Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry)

Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry)

Hello Everyone! I’m back with another recipe featuring one of Binda Valley’s products, specifically their Natural Greek Style Yoghurt that I received from Gourmet Direct PH last month. I featured smoothies in my previous posts and tonight I wanted to share a savoury recipe using yoghurt. As far as my knowledge goes, I know that yoghurt is commonly used as a marinade for chicken in savoury Indian dishes, but since I wanted to keep in line with only sharing pescatarian, vegetarian, or vegan recipes for my blog, I had to do further research for this.

Gourmet Direct PH x Binda Valley Yoghurt

I typed ‘fish and yoghurt’ recipes into Google and a recipe for Bengali Doi Maach, or in English, Fish in Yoghurt Curry caught my attention. It is a deliciously thick, subtly spicy, and delicately sour fish curry. The fish is first marinated, lightly fried, and then simmered in a yoghurt-based gravy. The end result is a very tender and flavourful fish having absorbed the wonderful flavours of the gravy. The yoghurt and minimal spices used makes this dish light yet hearty, and is best served with basmati rice for a complete Indian meal.

Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry)

Not only does it come together quickly, making it a perfect weeknight dish, it is also very cost effective. The ingredients for this dish are quite cheap and easy to find. You can use your choice of freshwater fish (the best would be thick, meaty fish) and get it simmering away with pantry staples. I literally had all the ingredients readily available in my pantry, which made me super excited to tackle this Doi Maach!

Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry) Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the fish

  • 1 kg Spanish mackerel (tanigue, in Tagalog), sliced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp calamansi juice (or lemon/lime juice)
  • Cooking oil, for searing

For the yoghurt curry

  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 red chillies (fresh or dried)
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 red onions, grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2-inch ginger, grated
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Binda Valley’s Natural Greek Style Yoghurt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chilli leaves* (optional)

*Normally, this dish would be garnished with some coriander leaves, but if you know me, you know I detest the taste of coriander. So to add a pop of green to this dish, I used chilli leaves instead.

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the fish marinade in a large mixing bowl, making sure the fish slices are evenly coated. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Heat enough oil in a large pan, over high heat and sear the marinated fish slices; work in batches if needed. Once done, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Remove any excess oil from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons and reduce the heat down to medium. Toast the spices (cloves, chillies, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds) until fragrant, before adding the grated onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds.
  4. Add half of the cup of water to the pan to deglaze it, and then add the yoghurt, stirring until it is incorporated into the water and spices mixture.
  5. Season with salt and sugar, and leave to simmer over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced.
  6. Add the fried fish to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes. In the last cooking minute, add the chilli leaves to the pan and cook until the leaves have just wilted.
  7. Transfer the fish curry to a serving dish and enjoy immediately with freshly steamed rice!

Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry)

Bengali Doi Maach (Fish in Yoghurt Curry)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

Follow me on my social media accounts:
Facebook: Amcarmen’s Kitchen
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Singapore Fish Head Curry

Singapore Fish Head Curry

Hello Everyone! It’s been a while since my last post here on the blog; I’ve been super busy with work since I moved to a new department in the beginning of October, and doing some freelance work on top of that. I’ve also been focusing on creating sponsored content for Instagram and participating in a TikTok Challenge this past month. Now that things have slowed down just a little bit, I finally found the time to sit down and write this post/recipe (just hours before this is going live), to share with everyone!

We still have three more countries to venture through on our Flavours of Southeast Asia before the year ends, so the coming weeks will just be quick stopovers – and first, we’re taking a stroll through the many hawker centers in Singapore for their famous Fish Head Curry!

Singapore Fish Head Curry

The dish is actually of South Indian origins, but has been popularised in countries such as Malaysia and Singapore where it was introduced by the Indian migrants when they moved to the region. Thus, this dish is more commonly found at many Indian eateries across Malaysia and Singapore, served typically as a main to steamed rice.

Of course, there’s no problem in using the whole fish, which is what I did, as opposed to just using the head. The main reason why the fish head is much sought after when making a curry is because the meat found at the jaws, below the gills, and at the back of the neck is the sweetest and most delicate. It is also where it absorbs the flavours of the curry best. The important thing is to use fresh fish, whether sea bream, sea bass, snapper, tilapia, or any other white-fleshed fish, and to not overcook it.

I’ve had this dish many times before during my travels to Singapore and have made it a couple of times before when I was still living in Brunei. This is the first time I am making it again at home after a couple of years. The curry is thick, creamy, aromatic, tangy, and spicy; best served with vegetables such as okra and eggplant to soak up all the gravy goodness.

Note that there are some ingredients that I could not source locally for this dish, eg. brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fresh galangal, and fish curry paste. The seeds I just left out, and used crushed galangal from a jar, and red curry paste instead.

Singapore Fish Head Curry Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 kg red snapper fish, sliced
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 15 pcs dried curry leaves
  • 3 pcs dried long red chillies
  • 3 tbsp red curry powder (or fish curry powder)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 200 ml coconut milk (or more if you want it creamier)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water (or fish stock)
  • 1 large tomato, cut into wedges
  • 1 bunch (5 pcs) okra, halved
  • 2 eggplants, halves lengthwise and then cut into 3 horizontally
  • Shredded scallion, to garnish

For the curry paste

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 pcs red bird’s eye chillies (more if you want it spicier, or vice versa)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only), chopped
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1-inch sized ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1-inch sized turmeric, peeled and chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp crushed galangal paste
  • 1/4 cup water

METHOD

  1. Curry Paste: Pound all the ingredients together for the curry paste, except the water, using a mortar and pestle, until a smooth paste is formed. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes of elbow grease. Mix the water with the paste and then set aside until ready to use. Alternatively, you can place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz them into a smooth paste.
  2. Fish Head Curry: Heat 2 tablespoons of cook oil in a heavy-based pan over high heat. Fry the eggplant slices until browned and tender. Once done, set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat down to medium, and in the same pan toast the cumin seeds, curry leaves, and dried chillies. Cook until fragrant and be careful to not burn them.
  4. Add the curry paste and curry powder, cooking and stirring continuously for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the paste darkens in colour and the oils start to separate.
  5. Add the tamarind paste, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and season with salt. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer before adding the water and tomato wedges. Bring to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, add the fish head (and fish slices) to the curry mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 – 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. In the last minute or so, add the okra to the curry and cook until tender.
  7. Transfer the fish head curry to a serving dish, top with the fried eggplant, and garnish with some shredded scallions. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!

Singapore Fish Head Curry

Singapore Fish Head Curry

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

Follow me on my social media accounts:
Facebook: Amcarmen’s Kitchen
Instagram: @amcarmenskitchen
TikTok: @amcarmenskitchen

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