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Monday, December 3, 2012

Tel Koi


Based on whom you ask, Koi can turn out to be very different fishes. For us Koi is the climbing perch or Anabas, it is not the fancy oriental Koi.

At the beginning of our stay in the Pacific North West, we managed with the local fish and cooked things like Salmon-er Jhaal. However, there is so much you can manage with.

When my dad came visiting us I hunted around town and located a good Bangladeshi fish-store. On my first visit I found some Koi and decided to make the authentic Bengali Tel Koi in all its mustard oil glory.

If you buy one of those frozen Koi’s, make sure that it is indeed void of scales. In particular check the head and neck area and take care to remove all remaining scales. In my first attempt I didn’t do it and had to rename the dish to “aash koi” :)


  1. 4 pieces Koi fish washed and cleaned
  2. 1tbsp. ginger paste
  3. 1tsp. turmeric powder
  4. 1tbsp. chili powder
  5. 1/2tsp. cumin powder
  6. 1tsp. coriander powder
  7. 2tbsp. plain yogurt
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 4-5 green chilies
  10. 1tsp. sugar
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Mustard oil


Rub turmeric powder and salt to the fish and keep it marinated for 15 minutes. In a wok heat enough mustard oil and shallow fry the fishes one by one. remove with a slotted spoon and keep them aside.

In a small mixing bowl make mix turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin and coriander powder with ginger paste and little water and keep it ready.

Now temper the same oil with bay leaves and green chilies. Add the paste paste to it and keep sautéing till oil seeps out of masala. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down  a little.

In the mean time, beat 2tbsp. yogurt and 1tsp. sugar with a fork. Once you are sure that the yogurt mixture is lump free add and mix it well with the fried spices. Turn the heat on to low and cook for a while.

Add a cup of water to it and season with salt. Let the gravy come to a boil. Now gently release the fried fishes one at a time in the gravy. Throw some more green chilies in it. Allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes before you turn them over. Cook for another 2 minutes and turn off the heat.

Goes great with white rice.

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