Monday, 16 April 2018


Authentically, this particular combination of onion flower and potato if cooked non-vegetarian, is done with "tyangra maach".... a small variety of cat fish? I hardly get fresh tyangra here unless I go to some specific stores on a Wednesday evening, so I do it to my convenience with available ingredients and call it KECHKI MAACH DIYE ALOO PEYAZKOLI. I would have gone to any length to maintain authenticity and happily but my men are not so much of a Bengali... The senior is a Bengali when it is a "hilsa, aar, katla, boyal, chingri, pabdar jhol" or a meat curry .... the son is a Bengali when its "luchi-porota"... meat curries, "bhajabhuji".... and yes this deep fried "kechki maach".... Indian River Sprat! Well.... the not at all a fish called prawn or a salmon is the only acceptable non-vegetarian alternative to meat for the junior of the morons! I am so very averse to feeding them prawn every other day.... I have seen the prawn loving brother developing allergy from prawns all of a sudden ..... we do love prawns and crabs but I am scared of having them too often. How I loved "golda chingri" which was brought once or twice a month during our growing up period ... its always pricey.... I eat but I do not crave for it anymore.... you know why?.... I feel may be because I  have the ability to have giant sized prawns every weekend now! Few things in life should remain beyond reach .... "shob peley jibon noshto" is rightly said!.... I take a look at the landed homes in this island and, and, and.... oh God! grapes are truly sour! Coming to food...... I have remained that same old primitive foodie....... there is someone who told me a year or two back... you Know S..... my kids love "macher teler bora".... I got kind of "akash theke pora".... then the entire period of my way back from South to North Kolkata is spent on equating a "macher teler bora and mushurir dal" with a "high nose".... it was decided, it has been proved over decades that my likes & preferences cannot match with some people in this lifetime.... if so it will be something like watching snowfall in this island!These kind of foods like "macher teler bora o mushurir dal" are essentially for my kinds, we know how to eat them?... techniques matter man!.... sit on the floor .... hold the steel plate with your left hand... break the piping hot rice with your right hand fingers.... take some sliced onion and a green chilli, add some salt and dal to the rice.... then "borai ekta kamor, ek gorash bhaat, tarpor peyaz -lankai chootto kamor".... Yes, I am turning a senile truly.... the way I am taking advantage of some people's "apparent" silence !.... Let us leave it at that as of now and accept the fact that it was really surprising for me to discover that the son loves deep fried Indian River Sprat!

This dish of KECHKI MAACH DIYE ALOO PEYAZKOLI is usually a winter treat because peyazkoli.... i.e. onion flower is available only during winter in India?.... I know about Kolkata, though not about the rest of India.... which states of India eat it, which does not! Come on I am S and not the famous "S Ginni".... I know few family food history and nevertheless the history of Bengali food or otherwise! The only pride I can take and  fight over a fact is that I  do not see much variety in the cooking of my husband's side of the family as compared to mine. All the delicate, heirloom, low cost dishes I have seen is being cooked in my side of the family.... "kechki maach mixed with lots of spices and sliced onion, wrapped in bottle gourd or pumpkin leaves and slow cooked in pan" or "ash gourds cut in half moon shapes, stuffed with mustard-coconut paste and batter fried".... all these are learnt from my family.... Unfortunately, my men do not fancy them.... so I do not do them often ..... I know I should blog on them ..... but how many will accept it?.... cook one dish for 1-2 hours? My "chomma"... the Jaya Prada look alike who stays in Assam.... daddy's brother's wife prepares a yam fry.... wherein the yam stretches like a spring after being fried.... the technique is in the cut .... "two hands and a boti".... thats it!Even our mother could not adapt it.... we call it kochur spring bhaja.... I used to lament why the distance between Nowgong and Sealdah / Howrah is so long! This Jaya Prada look alike's husband could eat 35 rasgullas and 1kg of mutton at one go.... haha! There is not a bit of exaggeration saying so, there was a time when "Hiru dakat earned kolshi bhorti mohor after screaming hareyreyrey, while the looted zaminder babu still could eat like a demon the next day"..... I belong to a family where some had "demonic diet".... so I cannot survive on salad.... I have to have my bowl of rice and "tel gorgorey pathar kosha".... Where was I? Well.... I am a bit late with this recipe.... Do not worry.... even if we do not get onion flower or peyazkoli now.... go ahead with spring onions .... I know we get it in India most of the time, at least in the super markets! This Kechki mach or Indian River Sprat is among the very few frozen fish I buy from the selective Asian stores! This is more or less found in "good condition".... but you will buy if only you or your family fancy it! If you are totally against any kind of frozen fish, use any small variety of fish. This Indian River Sprat has become a regular at this home .... its favourite with all of us.... its so easy to cook it.... we only need to wash it... no need to clean the stomach or the scales! For this particular non vegetarian side dish we do not need any spice either .... just a tempering of nigella seeds, cloves of garlic and yes.... chillies... both dry and green.... We also had palonger dal / dal palak and crispy fried Indian River Sprat alongside! The main item KECHKI MAACH DIYE ALOO PEYAZKOLI is to be had with steamed  rice while you can prepare some hot phulkas for the palak dal!

Try this recipe of the basic sandesh, the first share on my blog.... do not look at the picture, the taste is guaranteed!



Kechki Maach / Indian River Sprat : 200gm
Peyazkoli / Onion Flower : 12-15 sticks [alternatively spring onion]
Potato : 1big
Green Chilli : 2-3 slitted
Dry Red Chilli : 2 halved
Nigella Seed : 1/4tsp
Garlic : 2 cloves chopped
Turmeric Power : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Oil : 3-4 tbsp


Wash the fish thoroughly about 4-5 times under running water. It is a very soft fish, so be very careful.

Add little salt and turmeric to the fish and keep aside.

Peel, wash and cube the potatoes. Rub salt and turmeric.

Discard two ends of the onion flowers. Chop lengthwise .... each should be about 2-3 inch in length. Wash thoroughly and rub with salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok.... preferably mustard oil.

Temper oil with nigella seeds, chopped garlic and halved dry red chillies.

Add the fish discarding the marinade totally. While they are half fried, add the potato cubes. Stir gently and cover cook till the potatoes are half done.

Add the peyazkoli / onion flower now, discard any water / marinade.... we need to retain the colour of it. Gently stir and cover for 2-3 minutes.

Open cover, add the slitted green chillies, salt if required, sugar and give a gentle stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. I garnished with few fried fish.

A dal is a must with this dish. We had crispy fried kechki maach, palong er dal alongside.... Nothing but steamed rice goes with it!

No comments :

Post a Comment