Bandhakopi Muri Ghonto (Fish Head Curry with Cabbage)

While fish is consumed widely throughout India, only a few communities know how to use the fish head and other discarded parts of fish. Muri ghonto is a traditional Bengali dish. ‘Muri’ is essentially the fish head (Rohu, Hilsa or Catla fish) and ghonto means a mix of various ingredients. Ghonto happens to be an inseparable part of Bengali cuisine. There’s muri ghonto and its varieties, mocha (flower of banana) ghonto, mulor (raddish) ghonto and so on.

Muri ghonto can be classified as a kind of fish head biryani because it is prepared with rice. However, there are different versions of the recipe using pulses, cabbage, pumpkin, Malabar spinach and so on. And believe me, each version is tastier than the other.

This recipe is the cabbage version of muri ghonto. Bandhakopi or cabbage is cooked along with the fish head with a mix of spices that lend this dish an unusually enticing flavour.

Try it and you’ll never again list fish head under the weird foods’ category!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Cabbage- 1 (small, shredded)
  • Fish head- 1 (large)
  • Green peas – ½ cup
  • Potatoes – 2 (peeled and diced)
  • Onion- 1 (chopped)
  • Ginger-garlic paste- 1tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  • Cumin powder- 2tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Salt as required
  • Sugar- ½ tsp
  • Mustard oil- 2tbsp

Procedure:

1) Wash the fish head properly. Marinate it with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.

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2) Heat the mustard oil in a pan and fry the fish head till it turns golden brown. Once done, keep it aside. Fry the potatoes till golden brown and keep them aside.

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3) In the same oil, add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Allow it to splutter.

4) Add chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.

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5) Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, sugar, and salt. Sauté for another 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle some water if needed.

6) Now add in the shredded cabbage, green peas and stir the entire contents. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle water if needed.

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7) Check if the cabbage is half cooked. At this stage, add the fish head, potatoes and crush the head with the spatula. Mix them well with the cabbage.

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8) Sprinkle some water, cover, and cook on low flame for 5-6 minutes. Ensure that it doesn’t burn from the bottom.

9) Sprinkle garam masala powder on the curry and switch off the flame. Keep it covered till you’re ready to serve. Enjoy with steamed rice.

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Notes:

  • Bigger the fish head, better the curry. So, try and get the head of a large fish when you plan to prepare this dish.
  • You can add a dash of ghee at the end for better flavour.
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