comment, yet to use it.

  4. Priti ... thanks! :-)

    Arch ... great to see u here again. Thanks! :-)

    ISG .. so glad it worked for you ... guess that's all food blogging friendship is about ... sharing. Thanks! :-)

    SMDatta ... will try out your tip the next time I make this. Thanks! :-)
    You have a blog? Cannot access it.

  5. Doi mach bholo dusuchi a compliment for u in oriya language. Nice recipe.

  6. Ki bhishon shundor shada ron ghoyechey Sharmila!! ma doi maach khoob korto and at one time it was my favorite. As you said, I particularly liked the smell of cardamom. Cuddled doi is yuck..ami koDa thank kore doi add kori. And also I strain all the water out of the yogurt, if I am cooking with it, except in kadhi. will use a little besan next time.

  7. Ufff kii torture shuru korechhe...kotha theke akhon rui maach paai!!! :-(

    tor machh wala ke ekhane pathiye de...roj eshe ekta kore fresh maach diye jak...aha aamio tahole ektu doi maach baniye khete pari! :-)

  8. Harika ... Odiya re comment payi bahut bholo lagila. Thanks! :-)

    Soma ... thanks! Shada ar roilo kothaye ... I forgot the fried fish had turmeric on it. :-)

    Baalike ... Tomake ekhane dekhe khuuuub bhalo laaglo. Thanks!
    Amar fishwala bollo roj roj oto dure giye maach dite paarbe na. :D
    Tai boli tumi e ekhane chole esho ... rui o paabe, doi maach o pabe. :-)

  9. Fish in yogurt gravy sounds great.Def new to me

  10. Sharmila,
    like the light colour of doi mach..onek din hoye fish curry te doi diyeni ..hugs and smiles

  11. this looks wonderful following you

  12. maachwala khub ii paji...
    aamar aar maach khawa holo naa!

  13. darun dekhte hoyeche. I want to pick up the bowl right away :)

  14. Tomar Doi Maach dekhe jibhe jol eshe gelo!:) Looks yummy!Ei dish'ta dekhe mone pore gelo...ek jaygay doi maach kheychilam jekhane kishmish dewa chilo..because you already add sugar,the kishmish adds a nice piquance to the dish...besh legechilo khete!


  15. Gulmohar, Jaya, Torview, Mandira, ... thanks!

    Balika ... :-(

    W3 ... no kishmish at home. :p

  16. Looks very yummy....nice gravy....

  17. I tried this and came out really tasty and my husband and son liked it very much. Thought that I should thank you for this recipe !!

  18. Thanks Bedaparna for taking the time out to let me know ... am so glad you liked it. :-)

  19. so good to see you posting again ...really missed your posts (one tip...I think they are centrally aligned or something...makes it difficult to read)

    the besan tip is fantastic...just couldn't figure out how to stop the curdling...ended up using a shortcut and adding curd at the the end

    will try the besan version once

  20. Kalyan ... I had no idea the alignment is a prob. I stick to it coz many people say it is easy to read on the phone too. Lemme see what I can do about it.
    This is a guareented curdle free recipe. Do try it once. :-)

  21. Du baar banalam tomar recipe dekhe..dubar e ekdum brilliant holo. Thanks for that gramflour tip...Pardon my broken bengali..I'm no good in it. :)

  22. Thanks Rukmini! Glad you liked it. :)

  23. Wonderful recipe , Thanks :)

  24. Hi the recepie is really gud... I m a punjabi but like ur Bengali food a lot and we use curd in our cooking so it not to cuddle... Before adding curd remove wok from flame wait for 5 sec and then add curd and mix when completly mixed to gravy put wok back to flame this way the curd will not curdle :))

    1. Yes, we add curd that way when cooking chicken curry :)

  25. Besan adds kadhi kind flavour as well as robs off the gravy's white colour making it lil yellowish . The secret ingredient that was
    originally used by the bengal ladies was addition of lil atta beaten with the they had it handy always .the flavourless and white atta never interferes with the doi maach in terms of flavour or colour .

    1. In fact it is maida and not atta that is used as a thickening agent in bengali dishes with gravy.
      Besan never turns a gravy yellow. My recipe has turmeric powder and hence the colour.
      I wonder if you have tried this recipe before commenting.
      And I wonder why you would not leave your name here.


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