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Monday, June 16, 2014

Dhania Maachie (Fish in Cilantro Sauce)


My experiment using local fresh fish for traditional Indian recipes continues with this recipe. Commonly Dhania Maachie is made with fresh water small fishes like Khoira, Puti in India. However, my supply of those are restricted to the frozen section in the local Bangladeshi store and I suspect they were caught and packaged sometime in the last century. In this version I used striped bass and it turned out pretty well.


  • 4 medium sized fish steaks (I used wild striped Bass)
  • 1 large tomato roughly chopped
  • 1 medium bunch of cilantro
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 pinch nigella seeds (Kalojeera)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper corn
  • 1 green chili ( quantity can be changed depending on your heat tolerance level)
  • 2 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


Smear fish steaks with 1 tbsp. turmeric powder and salt. Keep it aside for about fifteen minutes.

Heat 2tbsp. oil in a frying pan till it smokes. Reduce the heat and fry fish steaks till both sides turn golden. Remove from oil and drain them on a paper towel.

Dry roast pepper corn and nigella seeds for about a minute. Now dry grind them in a grinder. Add cilantro, garlic and green chilies to it. Make a fine paste of them by using minimum water.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and temper it with a pinch of nigella seeds. When the seeds stop spluttering add chopped tomato to it and sauté them on medium hear till they become mushy.

Once you see a fine line of oil separating out from the tomato add the cilantro paste along with a tsp. of turmeric powder to it. Keep sautéing till you find a nice aroma and the raw smell goes away.

Now add half cup of water along with sugar and  salt. Give a nice mix and let it come to a boil. Now gently release the fish steaks into the gravy and let it simmer for few minutes. When you see that the steaks are coated with the spices and the oil has been released you know you are done. Serve with plain hot rice.


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