FISH MUITHA

(FISH DUMPLINGS)

CHITOL MACHER MUITHA is a traditional offbeat preparation…… It is very popular in Bengal……. Chitol is Bengali name for Knife fish……This preparation is created after a lengthy process….. But it is worth waiting for…….. Traditionally mince of the fish is made by scraping the fish (lower half) lengthwise with the sharp tip of a steel spoon to separate the flesh from the bones……. This mince is mixed with mashed potatoes & the spices thoroughly and with wet hands formed into a big ball……. This ball of mince is cooked in pre boiled water till done…….. This big dumpling is then cut into cubes & fried…… Then these muithas are added to the prepared gravy.

Here, due to rare availability of Chitol fish, I’m using Basa fish fillets to create this recipe……It won’t taste as good as Chitol fish muithas naturally……. (Actually the texture of Chitol fish is different)…… Though this dish tasted surprisingly well…… This is a sort of 2 in 1 dish…… Muithas can be served as starters/snacks……. And can be served as entrée when cooked in gravy.

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INGREDIENTS : 400 gms Basa Fish fillets, 2-3 large onions (paste), 2 tsp ginger paste, 6-8 cloves garlic (paste), 1tsp turmeric powder, 1tsp red chilli powder(preferably Kashmiri), 1 big or 2 small tomatoes (paste), few green chillies, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, 2″ cinnamon, 1 tsp ghee, oil, salt & sugar according to taste.

DIRECTIONS : To make the muitha, make a paste of fish with ginger, garlic, green chillies, salt…….

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Boil a lot of water with little salt in a pan…….. Wet hands & make small balls from the paste….. Drop them in hot water…….

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When the muithas are done they will change colour & float on surface…….. Take out & drain.

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These muithas can be served as starters along with Thai Chilli Sauce.

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Heat oil…… Temper with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon & bay leaves…… Add whole slit green chillies……. Add ginger-garlic-onion pastes & little sugar…… Stir till brownish…… Add tomato paste……. Stir…… Add in turmeric powder & red chilli powder…… Salt to be added according to taste…… Sauté till oil separates….. Add enough water to make gravy…… When it starts boiling add in the muithas….. Cook till the muithas soak in the gravy & the gravy is of desired consistency……. Serve Fish Muitha with plain rice.

NOTE : Normally a big dumping is made & then cut into cubes…… Here I have made small dumplings (muithas)…….. After cutting into cubes the muithas are fried…… Here, to keep it healthy, I didn’t fry…… Also boiled, mashed potatoes are normally added to make muithas, I didn’t…… If binding doesn’t take place, one can add an egg to the muitha mixture.

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