MUROGHONTO..... Fish Head Curry... the Bengali way. It is usually done with heads of Rohu or Catla.... which belong to Indian Carp family. Back in Kolkata, it was a regular affair at home because there big heads of these fish are sold separately. This particular recipe calls for heads of fish above 5-6 kg weight, and we need not buy such a big whole fish to prepare the dish. God, I miss home in so many ways. Here in Singapore I do it less but I do, the Bangaliana of my kitchen has to be maintained. Here we need to buy a whole fish, that too frozen from selective shops. It is perhaps a mental block for me to do it with sea-fish heads. When it comes to cooking a signature dish, I am very particular about maintaining the authenticity.
Within all these limitations in a foreign land, let us keep cooking our favourite recipes and remember home this way. In both my families, we prefer doing it with Katla heads as they are more oily than that of Rohu. The oil need to incorporate well in the curry. We need a good quality fragrant rice gobindo bhog/basmati for this dish. I have used onion as I had to do it with frozen heads. It is not required if we are doing with fresh ones. Let us see how we do it.
Catla fish head : 1[of bigger fish]
Gobindo Bhog/Basmati rice : 2tbsp
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp[optional]
Onion[sliced] : 2medium
Bengali Garam Masala : 1/2tsp[an equal amount of cinnamon,cardamon,cloves dry roasted and ground]
Bayleaf : 1
Cumin Seed : 2pinches
Dry Red Chilli : 2
Mustard Oil : 1/2small cup
Ask your fish seller to cut the fish head into four pieces, later after frying we will break it further. Wash them thoroughly. Rub with half the turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside.
Soak the rice for 1/2 an hour.
Heat oil in a wok. Fry the fish heads nicely, break into smaller pieces and keep aside.
Temper oil with bay leaf, cumin seeds and halved dry red chillies.
Add the sliced onions and fry till brown.
Add the rice draining the water. Fry for 2 minutes.
Add the ginger paste, remaining turmeric and salt. Stir well for 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin,coriander and red chilli powder and stir for 1minute. Add water and cover to boil.
When the rice is 70% cooked, add the fried pieces of fish head. Cook covered for 5-8 minutes.
Uncover and add sugar and garam masala. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
We use potatoes in this dish at times.
Enjoy with steamed hot rice!!