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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Doi Mach (Fish in Yogurt Sauce)


The great thing about having an IP phone (in this particular case vonage) is that I don’t miss much of what’s going on with my family thousands of miles away. Right now a young relative is getting married. In a bong marriage there is more discussion around what’s served at the banquet than about the bride and groom.

When we got married folks were tired of eating the same ‘ol bong food they had each day and the banquet menu started taking inspiration from across the country. Biriyani and Kebabs ruled. Now people are getting back to their roots. Caterers provided a bunch of samples and I heard that their doi-mach (yogurt-fish) has struck a chord. Though I cannot participate in the sampling, nothing stops me from having some sumptous doi-mach at home.

Doi-mach can be made with a variety of fresh water carps like Rohu and Catla. Since I get a ready supply of the former, I used rohu here.


  1. 4 pieces of rohu OR catla cut into steak size pieces
  2. 1/2 cup thick yogurt
  3. 1 medium onion ( make a fine paste of half of the onion and chop the rest)
  4. 1 tsp. ginger paste
  5. 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp. chili powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. Bengali garam masala powder
  8. 2,3 bay leaves (tejpatta)
  9. Whole garam masala (made of the following)
    1. 1" cinnamon
    2. 2,3 green cardamom
    3. 5,6 cloves
  10. Salt
  11. Sugar
  12. 1 tbsp. ghee ( clarified butter)
  13. Mustard oil


Wash fish pieces and rub half of the turmeric powder and salt over it.

In a bowl mix yogurt with ginger paste, onion paste turmeric powder and chili powder.

Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish steaks for a very little time till the raw color of the fish goes away. Remove and keep aside.


Temper the oil with 1 tsp. of sugar, bay leaf and coarsely pound whole garam masala. Add chopped onion and fry them on medium high heat till it becomes translucent. Turn off the heat and let it cool down a little before you add yogurt mixture to it. This way you can avoid the yogurt from curdling.

Sauté the masala till the raw smell of onion and ginger goes away. Season with salt and gently slide fried fish steaks into it. Let it simmer till the gravy thickens. The gravy won't be runny rather it will have a thick consistency. Finish it off with a spoonful of ghee and garam masala powder.

Serve with pulao or hot basmati rice.


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