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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pish pash


Living in the Pacific Northwest I am used to rain. Unlike others I never grow tired of it. After a spell of hectic summer schedule I loved when rain decided to return to our evergreen state. The parched trees and my mind welcomed it. I decided to just soak it in and be a bit lazy. But I also wanted to provide something warm for everyone’s plate. Pish pash works wonders in these scenarios. It’s an Anglo-Indian one pot meal, where rice is cooked with Indian whole spices, meat, veggies and potatoes. It is primarily flavored with Ginger.

As the name suggests it’s a medley and you can play with what you decide to put in it, chicken works equally well as mutton or goat meat.


  • 1 cup long grain rice washed and drained
  • 500 gm. medium sized mutton pieces on bone
  • 1 onion cut into medium sized chunks
  • 2 medium sized potato cut into quarters
  • 2 cm. square of ginger cut into thin square slices
  • 1/2 cup green peas (I used frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. refined oil
  • For tempering
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1” cinnamon stick
    • 2 green cardamom pods
    • 2 cloves
  • For garnishing
    • 1 medium sized onion thinly sliced
    • 8-10 cloves garlic cut into round slices
    • 5-6 dry red chilies


Heat oil and add onion chunks and potato pieces to it. Sauté on medium heat for two to three minutes and then remove them and keep aside.

To the same oil add ingredients listed under tempering. When the spices starts sizzling add mutton pieces to it and sear the for a minute or two. Add salt and 4 cups of water. Pressure cook till the meat is tender. When the pressure releases on its own remove the lid.

Add washed and drain rice to it along with the sautéed onion and potato. Season with salt. Add enough water so that there is 5 fingers of water left above the rice mixture level. Mix well and cook it covered on medium heat till the rice is cooked and mushy.

By this time heat butter in a pan and fry the red chilies and garlic slices till they turn crispy. Remove them on a paper towel. Use the remaining butter to crisp fry the onion slices.

Take a ladle full of pish pash and top it up with the crispy fried red chilies, onion and garlic. Best enjoyed on a lazy rainy night. 



Unknown said...

Is that a bangla dish Som? Unique name and recipe..wud love to try it someday

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

Its not a traditional Bong dish. Since Kolkata was the British Capital for a very long time we have adopted some of their recipes and modified them according to our palate. It is one of those.

Anonymous said...

Somtapa di , when we need to add those green peas ?

Anonymous said...

Somtapa di.. just fatafati hoyechhe khete :) :) awesome.... :) :) -- dithi

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

@Dithi, thank u.

Unknown said...

Hi Somtapa have just googled "pish pash" as I remember eating it at Dowhill boarding school way back in 1949!!!I actually thought it was a slang term for something else! Amazing these days to be able to google most anything! It's exactly as I remember it. Cheers Linda

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

@Linda, you have really made my day.

Unknown said...

This recipe is for how many people?

Somtapa Brahmachari said...

@Debolina, this serves 4-5 people with moderate serving size..

Pragya said...

Grew up eating Pish pash as a toddler and still love it!
This recipe is good and authentic but one can substitute chicken for mutton and add carrots as well.However, I remember a dash of milk and some butter being added to the dish towards the end as well and no garlic or chillies were used for garnishing.Probably there are variations to the dish,however green slit chillies can be added to the pish pash for adults.
We grew up eating Anglo Indian food since my father's days in the 1930's at Calcutta and am glad we can still find some recipes online.
Other 'bland & soft cooked' meals I remember are-chicken / fish mould,fish and spinach bake,chicken/veg aspic,chicken cream with button mushrooms and of course brown & white stews!Would love to see these featured

Unknown said...

My father came from India in 1946 and although he couldn't cook - he taught my mother how to cook Indian food; she is now 95 (on Saturday) - and guess what, she is having pish pash - I hope it will bring back memories for her..

Ellen Grace said...

My nanny used to make pish pash for me when I was a child, and when I was ill. She used bay leaves I think, and there was always milk and butter. So happy to see this here as I want to make it for my granddaughter.

Anonymous said...

When do you put in the ginger and the peas?