Muri Ghonto has remained with me, and it will forever. We bongs anyway love our fish and many of us take a special liking for the fish head. Including me. I must tell you, it needs a great amount of practice to master the art of eating the fish head. Any Bengali reading this will know what I am speaking about. From our childhood days we have been taught to eat the fish head with flair.
Machcher Mathar Muri Ghonto is a truly authentic Bengali dish made with rice and fried fish head (known as muri or machher matha in Bengali). We use the fish heads of either rui or katla and a bigger size would definitely give you a better taste.
Gobindo Bhog rice is not available anywhere outside Bengal. Hence one can substitute it with Basmati rice. There wouldn’t be much of a difference.
Okay now, I must also brag a bit about this dish. Honestly, you have missed something in life if you haven’t eaten Muri Ghonto. I am serious. This flavourful side dish can sweep me off my feet every time I eat it. This is supposedly a side dish, but I have it by itself too. Especially when it’s made with rice. Else serve it with steamed rice for lunch and see how heavenly it tastes.
Talking about the variations, Muri Ghonto can be cooked with cabbage and other vegetables too. It’s like every different Bengali household has a slightly different way of cooking it. Every Bengali grandmother has passed on a little different version of Muri Ghonto, you can say. Another thing to note is the proportion of rice and fish heads. It alters according to individual taste.
- Fish Head, Rui or Katla, 1 no.
- Gobindo Bhog Rice, 50 gm
- Potaoes, medium sized, 2 nos., peeled and cuto into quarters
- Onion paste of 1 onion
- Tomato purée of 1 tomato
- Ginger + Garlic + Green Chilli paste, 1 tbsp.
- Green chilies, slit, 2 nos.
- Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tsp.
- Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.
- Garam masala powder, 1/4 tsp.
- Bay leaf, 1 no,
- Cumin seeds, 1 tsp.
- Mustard Oil
- Sugar 1/2 tsp.
- Ghee 1 tbsp.
- Salt as per taste
- Clean and wash rice. Keep aside.
- Also clean and wash the fish head. Smear a bit of turmeric powder and salt. Heat about 2 tbsp. of mustard oil and fry the fish head till slightly brown in colour. Remove.
- Smear some turmeric powder and salt on the cut potato pieces. Fry them in the same oil till they change into slightly brown colour. Remove and keep aside.
- Add 2 tbsp. mustard oil. Put the bay leaf and cumin seeds. Once they crackle add the onion paste and fry for about a minute.
- Add the ginger+garlic+green chilli paste and sauté for another minute or so. Add the puréed tomato and cook for one more minute.
- Add turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and sugar. Mix well. Add rice and mix well so that every grain of rice is coated nicely. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the fried potato pieces and fish head. Cook for 2 minutes. Add a cup of warm water. Adjust salt. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or till done.
- Lastly, add garam masala powder, ghee and slit green chillies. Serve hot.