Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Macher Muro Die Bhaja Muger Daal ( Dry Roasted Yellow Lentil With Fish Head )

  • There are some dishes that are so popular that their recipes can be posted without any good presentation. Even if the picture is not so great, assuming it won’t matter to the followers. Today's dish belongs to this category. Sometimes back I planned to post this recipe but that day I didn't get enough time to take pictures as I had to serve this before it lost its warmness. After a few months today again, I cooked the same dish and luckily able to get some decent photos of that. In our overseas life it’s not a regular kind of dish, rather once in a year, we become fortunate to prepare it and taste this delicious dish.

  • Bengalis are well known for eating fish in all its forms and not leaving any of the parts, including the coveted head. Fish heads (Bengalis call them “macher muro/matha” with love) are very auspicious for us. We are introduced to this fish head at our very tender age during “rice ceremony” occasion when a baby is introduced to real food. The baby is not allowed to eat the fish-head,  but it is considered auspicious and supposed to bring good luck to his/her life. The same is followed when we welcome a new groom or bride to our family. In day-to-day life, the fish head is served to the head of the family or to the kid who is most loved by everybody. In my childhood, me and my dad used to enjoy this privilege.

    Probably you already could guess that my today’s recipe is something to do with the fish head. Yes, I am going to share today the recipe of “Mugger daal with Maacher Muro ”.  It’s a special kind of lentil preparation where a big fish head (usually Rohu or Katla) is cooked with yellow mung dal. Though Daal is a regular kind of dish to any Bengali household but this dish is for a special occasion. When there is a grand event, a large sized fish will come from the market. The fish pieces would be used in some type of fish curry but the head would go to the Mug Dal. You just need a long leisurely afternoon to eat and relish “Macher Matha diye Muger Daal” with a bowl of steamed rice and crispy fried potatoes and off course a short nap after the lunch.

Recipe of Macher Muro Die Bhaja Muger Daal ( Dry Roasted Yellow Lentil With Fish Head):


Mung Daal or yellow lentil: 1 cup 
Fish Head: 1 of a medium sized fish
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon 
Oil: 4 tablespoons 
Whole Red Chili: 1 
Bay leaf: 1
Whole Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon 
Onion: a small, finely chopped 
Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste: 1 tablespoon
Tomato: a small, chopped  
Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon 
Gram masala: 1/2 teaspoon 


1. Smear salt and turmeric to the cleaned and halved fish heads. Set it aside. 

2. Dry roast the mung dal on low flame. Don't make it brown. Once the dal starts to change the color and aroma comes up turn off the gas and wash the dal thoroughly. Now take a pan or a pressure cooker, add the washed dal and 3 cups of water. Add salt and turmeric to it. Cover the lid. Let it cook until Dal is cooked. Make sure the Dal is not over cooked. It should be soft but not mushy. What I do, cover the pressure cooker and cook it on high flame for one whistle. Immediately remove it from the heat and let the steam release on its own. It comes out perfect. 

3. Heat oil in a big pan. Fry the fish head till it is golden brown. Take it out from the pan and set it aside.

4. Add bay leaf, whole red chili, cumin seeds to the remaining oil. Once cumin starts to splutter add the chopped onions. Fry it until it is soft and golden brown. Add ginger and garlic paste. Stir it and let it cook until raw smell goes off. Add tomato and salt. Stir it well. 

5. Once tomato becomes soft and mushy add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Cook it until oil comes out from the sides of the pan. 

6. Add the fried fish head cook it with the masala for a couple of minutes. Break the fish head into big chunks. Now add the cooked dal. Mix it well. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Check the seasoning. Adjust the consistency. It should not be too thick or too runny. 

7. Add garam masala and turn off the gas. Serve hot with steamed rice. 

No comments:

Post a Comment