No love is greater than the love for food and to a Bengali like me, food is synonymous to fish 🙂 Valentine’s Day is here and to celebrate this day of love, I can’t think of anything else than fish. When the world is celebrating this day with cakes, cookies and sweets, we (me and my valentine), prefer it to be with Maach-Bhat (fish and rice) – such mach pagol (fish loving) Bengalis we are.
We have a trip planned for coming days and we are starting on Valentine’s Day itself. Thus, I keep busy with washing cloths, ironing them and packing – hardly getting time to focus on cooking. But yes, I just can’t let go the Valentine’s Day without any celebration. Today morning, as we went to the supermarket, I selected some items for baking and instantly my valentine asked me, “what are you going to bake?”. I replied, “ofcourse, something for pre-valentine celebration”. He smiled and said, “if you are cooking for me exclusively, I would prefer to eat something special with mach (fish) rather than cakes and cookies”. I changed my plan instantly and on the way home, we stopped at the local fish stall and purchased jumbo sized freshly cut Katla Mach. I knew what I am going to make with it.
The season of komola aka orange has come to an end, but, there are still few sweet oranges I have in stock. I made the best use of them and made this super delectable Komola Katla – a spicy and tangy fish curry that creates a blast of flavours inside the mouth. The fish gets slowly cooked in spices mixed with a dash of sweet orange juice and a few segments of orange – it tastes unbelievably tasty 🙂 There can’t be anything more romantic than this.
Also, the heart shape of the big Katla piece in red creamy gravy makes my heart go gaga over it. Love is in the air and so on my plate 🙂 Good food and pure love are the two things that make life worthy – lucky me, I have both. With that said, here is the recipe of this lovely Bengali dish called Komola Katla. Maa prepares it with no onion and no garlic, but, I used both and the outcome is super tasty.
- 6 large pieces of Katla
- 1.5 cup (300 ml approx) cup orange juice
- 1 large onion, roughly cut
- 7 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger, roughly cut
- 5 green chillies, roughly cut
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 7 orange segments (open the sealed parts)
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin seeds
- 1.5 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1 + 1/2)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon garam masala powder
- 6 table-spoon mustard oil (3 + 3)
- 2 cup warm water
- salt, according to taste
- Rub the fish pieces with 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat 3 table-spoon oil in a pan and shallow fry the pieces. Remove and keep aside.
- Make a fine paste of onion, garlic, ginger and green chillies together and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.
- Add onion mixture paste and sautè until the paste turns light golden and becomes thicker.
- Now, add remaining turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli and Kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and chopped tomato. Stir until the tomato turns completely blended.
- Add warm water and give a quick mix. Cover the lid and bring it to boil.
- Now, add the fish pieces and mix well with the gravy. Cover the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium flame until the fish is well cooked.
- Open the lid and lower the flame. Add orange segments and orange juice. Give a quick mix.
- Cover the lid again and cook for another 5 minutes on low flame. You should not cook for longer time once you add the orange juice.
- Open the lid and add garam masala powder. Give a quick mix and turn off the flame.
- The Komola Katla is ready to be served now.
This should be served hot and should not be reheated again and again as the orange juice loses its flavour this way. Serve it hot with piping hot rice and squeeze some lime juice while eating. Komola Katla is utterly romantic in taste and can be a very good choice for your Valentine’s Day lunch at home.
Do try this romantic dish and let me know in comments about how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks. Happy Valentine’s Day in advance!