The Bengali name is well known and it is a very common ideal pairing with bhaat (rice) and daal (lentils) but very rarely, Mourala Mach becomes a main star of any meal. Whenever there is a party or house guests, there is always a discussion point on the starters to go with the alcohol. In the past, we have made various exotic (by our standards) dishes but then there are days, when you have close friends and you just want to relax and not put in much of an effort.
We had Mourala machher peyaji at 6 Ballygunge place the first time. The peyaji in itself is a very popular deep fried evening snack in a Bong household. Peyaji or peyaj ke pakode or onion fritters is equally popular in other parts of the country. I still remember, during my stay in Pune and Mumbai, any visit to Lonavala would always be incomplete without the Kanda Pakoda or the onion fritters and the corn pakodas. During monsoon, a steaming cup of chai and the pakodas with sengdani (crushed peanuts and garlic) powder invokes a different feeling. Coming back to Kolkata, Flurys serve onion rings in a tall wooden pole; of course these are the American version of our peyaji made with a batter of flour, corn flour and eggs.
Mourala machher peyaji is a signature 6 Ballygunge Place dish, where one gets the flavour of both the onion and the fish together. With a batter of bengal gram flour, this is an all season snack and goes brilliantly with alcohol. Next time you want to go for a quick and hassle free starter, go for this and do let us know how you liked it.
Mourala Machher Peyaji
- 200 gms mourala mach small ones, 2 - 3 inches long
- 2 nos medium sized onions
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tbsp Rice flour
- 7 tbsp Besan or Bengal Gram Flour
- 50 ml water
- Salt To Taste
- White Oil for Deep Frying
- 1/2 tsp black salt and pepper for garnish
- 1 lemon for garnish
- Clean the fish thoroughly and pat it dry.
- Cut the onions into long slices.
- In a bowl, mix the fish and the onion slices. Add the rest of the ingredients.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil. Take a tsp of the hot oil and add to the fish. This keeps the crunch of the fish.
- While adding the water to the batter, keep in mind that the consistency should not be too runny or too thick. It should be somewhat in between so as to coat the fish along with the onions.
- When the oil is hot, make clusters of the fish along with some onion slices and drop in the hot oil. Turn the heat down to medium or else it will burn from outside without cooking the fish.
- Slowly watch as the fish turns golden brown and crispy and that's when you take it out of the oil, drain the oil properly and place on a kitchen towel to soak any excess oil.
- Sprinkle some black salt and pepper and serve with a slice of lemon.