Macher Matha (fish head), also called as Macher Muro in Bengali can be used in a number of ways in Bengali kitchens. We eat fish from head to toe (here, tail). Almost all the freshwater fishes can be eaten this way and we just know how to make use of the entire fish in various delicious ways. Macher Matha diye Lau Ghonto is an age old Bengali dish and is a hugely popular one. Apart from this dish, Muri Ghinto and Macher Matha diye Bhaja Moong Dal being the other two most popular dishes which use fish head as primary ingredient. All these dishes goes best only with gorom bhat (piping hot rice). And our bhat-ghum (small nap after lunch) after this is just so satisfying…
Ghonto or Ghet is a mishmash often cooked with variety of vegetables, sometimes with a dash of bori (sun-dried lentil dumplings) or sometimes with fish head. It is somewhat similar to, but, not exactly same as Chorchori. While Ghonto is bit more mushy, in Chorchori, the cut vegetables are pretty intact. While in Ghonto the tempering is typically with cumin seed, in Chorchori, panchphoron is used for the same. Also, Ghonto is cooked with one or maximum two vegetables (or one vegetable and the other fish head or so), Chorchori consists of multiple vegetables. Confusing? Not exactly. Once you know the differences well, things are pretty easy to identify.
Macher Matha diye Lau Ghonto is a dry curry wish is served as a main dish with rice. For this dish, all you need is a good bottle gourd and fresh fish head. The more fresh the fish is, the more delectable your Ghonto will be. Simple, soulful and easy to make, this kind of dish is always a hit in my family. Ghonto, Chorchori, Chechki, Dalna, you name it and we love them.
With all said and done, let me now tell you quickly how I make it. Please note that we don’t need additional water to cook this dish as bottle gourd contains enough water. However, if you need extra water you can add. Please keep some warm water handy in case you need. Do give this recipe a try and I am sure you gonna love it.
- 3.5 cup chopped bottle ground, small cut is must
- 1 big fresh fish head
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 5 green chilli, slitted from middle
- 1 table-spoon grated ginger
- 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1/2 + 1/2)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1 tea-spoon cumin seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dry red chilli
- 4 table-spoon mustard oil (1 + 3)
- salt, according to taste
- Wash and rub the fish head with 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and few pinches of salt. Heat 1 table-spoon oil and fry until brownish. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and temper with cumin seed, bay leaf and dry red chilli. Allow them to splutter.
- Add tomato and bottle gourd.
- Add remaining turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Give a proper mix. Cover and cook until the bottle gourd is almost cooked. Keep checking the moisture level and stir in between.
- Once the bottle gourd is almost cooked, add fish head and mix again. Cover and cook over low flame for another 7 minutes.
- Open the lid and break the head (in case it is not broken yet) with the help of your spatula.
- Stir and cook until the moisture evaporates and the curry gets mushy and dries up.
- Turn off the flame. If you want you can garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Your Macher Matha diye Lau Ghonto is ready to be served now.
As I said earlier, serve this dish with piping hot rice and enjoy and authentic Bengali meal with your loved ones. Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.