There’s something romantic about a grey overcast morning.
The sulking clouds.
The drunken gales.
The trees whipped to obsequious submission.
The torrential downpours.
The intoxicating fragrance of the wet earth.
The smudged horizons.
A family of fledgling birds seeking shelter within the mildewed rafters.
The odd toadstool peeping coyly through the verdant green of the garden.
And in the midst of all the theatrics of nature, when my fishmonger calls to inform he’s got some gorgeous pabda in the morning’s consignment from Kolkata and his help shall deliver the fish, gutted and cleaned, to my place, need I say I am smiling like a Cheshire Cat !!!!
The pabda arrives.
And now I potter around the kitchen, brewing yet another cup of Darjeeling, praying peace return to the hills, (there’s no space for violence in the bliss of paradise), all the while wondering what to do with the beautiful shimmering-silver pabda with their proud yet-to-be-trimmed whiskers !!!
I settle for a simple Doodh Pabda, Maa’s recipe, earthy and delectable.
So a Doodh Pabda it is for lunch this rain-blessed morning. Gorgeous pabda. Delectable sun-dried boris. A splutter of kalonji. A generous splash of pristine milk. The fierce rage of green chillies. The aroma of grated ginger. Divine !!!
And if you do love your pabda as much as I do, my kumro pabda is yet another must-try, guaranteed to transport you to food heaven !!!
Doodh Pabda (Pabda with Milk)
- 3-4 pabda fish
- 8-10 fried boris (dried lentil dumplings)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp kalonji or nigella seeds
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp green chili paste
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 3-4 green chilies slit
- few fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp mustard oil
- salt to taste
- Marinate the fish with salt, a few drops of mustard oil and a pinch of turmeric powder, keep aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in the pan, shallow fry the fish till light brown. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
- To the same pan, throw in the kalonji and 2-3 green chilies. Allow them to splutter.
- Add the ginger paste, green chili paste, turmeric powder and salt. Cook till oil starts to release from the masala.
- Add 1/4 cup of warm water, lower the heat and gently pour in the milk while stirring continuously. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the fried fish carefully, throw in the fried boris and cook for another 5-6 odd minutes till the gravy thickens a bit.
- Finish with the chopped coriander leaves and a generous drizzle of mustard oil. Serve hot.