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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fish Croquette aka Fish Chop

A common snack / starter in almost all Bengali households. The most recent occasion when I made these delicious & easy-to-make hors d'oeuvres was during the Poila Boishakh celebrations last Sunday...again photographs arent what I wanted them to be.....taking pictures just got pushed to the backburner of priorities!
The typical Fish Croquette or Maachher Chop is a mashed and spiced fish fillet in an envelope of mashed potato, rolled into a sphere/oval shaped, coated with bread crumbs and deepfried.

Due to lack of time to make this elaborate enveloped preparation, I cut a step short. The shortcut methodology didnt deter the taste one bit.....if I needed proof of its success, I got it, when I before I knew, the plates of the fishchops were being emptied!! :)

So here goes my recipe :

Ingredients :
#Katla / Rohu fish : 1.5 kg
#Ginger paste : 1 tsp
#Garlic paste : 1tsp
#Onion (finely chopped) : 1 medium
#Bay Leaf : 1
#Whole Garam Masala : 2 elaichi; 2-3 cloves; 1 medium cinnamon stick
#Salt : to taste
#Sugar : a pinch
#Turmeric : a pinch
#Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
#Red chilli powder : 1/2tsp
#Roasted and powdered Cumin : 3/4 tsp
#Green Chillies (finely chopped) - 1 or 2 (depending on spice/heat tolerance factor)
#Oil : 2 tbsp & 250ml for deep frying
#Potatoes : 5-6 medium to large potatoes - boiled and mashed
#Arrowroot powder / Cornflour - 3-4 tbsp
#Bread crumbs : 2 cups OR Bread Slices (stale ones preferred) - 5-6 nos. (see below to check out how to prepare breadcrumbs @ home)

Procedure :
1. Wash the fish pieces. Marinate the fish pieces with ginger-garlic paste, a pinch of salt and turmeric for 5 minutes. Steam the marinated fish for 8-10 minutes. Let it cool.

2. Mash the steamed fish and carefully remove the bones. Mash it to a smooth paste

3. Mix the mashed fish with mashed potatoes, add the desired salt and knead well to ensure no lumps are present.

4. In a wok, heat some oil. Throw in the bay leaf and whole garam masala.

5. As it splutters, add the finely chopped onions and a dash of sugar for taste & caramelisation

6. Fry the onions till brown, but not burnt. Add the turmeric, cumin powder, red chilli paste and cook the masala well to eliminate the raw smell.

7. Add the mix of mashed potatoes + mashed fish. Stir well and mix it uniformly with the onion-masala paste. The mixing should be uniform and the raw taste of potato & fish should be totally eliminated. It takes around 12-15 minutes. Keep stirring to ensure the mashed mix does not burn!

8. Sprinkle some roasted and ground garam masala just before taking the mashed mix off the flame. And again mix well.

9. The fish chop filling is ready for the shaping, moulding and coating to begin.

10. Let it cool. Pinch off 2-2.5" sized lumps and roll them into spheres or circular tablets or any shape you desire! The outer surface should be smooth.

11. In a flat bottomed bowl, mix the arrowroot/cornflour with water to make a paste of thin consistency.

12. In a flat plate, take the bread crumb and make an even layer.

13. Take each shaped fish chop, dip it into the arrowroot/cornflour thin batter, immediately followed by rolling in the bread crumb to form an uniform coating. Repeat for all the chops.

14. In a deep flat bottomed frying pan, take the oil, heat it and fry the chops. Take out the fried chops and place them on a kitchen tissue to soak off the excess oil.

15. Serve with Salads and/or Mustard sauce (Kashundi) or any other sauce of your liking!

Preparing Bread Crumbs @ Home :
-Take the stale breads (Fresh bread contains lots of moisture and hence is not too suitable for making crumbs)
-Place them in a flat tray in the microwave oven. Heat it in microwave for 2 minutes on medium heat. After completion of 2 minutes, keep it in the microwave for another 2-3 minutes for the bread slices to harden.
-Take out the hardened bread slices, break them into small pieces and put them in a mixie/dry grinder.
-Just run it for 5-10 seconds, to get fresh bread crumbs instantly!

The above post, which I had posted just after our Bengali New Years or POILA BOISHAKH, is my entry for
"Sunday Snack: Festive Snack of Navratri and Diwali" hosted by Indrani of APPYAYAN.

For us Bongs,
Fish Croquette aka Maachher Chop is an all time favourite and not restricted to any particular festival or ritual. And foodies that we are, these Autumn festivities which are so intrinsic to our being is the perfect time to enjoy and savour all the delicious savouries!

The logo for the event is ...


kalpana said...

I would love this with hot sauce! looks yummy! :)

hey, I have passed on a tag and two awards to you.check out my post.:)

SGD said...


HR said...

Fish chop bhetki macher hoy to?

SGD said...

@HR-Bhetki is a must for Fish Fry. Kintu for fish chop, Rohu, Katla, Bhetki...anything may be used!

Sharmila said...

How did I miss this? I get to have authentic Bengali fish chop at the stalls during Durga puja. Your version seems so good SGD. Aha ... kasundir songe jome jabe. :-)

Veer said...

lovely recipes....:)


SGD said...

@Sharmila - Thanks!! :)

@Veer - Thanks so much.
And welcome to my blog!