Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bata Mach Sorse Diye – Fish in mustard gravy

Not that we can visit the fish market on a daily basis. Gone are the days when Baba went to get fresh fish early morning. With the macher jhola (the home stitched cotton bag) in hand he would walk down a short distance to buy fish.

He met his friends there, got time to exchange words and keep contact with them. Now people hardly have time for one’s own self. Everyone is so busy. Fresh hauls came to the daily fish market from the early morning fishing in the rivers and local lakes and ponds. Different varieties of fishes came in the bags and we enjoyed the taste when our Thakur (not God but our cook who we called Thakur) with Ma’s instruction cooked tasty dishes.

The bata mach (fish) is the kind we find in lakes and ponds. It is tasty small fish variety, no this is not very small like the Punti or Maurala, but bigger. Look at some fried ones here.

In mustard sauce this fish tastes very good. Let me tell you how I cooked it.

Bata Mach: 6 whole cleaned, washed and fried lightly after a rub with salt and haldi powder.

Mustard seeds: 2 tbsps

Green chillies: 3 I used 3 as these chillies were quite hot and spicy

Tomatoes: 4 finely chopped

Haldi powder: ½ tsp

Salt: to taste

Sugar: the quantity that suits your taste buds.

Mustard oil for frying the fish and cooking the gravy.

In my kitchen:

I washed the fish that had come dressed from the market.

Heated mustard oil in a wok (kadhai) and fried the fish and kept them aside.

Put the mustard seeds, green chillies and a pinch of salt in the grinding jar and made a paste.

With very little oil, about 2tsp in the same kadhai threw in the tomatoes. Cooked over low heat till the juices came out breaking down the flesh completely.

Once done added the mustard paste and added more water enough to boil and reduce to semi-thick gravy.

Then added salt and sugar and let the gravy cook over high flame.

Once it started to thicken, dropped in the fried fishes and cooked for a minute before switching off the flame.

Served it with rice and dal (which is a must with bhaat in our home).

My Ma’s tip for sores bata. While grinding sores on the seel nora (grinding stone) or in the mixie, add a pinch of salt which keeps away the bitterness of the sosrse (mustard seeds). She also adds green chillies as red chillies can cause stomach problems. I’ve been sticking to her advice.


  1. This is looking lovely. A favourite at home.

  2. Fish looks fresh and delicious. Great photo too.

  3. I know what you mean. Times have changed and its with a sigh that I remember my childhood when going to the market was a fun experience.. bumping into friends or neighbours. Loved the fish curry.. looks great.

  4. I was thinking the other day that dint get to see your post for quite some time. bata looks lovely and thats a fav at our home too. am also gonna post another small fish curry Khayra.

  5. Bata maach sorse diye ... aha ... gorom bhaater shonge jome jabe Gouridi! :-)

  6. This was one of my fav before wedding. I can hog rice with this side dish like ...........he he he.After wedding pure veg so :-(

  7. Dear Didibhai
    Darun...jeev-e jal, kintu kichhui korte parchhina ei deshe.
    The bitterness comes from grinding the skin and keep it standing. There is some enzymatic reaction . The best way is, never to grind more than twice or fine grind the mustrad on a shil NoDa/mixi. Then it must be immediately filtered off and skin separated.
    If coarse paste is to be used with skin ( which I do mostly) then the paste must not be kept aside for long time. It must be put to cooking immediatle after grinding .
    I use Korean mustard powder which is ground after de-husking and sold in packs.
    In all cases and generally mustard paste should not be kept standing to avoid bitterness.

  8. Arundhuti, thanks for being here with your comment.

  9. Hi Palatable, feel good for your appreciation and thanks.

  10. Nostalgia, memories bring pleasant thoughts which we can encash on whenever we want...and

  11. Sayantani, I was absent from this spot for quite sometime. Bata is fav of many Bongs. Waiting to read your post on small fish curry.
    Thanks for the read.

  12. Sharmila, macher sathe garam bhat khoob bhalo lage. Amar bata mach kete khoob bhalo lage. Ami ar ekta bata macher preparation post korbo.


  13. Subhashini, so you have gave up no-veg food...after marriage. Is your husband and in-laws pure vegetarians or left it out of your own choice? Nice to see you here. Thanks for the read and comment.

  14. Ushnishda, khoob kharap lagche sune bideshe nijer mato kore jachena. Tobe ranna badi ekhoner mato bando naki?
    Sorsher bishoi informationtar jonno thank you.
    Missing your write-ups:-)

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