FISH WITH COVERAGE.....popularly called as Fish Kabiraji in Kolkata. It took me 24 years to know that fish kabiraji is actually fish with coverage. Before that I used to wonder how come such a tasty piece of fish fried in a batter of egg can be named Kabiraji....which is a form of alternative medicine which promotes eating more herbs and vegetables. I could not really match the two. Then, one day my then would be husband told me it is fish within a coverage of egg. Gosh! May be invented during British Rule of India and the name degenerated from coverage to Kabiraji at a later period. Authenticity of fact is not known.
Down memory lane, thinking about fish kabiraji, I find myself with my dear pals at the very famous COFFEE HOUSE. This is not a regular restaurant....situated in the midst of colleges and book shops, it is a place for many evolving ideas, where writers, poets, professors and students can be seen together. Once you are in....you can hear all sorts of talks....from latest Bollywood movie to idealism, socialism.....World Politics....a place of peaceful coexistence of intellectuals and brats like us. Amidst this, I find myself sitting among my friends, talking all 'no sense' and giving heavenly bites on my kabiraji cutlets. I remember one of our professor caught us one day and shouted....I think you have a class now, how come you are here. We, the desperate young brats did not listen to him....he is no more....said my friends. There is a phase in life we become this annoying.
We get three types of kabiraji cutlets in Kolkata.....Fish, Mutton and Chicken. So many Kolkatans are spread throughout the world and must be missing Kolkata street foods and snacks. In solidarity with them I felt like posting this recipe of Fish Kabiraji and also wish to acquaint the rest of the world with a very tasty snacker. It is done with Bhetki fish fillets. Seabass perhaps belong to the same species. Normally fish fillets are marinated in a spice mix and fried dipped in a batter of egg n cornflour. You are always at a liberty to make some addition and subtraction.
INGREDIENTS[for the spice mix] :
Cinnamon : 2[1inch stick]
Green Cardamom : 4
Cloves : 5
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Coriander Seeds : 1/4tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 3
Fish Fillet[any white fish] : 300gm
Lemon : 1[big]
Green Chilli :2
Salt : As required
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves : 2sprigs
Cumin Seeds : 1/4 tsp
Garlic[minced] : 1tbsp
Ginger[minced] : 1tsp
Cornflour : 50 gm
All Purpose Flour : 1tbsp
Egg : 2
Breadcrumb : 50 gm
Oil : 100gm
Wash the fish fillets and marinate with the juice of a lemon and little salt. Peel, wash and slice the onions. Chop the coriander leaves and green chillies and wash. Mince the garlic and ginger.
Dry roast all the ingredients for spice mix and powder them in a grinder. Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan. Temper with cumin seeds. Add the onions, minced garlic and ginger. Saute well till brown. Add the fish fillets and saute well. They will break into pieces as you cook. The fish pieces will release water.
After few minutes you will see the water drying up. Add salt, turmeric, chopped green chillies n coriander leaves, the spice mix. Fry for 3 more minutes. Add 1tbsp of all purpose flour and mix well. This is done to bind together the filling.Transfer it to a wide mouthed bowl. Let cool.
Beat 2 eggs in a bowl. Take cornflour in a bowl, mix it with little water to make a paste. Take breadcrumb in another bowl. Now shape the fish filling into rectangular cutlets as shown in the picture below.
Keep the 3 separate bowls with beaten eggs, cornflour and breadcrumbs on the kitchen counter. Heat rest of the oil in a wok. Dip each cutlet in cornflour first, then in bread crumb and finally in the egg mix and put into the oil. Fry in batches till both sides are brown. Drain the excess oil on tissue papers.
See the picture below.
Serve hot with salads of your choice accompanied by coffee/tea!!