What is the one food that you cant live without? For me it is fish.
Growing up we used to have fish every single day..all kinds and varieties. Naturally if something is available to you so easily you lose its value.
Once I got married and moved out I realised what I was missing. Roaming the far corners of our country because of my husband’s service life I could not get my hands on good quality fish most of the times.
The commonest one available used to be Rahu and that too not river fresh. That was when that Bengali fish loving gene kicked inside me and I started missing the various kinds and multiple preparations that were a common feature in my childhood.
Among the top five favourite fish is the Pabda which is also known as Pabo Catfish in English. It is a very soft and delicate fish with the most amazing flavour. There are many ways of cooking the Pabda but my favourite is the Sorse Pabda. Even writing about it makes my mouth water. So before I lose track and head for the fish market let me give you the recipe.
4-5 Pabda fish
Salt and turmeric to apply to the fish
1 potato, cubed
1 large tomato, sliced
2 green chillies
1 tsp Nigella seeds/onion seeds/kalonji
5 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp khus khus seeds( thisis optional ..i add it because I like the taste)
1 green chiily
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ cup mustard oil
Apply salt and turmeric to the fish and keep aside for half an hour.
Soak the mustard seeds and khus khus for half an hour. Grind to a smooth paste along with 1 green chilly and some salt. It is important that while grinding you add some salt as it cuts down the bitter taste of mustard.
Heat the mustard oil and fry the fish. Remember this is a very delicate fish and it breaks easily. The oil has to be smoking hot and fry at high flame so that the skin gets fried quickly. Keep aside.
Now add the kalonji and 2 green chillies to the oil. Add the cubed potatoes and fry well. Add the sliced tomato and cook till the tomato becomes soft.
Now add the mustard paste, turmeric powder and salt. Saute till the oil separates. Add one cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for some time and then add the fish. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. Check the salt once. Your Sorse Pabda is ready.