Bengalis are crazy about fishes, specially sweet river fishes, and can not tolerate any part of a fish being wasted. Fish heads are often very difficult to eat, being very bony and dry, so the Bengalis had to invent some way to relish them. That gave birth to this delicious and novel dish, loved to bits by any fish lovers. Though being a Bengali, I am not a true fan of fishes, which is a shame even to admit. And living outside India for about a decade now, I have access to river fishes in frozen form only. Usually I would ask the fishmongers to take the fish head off, and would secretly feel guilty about wasting it. Last month, when I had my in-laws from India visiting us, I thought of trying this dish, as I knew they would love it. Preparing this dish is a little messy, and you could smell very fishy. After cooking this dish you might want to take a good shower. Muri ghonto is best with the head of a Rohu fish. This was my first try, and believe me or not, it had come up truly delicious.
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time: 30 mins.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
1 head of a Rohu fish, broken in several pieces.
1 big onion, chopped.
2 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon garlic paste
4-5 green chillies, slit through the middle (or according to taste)
Mustard oil for shallow frying. (this gives the best taste, but sunflower/vegetable oil could also be used)
seeds of 3-4 cardamom pods
2 inches cinnamon stick
1/2 tablespoon cumin power
1/2 tablespoon coriander power
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon garam masala powder(mix of cloves, cinammon and cardamon)
2-3 potatoes, chopped in small cubes
1 tomato, chopped.
1/2 cup of basmati rice, washed and drained.
1 cup of water
salt to taste
1. Deep fry the chopped potatoes until golden and put it aside.
2.Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder on the broken fish head and shallow fry in batches until golden brown. Make sure to turn the pieces on all sides.Remove from the pan.
3.Filter out the oil, and clean the pan. Heat the pan and add 2 tablespoon of the same oil. Add the whole cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bayleafs. Let them crackle and add the chopped onions and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the green chillies, tomatoes, ginger paste, garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt to taste and mix well, stirring for about 2 mins.
4. Break the fried fish heads with a fork, does not matter it becomes mushy. Add them to the pan and mix well.
5. Add the the rice, and the water. The water has to be just the double of the rice, and this measure is very important. Lower the flame, cover the pan, and cook for about 12mins. Take care that the food does not stick to the pan or get burned. Sprinkle some water in needed.
6. when the water has dried up and the rice is cooked, remove in a serving dish. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and serve it warm.