Saturday, 13 May 2017

Mourala maach bhaja / Crispy fried small fish with spicy masalas

Mourala mach bhaja
After a long, torturous start to summer and the never ending days of unbearable hot days and nights, it rained last evening. And this evening too.
In fact, it rained a lot more this evening. And how!
It poured and poured and poured.
There were flashes of lightening ever since the clouds had started to gather by late afternoon. All went still and not a leaf moved. The heat was suffocating and we could hardly breathe in the thick, humid air.
Then started the wind.
Whole trees swayed from side to side and we could see leaves and fresh cotton balls, from the trees, flying hither and thither.
Thunder rolled in the heavens along with every crack of lightening.
And then came the first drops .... big, fat and heavy, falling with little thuds. Gradually the tempo increased and soon we could not see anything through the screen of rain.
And there was a power failure promptly.

The road below was a sight to see, though.
As the heavy rain splattered on it, we could see the steam rising and create a haze that was so beautiful that we stood at the window and watched mersmerised ... every time a car passed, its headlights lit up the scene.
Later, we ignored the inverter and did not switch on the lights either.
Rather, soaked in the dark and quiet all around.
I am not much of a crowd person and the recent trip to the desert land and the extended family has exhausted me completely.
So I am very much at peace right now in my cosy little 1500 sq. ft. flat. It might not be a haveli, but it is my nest. This is where I play house, dress it up, make its curtains, play around in the kitchen and sit back in my favourite chair or my swing and happily watch the world go by.
Here, I am the queen.

We had dinner in the dark; the old fashioned way.
And sat out in the balcony later, taking turns on the swing, soaking in the beautiful cold. The rain had stopped finally but the thunder still growled in the distant hills.
We chomped on cold watermelon pieces, spitting out the seeds carelessly. It was very quiet all around. And dark; still.
Crickets sang in the small patch of forest beyond our balcony. And the dry leaves that covered the ground below the huge trees, all soaked in the rain, let out a beautiful, earthy, soggy fragrance that hung heavy in the air.
We sat quietly; not speaking lest the spell gets broken; lest the street lights come back to their sharp life, searing the eyes and the beautiful all around.

I felt relaxed, in a long while.
And at peace.
"Time to get back to my favourite space, my Kichu Khonn", I told myself.

Morala mach bhaja
After a long bout of vegetarian food, I am back to my non vegetarian diet. No fish in the fridge yet ... gotta buy some tomorrow ... but egg and chicken, yes.
Coming here, I saw this post in the draft and so, my friends, I have this beautiful, spicy, crunchy fish fry for you.
Quick to make, quick to finish off too, you can pair this with the simple dal bhaat or the panto bhaat or much on it as an appetizer.
Small fish are high in protein, omega 3 as well as calcium. So try to make them a part of your meal at least two or three times a week.

I had got a batch of absolutely fresh Mourala the last time I got my fish. My fishmonger cleans them for me, which I am grateful for, since I have no idea how to handle them. And it would take me ages, of course.
All I did was to wash it clean ... you have to scrub real clean ... mix with the spices, fry and much on them.

Need :

Mourala fish - 250 gms
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp ( I use mustard oil )

How to :

Marinate the fish with salt + haldi + lemon juice + red chilli powder + rice flour.

Heat the oil in an open pan.

When smoking hot, add the fish .
Spread out the fish ... they should not stick to each other and form a clump.
A few sticking together is ok but there should not be too many.

Fry till they turn brown on one side.

Flip and fry the other side too.

Serve hot with sliced onions and green chillies and of course, kasundi on the side.
You can sprinkle a little rock salt or chaat masala on it before serving too.

Crispy mourala bhaja


I am sharing my lunch plates on my page on FaceBook .
Join me there to get light, nutritious lunch ideas for the summer.


  1. এইটা দিয়ে একথালা ভাত খেয়ে নেওয়া যায়, শর্মিলা।

    1. Ami bhajte bhajte e addhek shesh kore felechilam Kuntala :)

  2. Hi Sharmila- the fish fry looks so crispy and yummy. It would be the perfect accompaniment to pakhala in this scorching heat :) May I please know where you usually get your fish from? I am yet to find a good fish monger in Pune.


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!