There’s nothing as delightful as having a house full of guests on a lazy Sunday morning. The tea kettle is perennially singing on the stove, conversations flow, old memories, sepia photographs, distant cousins, time comes to a stand-still.
And then the big Bengali brunch, the whole nine yards, shukto, dal, bhajas, veggies, of course fish, chicken or lamb, chutney, mishti doi and sweets.
I first cooked tel pona for one of these leisurely lunches and it met with roaring success. Quintessentially Bengali, the fish is slow cooked in a mustard-curd paste and finished with a dollop of coconut milk.
Don’t be alarmed by the name, the dish doesn’t float in a sea of oil. Try it, you shall not be disappointed 🙂
Tel pona. Quintessentially Bengali, the fish is slow cooked in a mustard-curd paste and finished with a dollop of coconut milk.
- 8 pieces of katla (or rohu) fish
- 4 tbsps mustard paste (Use an equal mix of yellow and black seeds. Add to the seeds, one green chilli, a pinch of turmeric and a couple of rice grains. Blend to a paste with two tablespoons of water.)
- 1 large tomato pureed
- 1/2 cup curd whipped
- 200 ml thick coconut milk
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp red chilli powder
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- 4 - 5 green chillies slit
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt. Heat mustard oil in frying pan and fry the fish to golden brown. Keep the fish aside.
- In a bowl, lightly mix the mustard paste, whipped curd, tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and sugar.
- Reheat the same oil (as was used to fry the fish), lower the heat and slowly add the above mixture. Allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer.
- Add the fried fish slices. Cover and cook on low heat till the fish is tender.
- Now add the coconut milk slowly while stirring continuously. Add the green chilies and salt if required.
- Continue cooking on a low flame till the gravy thickens. Serve hot.