Being a Mallu and growing up in Mumbai I always had only seafood as opposed to fresh water fish. I distinctly remember the first two times when I had fresh water fish, the first time was when we had a team lunch at Mainland China and a Bhetki starter was ordered. The second time was at my friend’s house and she is from Allahabad, her mother had made fish for her jamai and I was asked to taste it before it was served to the jamai and I readily agreed to sample :-).
After marriage into a family from Uttar Pradesh and consequent moving to Bangalore, fresh water fish became the norm instead of the exception. Now I think I like both almost equally…almost J.
The other day we went to buy fish and saw an almost 4.5 kilo rohu…we just had to buy it. Once before we had seen something like that, but then we were just two of us (hubby and me)…I remember then we waited for quite sometime to check if someone else would come along and be willing to share the rest of the fish with us. The entire fish was simply too much for just the two of us. But this time this was not the matter, my home is now filled with loved ones my parents, sister and her two lovely kids.
There are some things which you can say we always make it this way, so fish in my in-laws place is mostly made in a gravy with potatoes and peas or fried or following this recipe.
6 slices of rohu or katla (I have also made sea fish using this recipe),
2 pods of garlic,
Red chillies to taste (I generally use a combination of spicy and Kashmiri red chillies),
Salt to taste,
3 pieces of mango pickle with the masala,
2-3 tbsps of mustard oil,
¼ tsp turmeric powder,
½ tsp red chilli powder
Wash the fish slices well. Apply the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the slices and marinate it for say half an hour.
Grind the garlic and the red chillies into a fine paste.
Heat the mustard oil in a frying pan till smoking, then add the mango pickle pieces with the masala and fry for about 2 minutes. Now add the garlic and red chilli paste and fry it well till it changes colour and the oil separates. A well-fried masala is the trick to getting this recipe right.
Once the masala is well done slip in the fish slices and cook till done, turning it over at least once during the process.
Goes equally well with plain rice of phulkas.