Rui macher kalia | Macher kalia | Fish kalia recipe


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As a Bong, I have grown up eating Macher kalia in many special occasions like marriage ceremony, Annaprasan, Griha-prabesh and even in small get togethers. As I already mentioned, there is an eternal bonding between fish and Bengalis. Any occasion is incomplete for us without fish, especially macher kalia. For Bengalis, fishes are much more than an edible component. According to our old ancestors, fishes are auspicious and it’s an important part of any celebration.

Both Bengal and Bangladesh are surrounded by numerous rivers. They have been a superb source of freshwater fishes from ages. The availability of fishes is the main reason behind the vogue of Fish Curries in these regions. This is the secret behind the huge variations of Fish curries in Bengali cuisine.

Fish kalia or macher kalia is one of the most desired fish curry recipe for any celebration. It is mostly prepared with large Rui Mach (Rohu fish) or Katla Mach (Catla fish), preferably weighing more than 3 kilograms. Both the varieties of fishes work great for the fish kalia recipe.

In general, in every Bong house Rui macher kalia or fish kalia is mostly prepared in two different ways. One by using less spice and lesser ingredients which is regularly prepared as a comforting Macher jhol. Another one is Biye bari style macher kalia which is much more rich, spicier and authentic as compared to regularly prepared one.
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Today, I am going to share the biye bari version of Macher kalia or fish kalia recipe with you. Usually in biye bari(Marriage ceremony), Katla Mach is mostly used for the recipe. But, somehow in my house Rui mach (Rohu fish) is mostly used for Kalia recipe. So, I have prepared this recipe with Rui mach but Katla mach can also be used for the recipe.

Rui macher kalia or fish kalia is a simple recipe and the difficulty level of its cooking is moderate. You would need little bit of preparation to cook biye bari style macher kalia. But the ingredients required for the recipe can be regularly found in Bengali kitchen pantry.

I am a huge fan of macher kalia recipe and it always drives me to the sweet memories of my childhood. I still remember how I used to ask my mom to prepare this special Rui macher kalia whenever my dad used to bring fresh water Rohu fish from the market.

I have learnt this biye bari style rui macher kalia recipe from my mom. She has got huge interest in cooking. Whenever there used to be a marriage ceremony in my Dadur Bari (grand-father’s house from mother’s side), she always used to talk to their old Thakur Moshai (Family Chef) to learn new recipes. This rui macher kalia is one of them. It is a full proof recipe and it will surely take you to the authentic taste of kalia recipe.

Fish kalia recipe step by step photos and instructions have been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. But before jumping into the recipe, let me share few interesting facts about Rui Mach (Rohu Fish) and the macher kalia recipe.


Rohu Fish

Rohu fish is known by different names like Rui, Ruee, tapra, Roho Labeo etc. It is a freshwater fish from carp family. They are hugely popular in the subcontinents of South Asia. It is one of the most cultured fish in the ponds and lakes of these regions.


Health benefits of eating Rohu Fish?

  • Rohu fish is very rich in nutrients. It contains zinc, potassium, calcium, iron and many other minerals. These minerals help to strengthen our body. It is very good for our brain too.
  • They are very good source of Vitamin C which helps to build our immunity.
  • Rohu fish is high in Protein and low in fat which makes it beneficial for growing kids and even adults too.
  • The Omega 3 contained in the fish helps to make our heart healthy.
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How to make fish kalia?

For the macher kalia, first I have washed the fish pieces gently and marinated them with Salt and Turmeric powder for at least ten minutes. Then I have moderately deep fried the fish pieces. Always use Mustard oil for cooking the fish. It will give you the best flavour and taste.

For the rui macher kalia, I have used ghee (Clarified Butter) for the authentic flavour and taste. I have added whole spices like cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves and dry red chillies to induce aroma to the ghee. It is one of the most essential part of the recipe.

For the gravy of fish kalia, I have used both sliced onions and onion paste for the better flavour of the dish. First, I have added the sliced onions and fried them till golden and then added the onion paste to it.

For the onion paste, I have added onion chunks, cloves of garlic, diced ginger and green chillies into a jar of grinder and grinded them to a smooth paste.

Then I have prepared a separate paste of tomato and raisins and added it into the pan when the onion paste started releasing oil. Addition of raisins is very important to the tomato paste. It helps to balance the tanginess of both the tomatoes and yogurt and enhances the taste of the kalia gravy.

In rui macher kalia or fish kalia gravy, yogurt is another important component to make the gravy richer and creamier. I have whipped the yogurt nicely before adding into the masala. It resists the yogurt to curdle.

Normally, biye bari style macher kalia is spicy, sweet, salty and fiery in taste. When the fish kalia gravy is mixed with plain rice and it gets into the mouth, its marvellous flavour and combinational taste tickles all the taste buds.

So, I went heavy with green chillies for the rohu fish curry. But you can adjust the amount of chillies as per your preferred taste.

For the sweet ting of the gravy, I have added sugar and some extra raisins in addition to the ones used in paste. When the juicy raisins pop up inside the mouth, it makes the fish kalia taste divine.

Other than these, I have used cumin powder, coriander powder, Bengali garam masala powder to flavour up the dish.

Many people are not aware of Bengali garam masala. It is the combination of equal proportions of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves powder. It is one of the most important components of Bengali culinary.

The consistency of the gravy of rui macher kalia is neither too thick nor too runny. So, I have added moderate amount of water for the gravy.

Many recipe for Bengali Fish Curry have already been shared in my previous posts. You can check few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:

To marinate the fish
  • 4 large Rohu fish pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)

For the Onion paste
  • 2 large Onions, diced
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic
  • 1 ½ inches Ginger, diced
  • 3-4 Green Chillies

For Tomato Paste
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Raisin

Other Ingredients for the Gravy
  • ½ large Onion, thin sliced
  • 3 green Chillies
  • 2 tablespoons Yogurt, whipped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Raisin
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick, 2 inches
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamoms
  • 2 dry red Chillies
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red Chilli powder
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Bengali Garam masala powder
  • 2-3 teaspoons Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil for frying the fish pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1 ½ cups of Water, for Gravy


Instructions:
  1. Wash and clean the rohu fish pieces (Rui mach).
  2. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder on each of the fish pieces.
  3. Mix all the ingredients evenly and marinate the fish pieces for 10 minutes. Keep it aside.
  4. On the other hand, add onion chunks, garlic, ginger cubes, green chillies into a jar of a mixer grinder and close the lid. Run the mixer grinder for 1-2 minutes till smooth paste. Keep the paste aside.

  5. Again, into a jar of a mixer grinder, add tomato chunks, raisins and run the mixer grinder for a minute to make a smooth paste. Keep the paste aside.

  6. Add Mustard oil into the pan and wait until the oil is hot.
  7. Put the flame in low and add the marinated pieces of the fish into the pan.
  8. Fry them from both sides for 1-2 minutes in medium flame.
  9. Once the bottom side is done, turn the fish pieces very gently and fry the other side.
  10. Once they are done transfer the pieces on a plate and keep them aside.

    Tip: Don’t overcook the fish, otherwise they will become chewy. During the time of frying, turn the fish pieces carefully because they are very delicate.
  11. Transfer the excess oil from the pan or add some oil and add 1 tablespoon of Ghee (Clarified Butter) into a different pan. Wait until the ghee melts.
  12. Add all the whole spices, i.e. cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves, dry red chillies into the pan and let them crackle.
  13. Add sliced onions into the pan and fry them in medium flame for 2-3 minutes till golden in colour.
  14. Add Onion paste (Step 4) into the pan and give a nice mix.
  15. Cook it in medium high flame for 3-4 minutes. Stir in between.
  16. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder into the pan and give a nice mix.
  17. Cook it in medium flame for another 5-6 minutes until it starts releasing oil. Stir in regular intervals.
  18. Add tomato paste (Step 5) into the pan and give a nice stir.
  19. Add green chillies into the pan and mix it.
  20. Cook it in medium flame for another 5 minutes until the oil releases. Stir in between.
  21. Add salt, sugar into the pan and give a nice mix.
  22. Cook the masala in low flame for 1-2 minutes.
  23. Add whipped yogurt into the pan and give a mix.

  24. Cook it for 2 minutes in low flame. Stir if required.
  25. Add cumin powder, coriander powder into the pan and give a nice mix.
  26. Cook it in lowest flame for another 1-2 minutes.
  27. Add water into the pan and give a nice stir.

  28. Add raisins into the pan and mix it.
  29. Cover the pan and put the flame in high until the gravy simmers.
  30. Take off the lid and put the flame in low. Add fried Rohu fish pieces into the pan delicately.
  31. Cover the pan and cook the fish in low flame for 3-4 minutes.
  32. Add Bengali garam masala powder into the pan and stir carefully.
  33. Cook for another 30 seconds in high flame.
  34. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Rui Macher kalia into a serving bowl or on a serving plate. Serve hot or warm to enjoy its best taste. Pair up the dish with steamed Basmati rice and enjoy the Bengali delicacy with your family and friends.

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