Bengalis’ craze for fish is a well-known fact. Fish is our passion, our food for thought and occupies a unique place not only in our everyday menu but is also intricately woven into the Bengali culture and festivities.
The Bong’s obsession with fish is overtly evident in every occasion or festival. Be it puja, marriage or any social event, fish is considered to be very auspicious for every occasion. Fish is offered as Prasad during Durga Puja is exchanged between families of bride and groom during the marriage, and when someone dies in the family, the mourning period is concluded by consuming fish by the bereaved family as a symbol of going back to normal life.
Fish curry, Fish in mustard gravy, fish head pulao (muri ghonto), steamed fish, fish cutlet, the list is endless. Each recipe is unique in itself and in a self-aggrandizing way articulates the never-ending bong fishy fascination for fish. My today’s recipe is a fish preparation loved by all both Bengalis as well as non-Bengalis. It’s called “macher chop” or fish croquette. Few common ingredients readily available in every kitchen are adequate to prepare this mouth-watering snack.
Serves: 6 pieces
Preparation time: ½ hour (approximately)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- Fish: 2 thick pieces of Rohu or Katla
- Potato: 2 medium-sized
- Onion: 1
- Ginger-garlic: 2 tbsp
- Green chilies: 3-4 or according to taste
- Red chili powder: 1 tsp
- Cumin powder: 1 tsp
- Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
- Cilantro: 2 tbsp
- Salt: to taste
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- Lemon: 1 no
- Salt: ¼ tsp
- Besan( Gram flour): 2 tbsp
- Bread crumbs: 200 gm
- Salt: to taste
- Water as required
- Oil for deep frying
- Marinate fish with lemon juice and salt for 15 minutes
- Steam in pressure cooker with very less water for 5 minutes.
- Debone the fish fully.
- Boil potato. Mash it with a fork.
- Chop onion finely. Finely chop ginger garlic and green chilies. Chop cilantro.
- In a wok, put 2 tbsp of oil. Fry onions till translucent. Add ginger-garlic and green chilies.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and garam masala powder and mix properly.
- Add the mashed potato and deboned fish and mix thoroughly.
- Add salt to taste and chopped cilantro.
- Let it cool.
- Mix besan (Gram flour) with water and salt into a thin consistency. Put bread crumbs on a plate.
- Take potato fish mixture and shape it like cutlets according to your imagination.
- Put them in the batter of besan( Gram flour), coat it nicely and with other hand roll them in bread crumbs.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Deep fry the cutlets in smoking hot oil. When one side gets brown, just turn once and fry the other side. Take it out on absorbent kitchen napkin
- Serve hot with onion rings and green chutney or Bengali kasundi (mustard sauce).
1. I always use either Rohu or Katla for making this cutlet. Bhetki fillet can also be used by those who are not confident enough to debone the fish properly.
2. The cutlets can be prepared well in advance and can be kept in the fridge for good 7-8 hours before frying. I always make it in the morning and refrigerate it, and serve either as evening snacks or in dinner.
3. While making the filling I use mustard oil as the pungent smell of mustard oil goes very well with fish.
4. Even while deep frying mustard oil can be used which adds a special flavor to the chop. The strong fragrance of mustard oil makes the cutlets yummy and delicious no wonder. But if you are not comfortable with mustard oil, go ahead with any other oil suitable for deep frying.
So do not wait for the perfect occasion to make this delicacy,prepare it and the yummy taste of macher chop will make the occasion perfect.