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Koi Phulkopi

Koi Phulkopi (Climbing Perch with Cauliflower)

Maa's Koi Phulkopi. A song of the earth and the river. Minimal spices. No fuss. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali, Indian


  • 4 koi maach or climbing perch fish
  • 10-12 medium sized cauliflower florets
  • 10-12 badis (sun-dried lentil dumplings)
  • 1 onion coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 3-4 green chilies slit
  • 1 tsp turemeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • salt to taste


  • Smear the cauliflower florets with a pinch of turmeric and salt.
  • Marinate the koi maach with a little turmeric powder and salt.
  • Dissolve the fennel powder and cumin powder in a little water to form a smooth paste.
  • Heat ½ tbsp oil in a pan, fry the badis till golden brown. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
  • Add another 1 tbsp oil to the pan, fry the cauliflower florets till they catch a tinge of light golden brown and become slightly tender. Drain from oil, keep aside on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a pan, shallow fry the koi maach. Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel.
  • Into the same oil, throw in the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaves, allow the spices to splutter.
  • Stir in the coarsely ground onion. Cook over a medium flame till the onions are cooked and the raw smell of onions is no longer there.
  • Add the ginger paste, cumin-fennel powder paste, turmeric powder and salt, saute till oil starts to release from the masala.
  • Throw in the fried cauliflower florets, give it a hearty stir and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add ½ a cup of warm water, cover and cook over a medium flame till the cauliflower florets are just cooked.
  • Carefully place the fish and fried badis in the curry, throw in the green chillies, adjust seasonings, cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.