Sunday, 23 March 2014

KISH MISH KALIA - FISH in RICH RAISIN GRAVY - Flavors of Colonial Kolkata!!

"Poila Baishakh" or the Bengali's New Years day is just around the corner. It is a day celebrated in the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh to mark the beginning of the 1st day of the Bengali Calender. Poila Baisakh falls usually around the 2nd week of April i.e 14th or the 15th of April. "Poila' in bengali meaning first and "Baishakh" is the first month of the Bengali calender and is traditionally greeted as Subho Nababorsho among all Bengalis. In Bangla, 'Shubho'= Happy or Auspicious and Nababorsho is  a  brand New Year. Exchanging sweets and gifts among family and friends, wearing new clothes, seeking blessings from the elderly members in the family are some of the popular customs to bid goodbye to the past and greet the coming year. This is also an auspicious day when traders and shop-owners start their new accounts called "Hal Khata".

Food as usual plays a very vital role. Naboborsho special lunch includes popular Bengali delicacies of fish, meat and rice in addition to different traditional sweets such a payesh,malpua,kalakand,rosogolla to name a few. I am drooling already! Are you ??:D :D

 So, today I will share with you this very special and delectable fish recipe which is an absolute stunner. Kish Mish Macch  which is traditionally a 'Kaliya' - a rich preparation for festive occasion. I tried this recipe few weeks  ago, and saved it thoughtfully to share it just before the onset of this festive season. I am sure most of you are still planning your lunch menu for this special day and if you wish to try out some thing new and different this is one recipe you must try. I can assure you it is sure to impress your loved ones. For all my special readers who are not celebrating the occasion it is still worth trying out this beautiful delicacy from the colonial times. It is super easy and quick.
This recipe is borrowed from Ms Purna Chowdhury who is the founder of a very popular food forum on one of the social networking site. It is my privilege to come across such a vibrant and wonderful group and a lovely personality like hers. Ms Chowdhury was more than happy for me to share this recipe with all of my readers right here. THANK YOU SOO MUCH Purna di for sharing this recipe with all my readers of EAT as you LIKE!
The original recipe called for rohu fish but I have used snapper belly cutlets to make my version of "Kish Mish Maach". You may use any big fresh water fish or sea fish such as Salmon, Snapper etc. whatever available to you. There is no souring agent, red chilli used in the preparation of this dish, garam masala paste and raisin paste impart a very distinct flavour and taste to the gravy. Raisins act as a natural sweetener and with its wholesome goodness this fish curry will be unbelievably popular with the kids. I have followed here recipe to the T excepting a few minor modifications.
Before we take a plunge into the recipe lets see what Ms Chowdhury herself has to say about the KISH MISH MAACH or FISH in RAISIN GRAVY:
"Flavours of Colonial Kolkata- Rui Machher Kishmish Kaliya ( Rohu Kaliya in Raisin Gravy)

Adding dry fruits to traditional Bengali dishes came to Calcutta possibly the Awadhi way, but one rich distinction between East Bengali and the Metropolitan Kolkata cuisine has always been the relative earthiness of the former, its reliance on seeds and grains to create magical flavors, and the extravagance...
of the latter, with its addition of butter, ghee, milk and dry fruits and nuts to embellish the traditional fare. One such lavishness of the 19th - early 20th century Kolkata is 'Rui Machher Kishmish Kaliya', a dish that has become obsolete in a city that has increasingly moved away from regional flavors. Enjoy a historical gourmet delight, or surprise your guests with your retro, decadent touch!In my apprentice days, my mother-in-law had told me Fish kaliyas could also be had with Luchis; I did not believe her then, I do now!"

Ingredients for KISH MISH MAACH:

4 Snapper Belly Cutlets (medium to large)
Mustard Oil : 4-5 tablespoons
Bay leaf: 1-2 small
Cinnamon Stick : 1" (2)
Turmeric powder 1-2 teaspoon or just enough to season the fish cutlets
Salt to taste and extra to season the belly cutlets
Sugar to taste
1''cinnamon, 3-4 green cardamom pods and 3-4 cloves along with 3/4 cup raisins  made to paste with very minimum water ( u may soak the above ingredients in water for a while before making a paste)
2 medium onions grated
1 tablespoon ginger
extra raisins to garnish

Step 1: Smear the belly cutlets with turmeric and salt, set aside.
Step 2: heat oil in a large non stick skillet and lay the fish cutlets in batches and fry until golden.

Step 3: In the same oil add bay leaf, cinnamon stick  and add the grated onions and sauté until golden brown
Step4: Add ginger paste and then sauté until fragrant.
Step 5 : Add the fish steaks now. lay them side by side
Step 6: Add the raisin and garam masala paste , simmer  and cook until the oil separate. At this stage if you need , you may add little water, cover and let the steaks cook in the raisin and garam masala gravy.
Step 7 : Remember the gravy will be thick  and should wrap around the steaks.
Step 8 : Garnish with extra raisins.
Enjoy with steaming rice or Luchi ( deep fried Indian bread)

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With deep care

EAT as you LIKE..


1 comment:

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