Sunday, 6 October 2013

Choppy affair

What's a Bengali festival without Bangali's legendary chop-cutlet. So here's another family recipe of my favourite machher chop. 

This one makes me very nostalgic. As a child I would wait for the day in the week when machher chop would be made. Usually they made it on Fridays. Ours was (is) a big joint family and exactly two pieces and no more were made for each member, Ponchu Nona (the cook, I mentioned him in a previous post) wouldn't make an extra, except for me. I always got 3. 

Ponchu Nona is long gone and nowadays machher chop is no longer a weekly ritual. It's a special treat. My aunt is an awesome cook and makes great chop-cutlet and the kind, and she makes beautiful machher chop too, but not quite like the ones I had in my childhood. So I took things in my hand. And after many trials (and errors) I have been able to recreate that machher chop – same taste, texture and aroma. And now everyone looks to me hen they are in the mood for machher chop. 

Now this version is nothing like the biye bari (wedding feasts) version. Those are tasty too but there's too little fish in them. And they are too hot and too rich. But they are tasty nonetheless. This one however, has a paper thin crust, is spicy and sweet with bursts of tangy sweetness from raisins. Make them for snacks or for lunch, as an entrée. 

Machher chop (Fish chop)


Rohu fish - 1/2 kilo
Boiled potatoes - 5-6 medium sized 
Chopped onion - 3/4 cup packed
Ginger paste - 1 1/2  tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander - 1 1/2 cup packed
Raisins - 50 gms
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Roasted cumin powder (roasted with a couple some dry red chillies and ground) - 3 tbsp ) heaped.
Salt to taste
Sugar - 2 tbsp (I like the it hot and sweet, you could alter the amount of sugar according to taste)
2 eggs
Breadcrumbs - 1 cup
Oil for deep frying


Deep fry the pieces of wish, remove skin and de-bone to get a flaky mince  of fish. Do not literally mince the fish though.

Mash the potatoes with little salt and keep.

Now heat oil in a kadhai, add the onions and fry till they are soft and begin to get colour, preferably on low heat.

Add the ginger paste followed by the garlic and fry. Then add the fish and fry well. Now one by one add the spices — chilli powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, salt and sugar and on medium flame keep stir frying the mix. Be careful it doesn't stick to the bottom of the kadhai. (When you add salt remember you have salt in the potatoes too.)

Add raisins and coriander leaves at this point. Mix well and toss in the potato mash. Combine well but make sure it doesn't become too pasty. It should be a slightly oily, brown, textured mash. remove from heat and cool.

Once cool, make egg-like chop. Beat egg in a bowl. Dip you chops in it, roll in breadcrumbs. Keep aside for about 15 minutes. And then deep fry them. 

Serve the crisp machher chop with Kashundi and ketchup.

You know how I like it, between bread or with steamed rice even. 

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