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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poee Chenccheda

'Poee Chenchedda' or Malabar spinach cooked with assorted vegetables and fish head is quite a delicacy. This Odia dish is low on spices and depends on the medley of the starkly different ingredients for a unique taste experience. Interestingly, for people who do not consume non-veg, malabar spinach is considered as 'amisha' or 'non-veg'. While I am not sure about the reason behind this classification, I do love this curry even without the addition of the fish head.

Cooking Time Required : 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin cubes
  • 2-3 parval/potola/pointed gourd 
  • 1/4 cup brinjal cubes 
  • 100 gm Malabar spinach/poee
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1/2 cup ridge gourd cubes
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 8-9 pods garlic
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1-2 cloves
  • cumin seeds ( 1/3 tsp), 
  • red chilli ( 2-3 nos)
  • turmeric (1/5 tsp)
  • 1 large fish head (Bhakura maccha munda)
  • 4-5 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste

Preparation: Wash the vegetable and cut into large sized pieces. Keep aside

Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric for about 5 minutes.

Grind the onion, garlic, ginger, 1-2 red chilis, cardamon, cloves and cinnamon into a thick paste.

Cut the tomato into small pieces . Remove the tomato seeds.

Cooking: Heat oil in a large wok. Add the fish and fry till it turns reddish. Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add the red chillis and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter and then add masala the paste and cook till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 mins.

Add all the vegetables except the poee leaves. Allow the vegetables to be half-cooked and then add the poee leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes and then add the crushed fish head. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-6 minutes till the fish mixes thoroughly with the vegetables and the water disappears.

For folks who like the crispiness of the fish head, add the crushed pieces just before switching off the flame.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

The 'without fish head' version for vegetarian folks -

Note: Do not add any extra water. The vegetables need to be cooked in their own juices.


  1. Dear AOF ( I need a name to address you ha ha )
    This recipe is bit different than the one i make. I dont add tomato or garam masala. Thats what I had learnt decades back.
    But I can smell this chhinchaDa with the aroma of bit of darchini and aleicha will be definitely great. Will try as soon as I get hold of a good fish head.
    Thanks for sharing

  2. A BIG Hello from Malaysia...

    Thanks for dropping by at my cyberhome and leaving your comments. ;)

    Glad to know U here!

    Unique dish, never had such before...:)


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