Sarika tells us about her 13th wedding anniversary, the loving care of her husband, who makes it grand every year and two fish recipes that her man loves. Read more in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
One of the days that most women look forward to is her wedding anniversary. Recently one of my colleagues got married after 5 years of courtship, and I saw the spark in her eyes before and after the wedding. It is a famous saying – women can forget every other thing but she will never forget her wedding day. True! In my case, my husband too never missed our wedding day, rather he tries to make it grand in every possible way. As I said earlier, he is not good at saying, “I love you,” but he knows how to keep the marriage alive. Last month, we celebrated our 13th anniversary. Apart from showering gifts he also took us (son and me) to Goa, to make the day memorable. We visited Goa couple of times before, but it never disappoints, it is always rejuvenating. It is also a time to break the daily grind and relieve a moment that changed our lives forever.
We spent three days in sand, sea, sky, food, and massage. Sometimes, I sit and ponder how did I spend 13 years with him? We both are imperfect in so many ways. Probably it was destiny that we two imperfect people made a perfect, long time relationship. As I am talking about our 13th anniversary, I am going to share two of his favourite dishes, which are comfort food for most Bengalis. Both the recipes related to fish. The Bengali gastronomic journey is incomplete without fish. Bengalis are known for machh bhat (fish and rice). Few dishes are his all-time favourites, especially during winter season.
Rohu Fish with Cauliflower
(Rui Machh Phoolkopi diye)
Rohu fish, 5-6 pieces
Onion, 1 large (half chopped and half in paste)
Ginger paste 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder half teaspoon
Heaped chilli powder or according to taste
Heaped cumin powder
Half teaspoon coriander powder,
Tomato 1 medium
Salt to taste
Green chillies, whole, 4/5
Wash the fish pieces very well.
Rub the fishes with a little turmeric, chili powder, and salt.
Fry them for a while. Just 4 to 5 minutes or so for each side.
Keep them aside.
Add chopped onion and fry them until translucent.
Add the onion paste, ginger paste, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, coriander powder, salt with a bit water.
Cook the spices very well by adding water little by little, as and when necessary.
Now add the cauliflower and cook for a while. Add water to cover them. Cook on medium heat. When the water is reduced a bit, add the fish pieces.
When the gravy is reduced to the desired consistency add the tomatoes and whole green chillies. Cook for another five minutes, until comes the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and add the chopped cilantro. Cover with lid and keep it on the off stove for some time.
Serve with steamed rice.
Fish Head with Cabbage
(Macher Matha Badhakopi diye)
Cabbage- 1 (shredded)
Potatoes – 2 (peeled and diced)
Onion- 1 (chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste- 1tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Cumin powder- 2tsp
Red chilli powder- 1tsp
Garam masala powder- 1tsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Bay leaf- 1
Salt as required
Sugar- ½ tsp
Mustard oil- 3tbsp
Wash the fish head properly and marinate it with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
In a pan heat the mustard oil and fry the fish head till it turns brown. Once done, keep it aside. Fry the potatoes till golden brown and keep them aside.
In the same oil, add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Allow it to splutter.
Add chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Time to add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, sugar, and salt. Sauté for another 4 minutes. Add some water if needed.
Now add in the shredded cabbage, and stir the entire contents. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle water if needed.
When cabbage is half cooked, at this stage, add the fish head, potatoes and crush the head with the spatula. Mix them well with the cabbage.
Sprinkle some water then cover, and cook on low flame for 6 to 8 minutes. Ensure that it doesn’t burn from the bottom.
Add garam masala powder and switch off the flame. Keep it covered until it is ready to serve.
Enjoy with steamed rice.
©Sarika Sarkar Das
Photos by the author
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A teacher, day dreamer, random experimental cook and some hit and miss photography, and at last love to call myself a full time mother.