Dec 24, 2010

Holiday spirit---second course with Fish 'chops' (or Croquettes) and sweet lentil soup!

Continuing with celebrating the holiday spirit with Bengali holiday meal :)

The second course took some time to arrive. The affair is simple--- only deceptively so. But I guess you were having your fill of the first course to notice the little delay :)

A typical Bengali dinner would have to feature a form of lentil soup. The varieties are endless, each giving the other a fair share of competition. One very common way of making yellow lentils in Bengal is with sweet vegetables and spices a wink of sugar. Although common in bengali food, this way of sweetening lentil soup is largely unknown in the rest of India In fact here is a bit of trivia. Bengali cuisine is about using sweet like no other Indian cuisine does. Lentil is one of the many the ingredients to get a sweet treatment. Another wild card is fish. Yes you heard right. Ground fish with sweet spices, raisins and ginger, wrapped in bread crumbs and pan fried. The combo is lethal. And sort of makes you head towards dessert, even though its still a few courses away. 

Sweet and Savory lentil soup with 'Fish chops'-- much like croquettes

Enjoy :)

Fish chops adapted from Bong mom's cookbook

Ingredients: (for 12 big ones)
Fish fillet- I suggest 1/2 lb of Tilapia or catfish. 
2 big potatoes. Peeled.
1 cup of chopped onion
2 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 tbsf lime juice
1 tsp of Garam Masala
1/2 tsp of Paprika (or Red Chili Powder if you want it hot)
2 tsp of Coriander powder
salt to taste
A big  handful of  raisins: Soaked and plumped in hot water for 15 mins.
1 tsp of  sugar
 Salt and pepper for seasoning
oil: 2 for frying onion etc and 3 tbsf for a batch of four. So you are looking at 11-12 tbsf of oil.
Cook the fillet of fish in the microwave for 5-6 minutes. I would suggest do it in intervals of 3 minutes each.

  • Cook one potato whole in the microwave. Prick the potato with a fork mercilessly and then wrap in a plastic cling wrap. about 4-5 minutes per potato.

  • In a big mixing bowl put the cooked fish, breaking and crumbling it. Add 1 tsp of lime juice.
  • Once the potato has cooled, peel and mash it. With your hand mix the fish and potatoes to make a smooth mix
  • Heat about 2 tsp of oil in a frying pan. Add 1 clove of garlic minced. When fragrant, fry about 1 cup of onion till it is soft and browns on the edges. Add 1 tsp of Garlic paste, 1 tsp of Ginger paste, 4 green chili chopped fine and fry for couple more minutes.

  • Add the above to the fish + potato mix
  • Next add the following Garam Masala, Paprika (or Red Chili Powder), Coriander, raisins sugar and salt. Really mix well in the frying pan. Take it off the stove and let it cool 
  • Fashion your chop either like flat discs or make oblong shapes

  • Now prepare for frying and set up the following
  • 1.Egg Wash (break 1 egg and add 2-3 tbsf of water. Mix well.
  • 2.A flat platter with  Bread Crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3.Hot Oil (3 tbsf for a batch of 4) for shallow frying 

  • Dip the chop/croquette in egg wash --> roll in bread crumbs --> shallow fry in batches of 4-6 till golden brown on both sides

Excellent with a lentil soup especially a sweet one :)

Happy holidays!!


Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear JW
Here after a long time ..which you Merry Christmas and Happy new Year!!
Thanks for this great recipe..will make soon

Life like it said...