Last Saturday I could not resist my temptation to gorge on one of my favourite fish, Parshe. My prayers were answered when I discovered to my relief that the last batch of Parshe was peeping happily from the cane basket. While I was buying Parshe, I could not resist the temptation of Bhetki. While the fisherman was cleaning my purchases I also gaped at the Katla fish head and was wondering if one could get hold of some Moong Dal and cook Machcher Matha diye Dal. While he cleaned and packed my fish into two separate bags I bought one Gandharaj Lebu.
Gandharaj Lebu ( a variety of scented lime) is used as an accompaniment while eating dal and rice. And of course for all those who love Bhetki will remember its smell from Oh! Calcutta’s famous dish Gondhoraaj Bhetki. While I was all mentally prepared to dish out Gandharaj Bhetki when I was almost in the midst of my preparations on Sunday afternoon I realised that the jar for my mustard had few mustard seeds.
So I had to rely on my senses for a steamed Bhetki- which was a truly hybrid dish of Pasta Herbs, and cheese. Before I go on to share the secrets of “Tomato- Cheese Bhetki” let me take you through my “Parshe Kalia”.
Marinate the Parshe in salt and turmeric and leave it aside.
Add oil and a little bit of ghee and lightly fry the fish and keep it aside. Parshe is a delicate fish like Pabda so be careful while frying. Take a medium sized onion and make a coarse paste. Add oil and fry the onion paste, one tea spoon of ginger garlic paste and 1 medium sized chopped tomatoes. Fry till the oil separates. Add salt and sugar for taste. I will insist that you add sugar because it will caramelise and blend well with the tomatoes Add the fried fish and garnish it with slit green chillies (4-5). Remember to slit the chillies else it will be bland. Let it simmer for some time and serve it with steamed rice.
Tomato Cheese Bhetki
You can use Bhetki Fillet if you like for this. Marinate the Bhetki pieces or fillet in salt and turmeric. Take a shallow container/ a roast tray would be good. Add two tablespoon of oil and add garlic cloves till it turns golden and releases a pungent smell. Take two tomatoes and slice it in equal sized rings. Place the rings neatly in the pan and add the fillets. In a similar fashion chop some onions ( in ring shapes) and cover the fish fillets with onions. Though I used Pasta seasoning for this you could use oregano and thyme for this as well. Sprinkly generous amounts of pasta seasoning and close the lid.
Check after 10 min and turn the fish fillets carefully so that it does not break. Take a slice of cheese and slice it into equal portions and spread it evenly on the fish. Cover the lid and let it cook for another 10 min and it is ready to serve.