Going back to mid 80's, all of a sudden a new kind of fish flooded the Kolkata market. Looking at its price, the silvery, flat shaped fish caught many eyes. The middle class households always had and have a 'month end' factor. So the then price of the silvery pomfret caught many middle class eyes. Not knowing how it tastes, how to cook it, daddy got it one day with all smiles.... saying got it very cheap you know. Maa said, do not know how to prepare it.... The first attempt to prepare a light curry with it was a total flop. The daughter of the house found it too smelly. As kids, we never understood how a household is run, that we need to adjust with situations. Now I can feel and regret and scold myself saying I should have been more accommodating. The cheap pomfret did not remain cheap anymore though, within two years, its price went soaringly high. Perhaps, the restaurants started buying them in bulk.Now, its in same league with the other prestigious fresh water fish.
Going back again, a neighbouring aunty told my mother you need to cook it with lot of onion and garlic, your 'ada-jeers bata jhol' i.e. ginger-cumin seed paste curry will not do. Thereafter, mom prepared it with lots of onion, garlic and ginger. Yet, the daughter of the house never loved it, its so till date. Now I prepare it just because my men love the fish. I prefer a chaat, poori-bhaji or a bowl of salad to it. There are various other ways to cook it I see around but I tell them please try them outside. While cooking I practically have to cover my nose. Then, we can go to any length for our loved ones, so I get it once or twice a month. Let us do it the way my mother used to do.
Pomfret : 4[medium sized]
Tomato : 1big[chopped]
Onion : 2medium[sliced]
Garlic[minced] : 1tsp[my addition]
Garlic Paste : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Vinegar : 2tbsp
Salt : As required
Oil : 4tbsp
Clean the stomach of each fish and wash thoroughly. Make 2-3 slits on the body. Marinate with little salt and the vinegar for an hour. Drain the marinade.
Rub very little salt and turmeric to the fish pieces. Best it we cut half the fish. Heat oil in a wok. Deep fry the fish. Keep aside.
Temper the same oil with cumin seeds and minced garlic. As they give a nice aroma, add the sliced onions. Fry till golden brown. Add the garlic paste. Fry for 1 minute.
Now add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Fry till they melt. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Stir for half a minute.
Add a medium cup of water. Let it come to boil. Gently add the fried fish. After 1 minute turn over and let boil for 2 minutes. Its done.
Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice.