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Doi Maach (Bengali Fish Curry in Yogurt)


  • Crisp-fried julienned onions fried in rice-bran oil: ½ cup
  • Freshwater fish Rohu or Catla: 5 pieces
  • Salt for marination: ½ tsp
  • Salt for the gravy: ¾ tsp
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
  • Mustard oil: 3 tbsp
  • Homemade garam masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Onion paste: ¼ cup
  • Garlic paste: ½ tsp
  • Ginger paste: ½ tsp
  • Day-old yogurt diluted with a cup of water and beaten with a fork: 300 g
  • Raisins: 8–10
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Whole cinnamon stick one-inch: 1
  • Green cardamoms: 2
  • Cloves: 4
  • Cumin seeds: ¼ tsp
  • Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
  • Green chillies halved: 3
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Warm water: 1 cup


  • Marinate the fish with turmeric powder, ½ tsp salt and 2.5 tbsp mustard oil. After around 30 min, add yogurt, homemade garam masala powder, raisins, red chilli powder and the onion-ginger-garlic paste to this. Smear the fish pieces well. Let the fish marinate for 20 min.
  • Add ½ tbsp mustard oil to a hot wok and wait till the oil reaches its smoking point. Add the bay leaf, whole cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. After a few seconds, add the cumin seeds and wait till the seeds turn brownish. Now add the marinated fish carefully (the contents may sputter from the wok, at this stage), along with all the marinade. Cover for 2 min, or until the sizzling stops.
  • Reduce the flame to the lowest. Add ¾ tsp salt and give the curry a gentle stir, taking care not to break the fish pieces. Cover and cook, ensuring from time to time that the fish pieces do not stick to the pan, until the yogurt mixture starts releasing oil and becomes almost dry. This will take about 10 min.
  • Add the green chillies and sugar and flip the fish pieces gently. Add a cup of water, stir and cover again. When the gravy starts boiling, switch off the gas. Garnish with crisp-fried onions.