Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bengali New Year with Pomfret Fish Curry

Tomorrow, the 15 th of April marks the 1st day of Bengali New Year 1416. First day of the month, Baisakh, which is popularly known as "POILA BAISAKH", where poila means the very first. It is very important yet another eventful day of the year, which Bengal celebrates with lots of excitement and zest and welcomes the new year with lots of enthusiasm. One important event of the day is "Phabhat Pheries" or early morning processions where men and women sing "Rabindra Sangeet" and other regional folk songs where men are dressed in traditional Dhuti-Punjabi and women are dressed in white Sari with red border. Lots of people also visit temples to start the new year with god's blessings. Moreover, Baishakh is one of the important month for the Bengalis as it marks the beginning of the crop cycle in Bengal.
Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Lord Ganesh are worshipped on the Bengali New Year day. It's an auspicious day for traders and businessmen. Traders perform the "halkhata" ceremony that means shopkeepers, businessmen and traders close their old accounts and open a new one. All shops are decorated with flowers and Sola decorations and also stringed fresh lemons and chillies hanging in front of shops. This is to ward off the evil eye. People visit their favorite shop during the day to wish them luck for the year ahead and traders welcome customers on this day with sweets and a bengali new year calendar.
People wear new clothes to celebrate this joyous occassion. Lots of cultural programmes are also held on this day. In West Bengal, Shantiniketan (Rabindranath Tagore's Viswa Bharati University) celebrates Poila Boisakh in a grand way involving many cultural programmes. No occassion is complete without good food. All favorite delicacies are prepared that day at home even restaurants fill their menu card with only traditional bengali delicacies for that day. Exchanging of gifts, typical plush Bengali lunch, the pungent smell of new dress epitomizes the Bengali New Year as one of the most significant event of the year.
The first day of this calendar is celebrated as the traditional New Year in various parts of South Asia, including Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Sri lanka, Bangladesh , Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Tripura. It is also celebrated as the traditional New Year across Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. A happy and healthy new year wish from me to all the peoples from these countries.

A hearty new year wish to all my visitors
Happy New year 1416(as bengali calendar)
For this occassion, I will share a bengali recipe, no not any sweet but an authentic Fish recipe........................

Pomfret Fish Curry

Ingredients :

Pomfret fish : 1 (cut in medium pieces)
Potato : 1(medium)(optional)
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tsp.
Tomato : 1 (medium)
Green chilli : 1 or 2(Slitted)
Bay leaves : 2
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp.
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 3 tsp.
Chilli powder : 1 or 2 tsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tsp.
Oil : 2 tbsp.(for cooking) & some for frying fish (preferably Mustard Oil)
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :
  • If you got a small pomfret, then leave it as it is. if you have a bigger one, then make medium size pieces. Smear them with little turmeric and salt and keep aside for at least half an hour. If using potatoes, cut the potatoes lengthwise as in the picture.
  • Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces until light brown on both sides. Do not overfry pomfret. Keep aside. Tips : Do not cook the curry in the same oil where you've fried the fish, as it turns the curry look darker.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan, fry the potato pieces with little turmeric and salt. In the same oil, temper with bay leaves, cumin and mustard seeds and slitted greeen chillies. When the seeds change colour and start to splutter, add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes. Stir for a while until tomatoes soften a little, then add all the powdered spices with 2 tbsp. of water and mix well with the tomato paste.
  • Cook the spice paste stirring continuously until oil seperates the masala paste, add the fried potatoes this time and mix well with paste. Add enough water to make the curry about 1 big cup. Season with salt and in medium flame let it cook. When potatoes are half done, add the fish pieces in the curry and close the vessel with a lid. (If you aren't using potatoes, them lower the quantity of water to half)
  • Take the pan off the heat when potatoes are done and you have your desired thickness of curry. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.......
Serve with plain white rice off course hot, hot........................enjoy


Sharmila said...

Poila boishakher shubheccha tomakeo. :-) Darun likhecho. :-)

sowmya said...

happy new year!!

Suparna said...

Poila Boishakher Shubheccha!
It's a great post. Thanks for the tasty pomfret fry recipe :)
Have a properous year ahead!

Priya said...

Happy New year Indrani, pomfret fish curry looks yummy!

Uma said...

A happy new year to you and your family Indrani!

Mandira said...

Darun lagche dekhte Inddrani!Shubho nababarsha...

Kitchen Flavours said...

Happy New Year to you and your family.....Pomfret curry looks yum and flavourful.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Belated New yr wishes, Lovely pomfret curry lip smacking indeed... First time here you have an awesoem space...

Indrani said...

Thanks everyone for your wishes

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