Sunday, 25 February 2018

DHONEPATA PUDINA BATA MAACH



This morning did not start just as well as it should ..... the yesteryear Bollywood diva Sridevi passed away last  night .... It is not that I am writhing in pain but its kind of a shock. Many years back I was diagnosed with a mental disorder that of fear of departure or death of dear ones .... Thanatophobia is it?.... I am not sure as I have lost all the prescriptions. I should not have because I know I am not cured. A Sridevi died at age 55 while attending a function in Dubai, the husband at this home is travelling again this morning and my behaviour does not seem normal. There will be a number of silly phone calls that irritates him, there will be phone calls to the mother .... mani ask bhai to drive slow, not to take up a fight on the road, ask him to cross the train lines carefully.... A Barrackpore resident will know the scenario at the "choddo number rail gate" in the evening! So, I know I am not cured till date.... yet very much unwilling to visit a counsellor.... I am against baring my soul entirely to a doctor and eat sedatives like "muri-murki"..... If my readers think I have bared 80% of my soul to them... they are wrong... no one can... I read and treat an autobiography as another novel... they are half-truths just like me! So, that is how I connect to a celebrity's untimely death and brood over .... is something going to happen to my own .... near and far?.... Not all concerns reach destinations... as I always say this world is smart, chic and not at all silly as me to think on my line.... that makes me a loner! Death is a sudden guest... but I was wondering what makes Sridevi get a massive heart attack at 55... they have a doctor assigned for each part of their body! She was naturally a bit plump even at the peak of her career... we liked her that way. Why she had to go so skinny later? Was the process scientific / health prone? Did she survive on food supplements? I am so much averse to health supplements ..... I do not think they are good for our body. I am not a Rujuta Diwekar to talk further on it but I like it when she says my favourite "nona ata" aka "Ram phal" has so many benefits or a Milind Soman says he does not eat biscuits but never say no to a dosa or idli  for breakfast just because they have rice in the batter. Some in the gym do tell me you are not getting the desired body shape because you eat rice, paratha, poori... you are to eat them once in a month! I am so unable to.... yesterday night I had 11/2 methi paratha with what?.... well.... soon to blog on the platter! For whom do I do all the cooking-shooking?.... One who just said shut up and do not call me unless required.... follow Sridevi quick! The jobless me has no where to go but to cook a DHONEPATA PUDINA BATA MAACH for such kinds you see! I had never been a jealous kind of a person .... so I feel happy to see couples who are otherwise.... haha! After the share today.... I may go for a chat with Tanushree.... we both were / are Bollywood fans unlike Chandrayee who did enjoy hindi movies but did not "live" in it! Tanushree.... the ardent Sridevi fan must be sad today! I do not like too rigid or snobs who frowns at fans mourning Sridevi's death!... We must have a "bit" of acceptance of everything around.... that makes me like my friend Dr. Nishi Pulugurtha so much... she teaches, she visits IIMs for lectures, travels a lot, watches Bergman and surely do not laugh at people watching Govinda movie either .... sends terrible jokes too in WhatsApp... handles two dementia patients at home and never ceases to smile! I do not know why I could not set her or my father as an example and smile at life! Anyway, I did hum Rupankar's "Chupi chupi raat neme ashe akashe, guti guti raat eshe pashe boshe... kane kane gaan shonai...guti guti tara joley othey abar.... Na janey kyun dil yun sataye.... Beetey hai raat par neend na aaye!" while cooking this superbly delicious fish curry DHONEPATA PUDINA BATA MAACH....  I know I am in full control of such recipes.... I grew up on them!

Authentically, in my side of the family who hail from Comilla district of Bangladesh.... cooking with coriander paste is very common during winter. Assorted vegetables like hyacinth beans, egg plant and radish is cooked in coriander leaves and green chilli paste with or without shrimps & dried fish.... fresh fish like " chara pona and aar" that is baby Bengal carps and long whiskered cat fish are cooked the same way too! Only two to three times I did get some fresh "aar and pabda" here in this island.... I simply do miss them! How do I manage with my test buds if I am unwilling to buy frozen "deshi maach" too often? I do drift a bit... get some fresh red snapper.... make use of my home grown mint leaves too in the green curry paste along with green chillies and fresh coriander and enjoy  with a humble serving of plain, steamed rice! Can I please our mother with it when she comes later this year.... No! She may hunt every corner of the island for "dishi charapona / bata" to please her daughter with a humble, authentic curry.. I agree 100% with the brother and his bubbly wife when they say it is so tough to get compliments from mani! How can she?... all her praises are reserved for the academically sound boys and girls.... they are the only angels on earth according to her may be.... The mother-in-law may praise my cooking ability within the four walls of our dining room but will not spare anyone who spends a single word on my praise... Only a "boromami" .... has the guts to love me  still enough and I am missing not meeting that ever smiling lady last winter.... she hails from a fish selling family... does it smell my darling folks? Anyway, I really love it when my brother's dear wife or people elsewhere are seen in a kissing-smooching scene spending some "us" time with their maa-in-laws.... That is how it should be.... I do not wish people to be like a big, bad, nasty me! For the modified version of a very authentic fish curry from my parental side, DHONEPATA PUDINA BATA MAACH.... I used fresh red snapper steaks, a freshly made paste of fresh coriander & mint, a bit of garlic and green chillies. It goes well only with piping hot steamed rice and the platter had some fulkopir bora / gobi pakora and aam dal / mango dal. The platter was loved by my not so Bengali men because snapper fish do not have bones. It could have been a total bliss for me if the fish had been a "chara pona, aar, pabda, koi, tyangra".... but its still ok.... people with broaden horizon unlike me will enjoy it!Life is good when there is adjustment... in all spheres so long as "possible"....

You may wish to have a look at my two authentic Bengali recipes.... Three Bengali seasonal dals and a green curry with fresh coriander and long whiskered cat fish!

AAR DHONEPATA BATA JHOL / FISH CORIANDER CURRY

THREE SEASONAL DAALS




INGREDIENTS :

Red Snapper[fillet or steak] : 6-7 pieces 
Mint Leaves : 10-15
Coriander Leaves : 20-25
Green Chillies : 4-5 [I love to be generous with them... you can choose yours]
Garlic Cloves : 2
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Lemon Juice : 2-3tbsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Nigella Seeds : 1/4tsp[kalo jeera / kalonji]
Oil : 2tbsp [authentically mustard]

THE STEPS :

Wash the fish pieces thoroughly. Marinate with the lemon juice and very little salt. Keep aside for at least an hour or little more.

Wash the coriander and mint leaves, green chillies, peeled garlic cloves under running water and prepare a fine paste out of them.

After an hour or so, discard the marinade from the fish and wash each piece again thoroughly. Marinate with the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and keep aside for at least 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with nigella seeds. Very gently add the fish pieces along with the marinade. Cover and cook at minimal heat for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover and very carefully turn over the fish pieces. Cover cook at minimal heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Open cover and add the fresh herbs paste. Add a coffee mug of water to the spice bowl and add to the wok... Let boil at medium to low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a little salt about a minute before taking down from the gas oven.

We cannot think about any thing else but a big bowl of piping hot steamed rice to go with it!

Remember... this curry never works with frozen fish!


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