Monday, 20 May 2013

Shorshe Katla Bhaape / Kaatla fish steamed with mustard paste

After a whirlwind weekend, and a hectic Monday morning, I finally get to sit down to make a post. The wind is whistling outside, the sky dark and looming. A streak of lightning flashes once in a while.
I can hear the low rumble of thunder too. Not loud and crackling ... but a low growl. Taking its time and giving the lightning its time.
The stage is set.

In a moment, the wind will turn crazy. Fast , furious and merciless. Heavy with collected dust and sand, it will blow away anything that comes in its way. It will blow away the weak leaves, bend the branches and soft trees to a side. The leaves on the trees will be upturned ... showing their lighter side, usually hidden from view.
Then it is the thunder's cue to join in.
The low rumble will grow into loud claps ... almost trying to keep up with the wind's fury. And lightning can't stay away too. Tearing the sky into two, there will be flashes of glorious light ... sometimes white, sometimes pink. Blinding the eye ... yet mesmerising.

Now comes the rain.
First in big droplets ... preparing all for the next show.
Then in torrents. On the parched soil.
First washing the wind of all dust and grime. Then the rest of the world.
Cleansing, soothing, cooling rain.
Soothing the world. Wiping away the last traces of the day's unbearable heat.
The dark clouds loom closer.
The wind, the rain, the thunder and the lightning ... all dance in perfect sync.
And I watch.

Ever since I have come here, I have not missed the Kalboishakhi ...nature's daily, summer afternoon ritual.

Like I am not missing my fishwala any more.
Because I'm getting used to the freshest fish I can ever get, except for back at home ... where the fish came from our very ponds.
Here, I'm having a very similar experience . With so many lakes around, it is no wonder that a lot of fishing goes on. The boats come in very early in the morning, with live fish. All we need to do is pick our choice, get it cleaned and bring it home.
And the taste! Ah ... what can I say. The sweetest fresh water fish I've had in a long, long time.

Last week I bought some fish. But no Rohu. There was just Kaatla. Of all sizes.
So I had to bring one home.
Since I haven't cooked Katla much, I was wondering if the same recipes would work on it as on the rohu.
Gave out a call on FB. Friends happily supplied  a variety of options of what to do with it ... all of which I have every intention of trying out. Thanks guys ... you are the best.
I zeroed in on Arpita Mookherjea Srivastava's suggestion of " Sorshe bataa paste lagiye steam kore try koro...odbhut laagbe...! "
Odbhut it was ... a great tasting steamed fresh fish, that was so soft it almost melted in the mouth ,in a buttery, creamy gravy of mustard and coconut.

I had some mustard paste in the freezer and some coconut paste, in the freezer too. I tend to add coconut to most mustard dishes so this helped. And I couldn't resist adding a potato ... sliced.

Need :

Katla fish pieces
Mustard paste - I used white and black mustard seeds
Coconut paste - I grind freshly grated coconut
Turmeric powder

 Mustard oil
Fresh green chillies
Potato - sliced
Lemon juice 

How to :
Marinate the fish pieces with salt, turmeric powder, mustard oil, mustard paste, coconut paste and lemon juice.
Arrange them in an airtight, preferably steel, box.
Take a big sized kadahi or pan and fill it with water ... that will come up only till half of the box that holds the fish.
Place a tight/ heavy cover on it and place on heat.
Cook for around 20 minutes or till the fish is cooked properly.
(When the water starts to boil, the steam sealed inside will cook the fish).

Remove cover and serve hot.

This goes great with steamed rice, with a slice of lemon and a green chilli on the side.


Other recipes with the Shorshe or Mustard paste 

Shorshe potol ( Vegetarian ) 

Shorshe Sheem ( Vegetarian )  Shorshe Bhindi ( Vegetarian )

Shorshe Ilish 

Shorshe Rui 


  1. You write so beautiful. Ans ilove that sidhe dish.

  2. never tried fish with mustard paste but yours looks delicious ....

  3. What a fabulous intro and also the fish recipe. Never tried anything like this before but sure am intrigued by the outcome.

  4. Steamed sorshe maach of any kind is always delightful andyours looks quite appetizing.

  5. Ki bhalo laglo to read your post! beautifully written. monay hochey ami boshe experiencing the whole thing. eibhabhe maach to konodin korini! have to do it once I get the fish.

    1. Ki bhalo hoto jodi tumi ar ami dujone boshe eyirokom weather e adda ditam tai na Soma :-)


Please do not spam.