Muri Ghonto | Traditional Bengali Food


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Muri Ghonto is a traditional Bengali food which is prepared from ages in Bengali houses. Normally, in a Bong house a whole fish comes from the market to get cook. Bengalis have a special soft corner for fishes and for them it is very important to utilize each part of the fish to prepare luscious dishes. This is the reason behind having so many delicious fish head recipes in Bengali cuisine.

Bengali recipe fish is the compulsory part of any Bong celebration. Whether it’s Annaprasan (first rice ceremony) or Marriage ceremony or a Matshamukhi (after death ceremony), fish curries are the salient part of any of these. In every occasion, they collect all the fish heads and prepare delectable side dishes like Muri Ghonto or Macher Matha Diye Bandhakopi.

Macher Muri Ghonto always make me feel very nostalgic. It always takes me to the delicious memories of my childhood. Whenever dad brings Rui Mach from the market, my first preference for fish head dish has always been Muri Ghonto. Whenever we went to our Dadur Bari (grand-father’s house from mother’s side) for any ceremony, me and my cousins used to gang up before the Thakur Moshai (Chef) to taste all the food items. Macher Muri Ghonto was the most exciting part of my tasting time.
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Muri Ghonto – Reason behind its popularity

  • The unbeatable taste of Muri Ghonto which reflects the taste of Bengal.
  • Muri Ghonto is a very simple and easy recipe and it requires very common ingredients to get prepared.
  • It is a perfect way to utilize fish heads into a super delectable dish.
  • Most of the ceremonies like marriage or annaprasan are incomplete without Muri Ghonto.

Muri Ghonto Recipe with step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. If you follow my recipe precisely then you will get the perfect Muri Ghonto on your plate.

A bowl of Muri Ghonto with Plain rice is more than a comfort meal for me. I am pretty sure many people are in the same side with me. If you have never tried it then I recommend you to try it at least once.


Fish head recipe

In Bengali recipe, fish head recipes play a vital role because in every occasion or celebration they use the whole large fishes. They always make sure to prepare a fish curry with the body and a separate side with the fish heads. Muri Ghonto, Kochu Shaak Diye Macher Matha, Macher Matha Diye Moong Dal, Macher Matha Diye Degun, Macher Matha Diye Bandhakopi and many more dishes are prepared with fish head in Bengali Cuisine.


How to cook big fish head for Muri Ghonto?

  • Make sure scaling, cleaning and washing of the fish heads is done properly.
  • Always marinate the fish head with Turmeric powder, Red chilli powder and Salt for at least 10 minutes for best result.
  • Always cut the fish head at least into four pieces. It is very tough to properly cook the whole fish head. Otherwise, either it may not get cooked from inside or you need to pour a huge amount of Oil to cook it properly.
  • Deep fry the fish head separately before adding into the curry.
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Secret behind the taste of Bengali Fish Head Curry

In Bengali Recipe, Mustard Oil is always used to fry fishes, fish heads or to cook any fish preparation. This is the ancient secret behind the outstanding taste of Bengali fish preparations. You can never get the same taste with any other Oil other than Mustard Oil.

In this Bengali recipe of fish head, I always use Gobindo bhog Rice. This rice is easily available in Bengal but if you don’t get the rice then you can use Basmati rice instead of it.


What is Gobindo bhog Chaal (Rice)?

  • Gobindo Bhog Chaal (Rice) is very famous in West Bengal. In Bengal, this rice is specially used in preparing Kheer, Ghonto and Pulao.
  • It is very tiny grained aromatic white Rice. It is mostly cultivated in few districts of West Bengal.


How to make Muri Ghonto?

For the Muri Ghonto, first I have cleaned the Rohu fish head (Rui Macher Matha). You can use other big fish head but Rohu fish head works best for the recipe. Then I have marinated the fish head and kept it aside. After marinating them for at least 10-15 minutes, I have deep fried them in Mustard oil.

In Muri Ghonto, potatoes are another important ingredient. For the dish, first I have fried the potato chunks separately with some salt and turmeric powder and then drained it on a plate separately.

After that, I have tempered the oil with some whole spices to make the oil aromatic. I have used Cumin seeds, Cloves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon stick, Bay leaf and dry Red Chillies for tempering.

Then for the Muri Ghonto, I have fried the Gobindo bhog Rice nicely with Salt, Turmeric powder and Chilli powder. After frying the rice till partially translucent, I have added potatoes and fish head into the pan. Then I have added water and cooked it in low flame until the rice is done. But don’t overcook the rice then your Muri Ghonto will become mushy.

In this recipe, I have only used dry Red Chillies and red Chilli powder to make the dish spicy. If you like spicy hot food, then you can add green Chillies too.

I have used Cumin powder, Coriander powder and Garam Masala powder to flavour up the dish. I always add a spoon of clarified Butter (Ghee) into the Muri Ghonto at the end. It gives better flavour and excellent taste to the dish.

Many traditional Bengali food with fish head has already been shared in my previous posts. You may check few of these recipes like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:

To marinate the fish head
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder

Other ingredients for the curry
  • 1 Rohu fish head (Rui Macher Matha), cut into pieces
  • ½ cup Gobindo bhog Rice
  • 2 Potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cardamoms
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick, 2 inches
  • 2 Dry red chillies
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil for cooking
  • 1 and ½ cups of Water for cooking the rice


Instructions:
  1. Marinate fish head with Salt, Red chilli powder, Turmeric and keep it aside for 10 minutes.

  2. Wash the Gobindo bhog rice and keep it aside.
  3. Add Oil into the pan and wait until the Oil is hot.
  4. Add the fish head pieces (Step 1) into the pan.
  5. Deep fry the fish head in medium high flame for 5-6 minutes until they become crispy brown.
  6. Flip the fish head pieces and fry the other side of it in the same way.

    Tip: Fish heads have the tendency to splatter Oil while frying. I would recommend using splatter guard to avoid any accidents.
  7. Keep the Rohu fish head aside and break them.

  8. In the same pan, add potatoes and fry them in medium high flame for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Add some Salt and Turmeric powder into the pan and give a nice mix. Stir in between.
  10. Fry the potatoes until they become crispy golden-brown from outside. Keep the potatoes aside.
  11. In the same pan, add the whole spices Cumin seeds, Cloves, Cardamoms, Cinnamon stick, Bay leaf, dry red Chillies for tempering and let them crackle.
  12. Add the Gobindo bhog rice and give a nice mix.
  13. Add Salt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder into the pan and mix them thoroughly.
  14. Fry the rice in medium low flame for 3-4 minutes. Stir frequently.
  15. Add the fried potato chunks (Step 10) into the pan.
  16. Add Cumin powder, Coriander powder and give a nice mix.
  17. Add the broken fish head (Step 7) into the pan and mix it well.
  18. Cook them in lowest flame for a minute.
  19. Add 1 and ½ cups of water into the pan and give a nice stir.
  20. Cover the pan and put the pan in high until the water simmers.
  21. Put the flame in low and add Garam Masala powder into the pan.
  22. Cover the pan and cook it in low flame until the rice is done. Add some extra water if required.
  23. At the end, add Ghee into the pan and give a nice mix.
  24. Switch off the flame and put the pan aside.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Muri Ghonto into a serving bowl. Serve hot or warm with Plain Rice and Dal and enjoy the Bengali delicacy.

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