Oriyarasoi is on twitter !

Showing posts with label mudhi ghanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mudhi ghanta. Show all posts

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A (Fish) Bone Of Contention and Some Delicious Resolutions

Though I have been rather fond of eating fish right from my childhood days, the 'fish head' was one part of the anatomy that was strictly off limits for me. I always found it too intimidating and it was much later (sometime in my mid twenties) that I gathered the courage (plus some accompanying good sense) to attempt a go at it. And it was made possible only because some good Samaritan introduced me to a fish head curry without giving away the secret ingredient. Most of them are quite delicious and with a multitude of ingredients, it is tough to pick out the fish unless one encounters the bony pieces.

But in most Odia homes, the head of the family and the fish head are considered to be a match made in heaven. The uncanny Odia folks do know a thing or two about good (read nutritious) food. While many communities discard the fish head or dress it up to a such an extent that whatever remains is barely a few pieces of bone joined together by a bit of cartilage. The Odia people however place a lot of stress on preserving every possible bit of the fish head which they believe to be highly nutritious. And regular consumption is rumored to make a person intelligent. Although the last statement is highly debatable, the fish head contains high levels of Vitamin A, Omega 3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and calcium. No wonder the head of the family, who is often the one making the highest contribution to the household kitty, stakes a n undisputed claim to it.

But during the community feasts, there would have been too many claimants on this bounty. Any kind of refusal could only lead to slighted egos and fights. Hence, some devious chef might have come up with this idea to appease everyone's egos and palates. Instead of dunking the fish heads into the gravy, they were cooked with an assortment of vegetables, leafy greens or even lentils. Not only a new non-vegetarian dish was added to the menu, it was also extremely delicious . And it also spared me the horror of looking into those lifeless eyes. Or the guilt of tossing it into the waste.

Here is a list of those delectable 'Fish Head' preparations that grace Odia cuisine. These are the more common ones  -

1. Fish Head cooked with Malabar spinach and other vegetables ( Poi Chenchedda ) -

Read recipe HERE.

2. Fish Head cooked with Cabbage (Bandha Kobi Chenchedda ) -

Read recipe HERE.

3. Fish head cooked with lentil dumplings (badi), potatoes and mustard paste
 ( Maccha Munda Besara ) -

Read recipe HERE.

4. Fish head cooked with split Bengal gram and few vegetables (Mudhi Ghanta) -

Read recipe HERE.

5. Fish Head cooked with a medley of seasonal vegetables (Maccha Mahura) -

Read recipe HERE.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mudhi Ghanta with Dried Shrimps

Cooking Time Required : 25-30 mins
Cost of preparation: 40-45 rupees

Ingredients: Channa dal ( 1 cup ), tomato ( 2 nos, medium ), potato ( 1 no, medium ), brinjal ( cut into small pieces, 1 cup ), pumpkin ( cut into small pieces, 1 cup ), grated ginger ( 1 tsp ), ginger garlic paste ( 1 tbs ), onion ( 1 medium ), cinnamon stick ( 1 inch long ), cardamon ( 2 nos ), bay leaf ( 2 nos), cumin seeds ( 1/2 tsp), coriander seeds ( 1 1/2 tsp), red chilli ( 5 nos), turmeric (1/4 tsp), sukhua/dried shrimps ( 1 cup ), mustard oil ( 6-7 tsp ), cumin seeds for tempering ( 1/3 tsp ), mustard seeds for tempering ( 1/4 tsp), salt.

Preparation: Wash and soak the channa dal for 2-3 hours.

Dry roast the cinnamon, cardamon, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, 1 bay leaf and red
chilli ( 2 nos ).

Grind the onion along with the roasted spices into a thick & smooth paste.

Chop the tomato & potato into small pieces.

Soak the shrimp for 10 mins. Wash throughly and drain all water.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add the washed shrimp and fry till it turns reddish.

Add the pumpkin and brinjal pieces and fry till they turn soft. Remove from pan and
keep aside.

Cook the soaked channa dal with a little water, salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. Keep aside.

Heat 5 tsp oil in a wok. Add the potato pieces, fry for 3-4 mins and remove from wok.

Add the red chillis, bay leaf, mustard and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter and then add a little turmeric ( for color ).

Add grated ginger and follow with the masala paste after 30 secs. Add ginger garlic
paste along with a little salt after 3 mins. Cook the masala for 5 mins.

Add the chopped tomato and cook for 5 mins for it to soften. Add the crushed fish,
fried potatoes and boiled channa dal. Mix well and cook for 3 mins.

Add 1 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add more salt if required. Simmer for 5-6 mins.

Serve hot with rice/rotis.

Note: This recipe is usually prepared with Rohu/Mirkali/Bhakura head and tail. Tried
out a variation with dried shrimps and loved it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mudhi Ghanta ( Fish Head cooked with Lentil and select Vegetables )

Much before chicken became the meat of choice (though convenience is more appropriate word), fish was a regular feature in most Odia housholds. Except for the Sundays which were reserved for mutton, non-vegetarian preparations consisted of a variety of fish recipes. While fish is mostly cooked on it's own, the fish head is often prepared with lentils and/or select vegetables. Maccha Ghanta, Maccha Mahura and Mudhi Ghanta are example of such dishes.

Mudhi Ghanta used to a regular at weddings in the coastal districts of Odisha much like the Potolo Rasa, Aau/Ambada Khatta, Nadia Raee and Chenna Tarkari.

Read on for the recipe -

Cooking Time Required : 35 mins


  • 1 cup Channa dal, 
  • 1 large tomato 
  • 1 medium potato (cut into cubes)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin cubes 
  • 2-3 potolo/pointed gourd ( peel and cut each into 3 pieces )
  • 1 fried fish head 
  • 1 fried fish tail (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/3 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 5-6 tsp mustard oil ( can use any vegetable oil )

For the masala paste -

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 7-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamom,
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 nos bay leaf, 
  • 2-3 dry red chilli 

Preparation: Wash and soak the channa dal for 2-3 hours.

Grind the onion, ginger and garlic along with the spices (except bay leaf) into a smooth paste.

Cooking: Cook the soaked channa dal with a little water, salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker for 1-2 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Heat 2 tsp oil in the wok. Add the potato, pumpkin and pointed gourd. Sprinkle some salt. Fry for 4-5 mins.

Transfer the fried vegetables into the pressure cooker. Cook for 1 whistle on a high flame along with dal. Keep aside.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the same wok. Add the fish and crush it with a spatula. Fry on medium high till it turns reddish. Remove and keep aside.

Heat remaining oil in the wok. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf.

Allow seeds to crackle and then add a little turmeric ( for color ). Take care not to burn it.

Add the masala paste. Cook the masala for 5-6 mins till raw smell goes away.

Add the chopped tomato and cook for another 5 mins for it to soften. Add the boiled channa dal and veggies. Mix well and cook for 3 mins.

Add 1/2-1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add more salt if required. Simmer for 5-6 mins or till you get the desired consistency.

Finally add the fried and crushed fish pieces . Mix well and remove from the flame.

Serve hot with dal-rice/rotis.

Featured Post

Green Papaya Laddoos (SugarFree recipe)

Mom is undoubtedly the dessert specialist at home. God forbid, if she takes to blogging, she could give a lot of folks a run for their mone...