Macher Tok.... a summer time bliss for many among our community and perhaps in some other regions of India too. The way of doing it may be different. In West Bengal, summers are really hot. It happens that we even refuse to enjoy fish curries. It is then mom used to prepare toker dal[tangy lentil curry] and Macher Tok[Sour fish curry] for us. Tangy curries are considered to be body coolants and helps beat the heat in summer.
Different families have different ways of preparing Macher Tok. My mother used to prepare it this way. I exactly followed my mother's way of doing Macher Tok. The tamarind paste can be replaced with raw mango pieces. We usually alternate with tamarind, raw mango, wood apple. This Macher Tok[sour fish curry] recipe is done with tamarind paste. Let us do it together.
Any White Fish : 500 gm [ we use Rohu or Katla, i.e. Bengal Carp ]
Radhuni Paste [wild celery seeds] : 1/2 tsp [ alternatively 1 tsp fresh Thai celery paste]
Tamarind Paste : 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Green Chilli : 2
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Salt : As required
Kalonji Seeds[ nigella] : 3 pinches [alternatively Wild Celery Seeds]
Oil[preferably mustard] : 2 tbsp
Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water.
Prepare a paste with the wild celery seeds or with the Thai celery leaves if seeds are not available.
Wash the fish pieces and marinate with turmeric, salt, red chilli powder, wild celery seeds paste[alternatively celery leaves paste].
Heat oil in a wok. Temper with kalonji seeds. Add the marinated fish along with the marinade.
Cover cook each side for 3-4 minutes.Uncover, Add one cup water and cover cook for another 3-4 minutes at medium to low heat.
Strain the tamarind juice and pour into the gravy. Add slitted green chillies.
Let boil for another 2 minutes. Switch off. Transfer to a serving bowl.
To be had with hot rice, specially during summer we have it. You can replace tamarind with raw mango.