Tuesday, 15 May 2018

BENGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA



Well, yesterday  I was at home.... we are not grounded at the school canteen if the kids are having examinations for the entire day! .... The daddy drops and the mumma goes to collect her weirdo.... chats for half an hour with her beautiful friend and other parents if any! I asked my friend Piyali.... "it cannot be so that all the mothers except you and me are working.... "porikkhar shomoy to ektu ashtey parey.... during exam they can come at least!".... My flat nose is really getting bigger poking in every other matter.... The senior hates it.... says it is absolutely unnecessary... more so in this island that is so safe.... All the kids are calling the cabs by themselves and going home..... Then, I cannot manage with memories you all know.... a lady with 4'9" height stands in front.... who did not watch television during our examinations .... sat under a tree for four long hours during her married daughter's examinations too.... Her son did not agree to go to the examination hall without her where she waited in a tea stall outside dominated by males! Thinking of the wrinkled face, I cannot sit at home! We could not fulfil her wish ..... I can at least follow her footsteps.... She is too tensed just as my paa-in-law is with their grandson's education.... given he is different from others since childhood! Take a look at the picture below.... while all the kids are assembled together and discussing the question paper, the tailed creature of ours was walking alone talking to himself.... I mean he talks to some selective friends ..... if the mother talks to his friends, he gets upset  and says... "stop talking to strangers!".... Mumma tells the weird.... "my baby's friends are my babies too!".... that gets smile on his face.... Once he went to the 10th standard, mumma asked him to call his friends at home.... mumma wishes to treat them .... with her cunning wish to take forward her blog... "would you ask your parents to take a look at my blog"..... haha... come on I am not that selfish either.... my friends had free entry at our home... I would love to! I am preparing all these fries and fritters as a practice.... I want him to behave normal and call his friends home... as I did.... Not all of them did come though.... may be because we did not live in a "posh" neighbourhood or I was not worth to be in touch with.... For the most of the rest, our two roomed rental home was open! I do not usually cross roads with people who avoid me! When some people cash on that and enjoy taking a dig at my weaknesses or pain, I wonder why should I spare them?.... Most of the time I try to ignore thinking they must be unhappy souls in their own lives, so it gives them pleasure to prick others.... No, I am not targetting the food blogging world or the people I know personally or  any celebrity .... There are people who pens silly melodrama every other day, as irrelevant as mine... not every writer writes readable stuffs! Anyway, some of my friends frequented so much so that our entire neighbourhood knew me and T are going to marry at a time when we did not have in our wild dreams that T & S can ever marry! Our society till then did not accept that a boy and a girl can be very good friends sharing many a thoughts and feelings under the Sun! Oh yes, see our school uniform colour and the son's matches.... This is wow...... round and round I see you at each turn.... the earth whispers!




I have become an expert clicking my men from the back.... they hate been clicked and seen in social media.... Only when we go for a trip, I manage some and share to their utmost disgust.... Anyway, do you think I am sharing a BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA just to show off my love for my men?.... Nope, yesterday the ICSE board results were out, messages are pouring in from Kolkata... my friends' kids faired well.... percentage ranging from 86% to 97%.... feeling happy for them... boys and the girls both.... I have a problem only with those who have a problem with mine.... I have located those.... No, I do not expect from strangers.... It is a crime to discriminate kids who you know.... and also to those you do not know... be it a boy or a girl.... I definitely cannot keep considerable amount of space in my heart for such people! Anyway, early morning I discovered that my friend Kana Dasgupta did not message me... I called her, woke her up and enquired... My Mimo is a very obedient son.... very much naive unlike mine.... well S aunty was expecting a better percentage from him.... though he has done pretty well! For all these boys and girls who I know will do good in life .... a share from this snacks platter of BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA!

Today, the son does not have any examination.... mumma has time to jot down the recipes of the vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks she prepared yesterday.... Getting ahead with a Bengali style fish fry recipe is a five to six hours of prep time for me.... I am myself very much worried about any kind of smell from the fish.... We usually use Bhetki fillet for fish fries! What if I only have some frozen Tilapia fillets at home? I will go ahead for sure.... Fresh Tilapia, specially the smaller, black variety is good to have. Problem is neither me or the husband fancy it. Tilapia first entered our home when the brother was diagnosed with jaundice in the 9th standard! The doctor prescribed tilapia curry for him cooked without oil....  I could not love it... so the mother did not get.... However, the daddy  started loving it and had it in his last years... I had big tilapia fillet first at sister like Ujjaini Bhaduri's home in Houston back in 2009... I was a Kolkatan then..... a "tyangra, aar, pabda, kajoli, boyal, bhola, batashi, koi khaoa Bangali"..... I was skeptical giving a nod! The "chuno mach" loving Ujjaini said try S didi.... you will not feel anything, trust me! They were then only three months into that land... she was like me scared of that "gol chakti" and had to wait for the weekend when her husband will drive her to the Indian market! I enjoyed a "Hemanta / Manna" at Amit's car.... got excited to see senior Reagan's palace in their neighbourhood... yet was sad.... "hyarey Robider mudi dokan nei to rey ektao".... "kancha lanka kintey jetey gari bar korish?"..... Thank God they lived in a duplex which were not located 200 mts away from each other! One palace... then another at "shei konai.... majkhaney ekta paan-birir dokan nei".... call me a jealous or what, I am too scared of ghosts.... haha! This little sister is happy there with her family now.... shares pictures of produce from her garden! No, S didi is not jealous, she lives in a land who loves rice, aam, kathal as she does and it has a "mudi dokan" every 200mt. Only that the rent of a duplex there and that of a 1400 sqft. flat here is same ..... and if you are a foreigner you have to pay an extra stamp duty to buy a flat in a condominium! Foreigners are not allowed to buy Government owned properties ever... Sigh! Anyway, a BANGALI FISH FRY O MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA today has other reasons too.... done with tilapia got it the Kolkata fish fry feel to me... you can go ahead! If the Principal of the son's school who hails from that "bahargaon" can have a meal with "rice, dal, sabzi, bhaji" from the school canteen, why cannot I have a tilapia?.... He is a wonderful person, seems to me so.... he too caught me last week ..... I was running after my son. He stopped me... "Tell me how can I help you?" "No, nothing as such... the son did not look back at me... I want to see his face before he gets in"... He said "I am a parent too, I can feel you.... but your son is trying to convey you a message... to trust him... he can take care of himself! We are there to take care of them.... Go and sit in the canteen!" What do I see in the canteen? Piali's daughter sitting beside her mother [it could be a father too!] and doing the last minute revision .... she would go only when the final bell rings! I got the message from the Principal Sir... he does not speak with a "shupuri" inside his mouth! The illiterate me is like"itaner ingraji ami bujhina..."..... Coming to the trust factor, I had a fight with the husband day before yesterday.... My request was / is please message me once the son gets into the room on days I am not accompanying. He did not do that and till the afternoon he did not take my phone calls ... a fight was inevitable.... Why I cannot trust anyone with regards the son? I have my own defences.... I did not freak around dumping the son at home, did not go for work while he was away at the sea ... I could have managed at a school.... I had a very happy life though.... so do not ask me why?.... Then I prefer a stress free zone at my home... so some snack-tack for the man too.... most of the time he speaks right... he respects the wife's wishes and does not get beef inside this home, the wife does not get pork too.... the son got a big Mac at home last to last week.... mumma was angry.... if she does not stop you from having, please listen to her request! I thought if I am serving snacks at dinner, there should be some rice, so you see cumin rice in the picture! Ahh, that was a wrong idea.... two big fish fries and two to three cooked dal fritters did not make any room for rice... it will be eaten today! I tend to fry the coated fish for more time.... they may seem to you over fried.... it does not affect the taste trust me! Let us do it! Your family will be happy as mine. The senior was so happy that he opened a new wine bottle at 10pm.... the wife could not shoulder or share financial responsibilities with him.... this is her way of saying.... "Thank You Boss.... for giving me a home which I can call mine!"




INGREDIENTS : [for the steamed lentil fry]

Split Moong Dal : 11/2 medium cup
Grated Coconut : 1 small cup
Cumin Seed : 1/2tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 11/2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Asafoetida : 2pinch
Sugar : 2tsp
Salt : As Required
Turmeric : 1tsp
Water : As Required
Oil : 2tbsp + 150ml

INGREDIENTS : [for the Bengali Style Fish Fry]

Fish Fillet : 6-8 [I used Tilapia]
Lemon Juice : 1/2small cup
Ginger Extract : 2tbsp
Garlic Extract : 3tbsp
Ginger Paste : 1tbsp
Garlic Paste : 2tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp + 11/2tsp
Chaat Masala : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Chopped Green Chilli : 2tbsp
Bread Crumbs : To coat each fish fillet we need 1/4 small cup of it
Refined Flour : 1medium cup
Water : As Required
Salt : As Required
Oil : As Required to deep fry

PROCEDURE :

Let us do the BANGALI FISH FRY.... the name Bangalir Fish Fry would have suited the most, then I am not big brother Google's much loved sister... step sister perhaps. A small time food blogger like me has to struggle for a place in the search engine thingi.... it hardly helps though and I do not care.... I love to pen down my thoughts however poor my language is and to cook... so I have a blog... thats it!






I used frozen tilapia, so we need to defrost it!





We have to cut the fish fillets into squares or rectangles... The spares can be used for macher chop later.





Wash and marinate the fish fillets with lemon juice, ginger and garlic extract, 1tsp black pepper powder and little salt for 1 hour. I just strain the ginger-garlic paste to extract the juice. My garlic changes to green once made to a paste .....







After an hour, discard the marinade! Marinate the fillets again with black pepper powder, ginger and garlic paste, chopped green chillies and salt.





Fold in well, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Prepare a paste with refined flour, salt. Mix the bread crumb, red chilli powder and chaat masala together.

Take the marinated fish fillets, one at a time. Dip into the paste and then coat well with the crumb mixture. Repeat.





Once done, they look like this.





Cover with a cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour before frying. You can refrigerate till the next day!

Take out before frying. Remove the cling wrap. Heat oil and fry in batches. Mine is a smaller wok, so I fried one at a times.





Once both sides are fried well, place on to tissue papers before serving to get rid of the excess oil. The frying process requires adjusting the heat as and when required!





Let us prepare the pure vegetarian MOONG DAL NARKOL DIYE DHOKA BHAJA now. Usually, at Bengali homes, Dhoka... that is cooked and fried lentil is done with chana dal and made into a curry. Trust me and try it as a snack.... you will love!





At first, we will soak the dal in water for 2 hours.





We will take it in a blender and blend it to a smooth paste. Out mothers always do a coarse paste in "shilnora"..... I am not my mother, Cristine is not "Shiprer Maa"....






Heat 2tbsp oil in a pan and temper with asafoetida, cumin seeds, chopped green chillies! 





Add the grated coconut and fry for 3-4 minutes.







Once done, add the split, yellow moong dal paste, ginger paste, salt, turmeric and sugar. Fold in well and we need to continuously stir it. Add little water if required. We will cook until the sides come out clean.




Transfer to a box and level. Rest for an hour to set in.





Take out and turn onto a plate or board. Cut into desired shapes.... I am poor with diamond cuts, so I go with squares!




Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the lentil cakes in batches.





Transfer on to tissue papers before serving!





Serve both hot and fresh with salad and "Kasundi".... a Bengali mustard and raw mango sauce. I arranged for some cumin rice because it was night time!






1 comment :