This wonderful and unique recipe come from Food Thought For:
This one is a gourmet, very authentic Bengali fish dish. As light as a couple of tsp of oil. And about 20 minutes in the kitchen. It is called ‘doi maach‘ literally translating to yoghurt fish. Even for a fishy person like me (:), I can say for sure, that this is one of my all time favorite fish dishes. And its not a curry. because you use nothing more than cloves and yoghurt.  It ain’t a curry unless you use a few spices together. Everyone with me on this?
Traditionally, it is made with fresh water fishes from which you can cut a big steak size chunks. But, of course that is never mandatory. You can use this with any fish of your choice. Will taste just as good. In all Bengali homes, this is a lunchtime delicacy, to be served with warm rice. Its almost never a dinner recipe. Because in India, lunch is traditionally the most important meal of the day.
  • 1 big fish of your choice– Cleaned and cut into four pieces
  • 1 medium onion- chopped very very fine or made into a crunchy paste in the food processor or blender. Do not use water.
  • 1.5 cups of yoghurt
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of lime juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 tsp  of oil
  • A big pinch of turmeric (optional)
  • A big pinch of cayenne pepper (optional).

  1. Marinate the fish in a bit of salt, a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  2. This next step is optional. If you like  a bit of crunch on fish, do this, otherwise just skip it.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 F for 10 minutes. Drizzle just 2 tsp of oil ( one on each side) and place on a shallow baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes. You can adjust this time depending on the power of your oven. I use 15 minutes. Turn once. The fish will end up with a oven-fried feel.
  4. If you want, you can opt out of the step and simply leave the fish marinated.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet. When hot pop the cloves, taking care to remove the head before popping them in the skillet. Will lessen the chance of it popping out of the skillet :). Wait for a 10 secs, and add the minced or crushed onion and fry on medium for 3-4 minutes or till it turns a bit brown. Just a bit.
  6. Add the ginger and sugar. Fry for another minute or so.
  7. Lower heat and add the yoghurt, a pinch of turmeric and cayenne pepper. An important tip here. Never put yoghurt on a hot surface. It ruins the flavor of yoghurt and even burns its badly. I learnt it from terrible experience. So before putting in yoghurt always turn down the heat, wait a bit and then, carefully place the yoghurt in the skillet.
  8. Saute for a minute or so. Add lime juice and water and bring to a boil.The lime juice will take the milky smell out of the dish , leaving it fragrant 🙂 Clever idea!
  9. Add the baked or raw fish and continue cooking on low for 10 minutes. Go a little longer if you have not baked the fish beforehand. You can tell that fish is done, when it is all white. Season with salt. Remember you have already used some salt in marinading the fish. So add accordingly.
You are done! Serve with warm jasmine rice. And maybe some lovely tropical cocktail to go with it?
Bengali Yogurt Fish
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