Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Fish Chop or Fish Croquet or Macher Chop

Fish Chop is one of my all time favorites - a delightful evening snack, a compliment to rum and coke and even a great starter which never fails to leave the feeling of wanting more... I will give you options so that people in all parts of the world can try this. One small guideline - always use less spices when you are using a fish which has its own good flavour - if you are using canned or substitutes like Greas carp (rohu), tilapia, red snapper, butter fish (pomfret), rawas (salmon), surmai (king fish).

The ideal fish for fish chop is our famous Bhetki.


500 grams boneless bhetki
2 large potatoes forked and microwaved or cut and boiled and mashed

12 pods of garlic - finely chopped
Two medium to large onions - finely chopped
One and half inch ginger - finely chopped using a mixer - use as little water as possible
Fresh Coriander / Cilantro leaves - finely chopped - two table spoons
Two green chillies - finely chopped - use scissors.
One green lemon - cut in four
Jeera/Cumin Powder - two tea spoonful (not table spoon)
Optional Red Chili Powder - one tea spoons
Black Pepper Powder - one tea spoon
Salt - to taste.
White Oil - Adequate - keep the bottle next to you.

Three egg whites
One tea spoon wheat flour
Bread crumbs in a shallow bowl


Squeeze the lemon on the fish and add salt and red chili powder and keep aside for marination - 30 mins should be OK.

Heat a skillet - add four tablespoon of oil - heat it up - sprinkle a small pinch of chopped garlic and wait till you smell them - add the chopped onions and fry them on full heat for 4-5 minutes - reduce heat and add chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies, jeera powder and keep on stirring for another 2-3 mins on medium heat.

Drain water from the marinated fish - place them on kitchen paper if required and then add the fish to the skillet - mix it well with the onions and let the fish break properly. Keep on stirring - always at medium heat. Stir it for 4-5 mins or till the fish is just cooked - we are not frying fish -OK. The fish should be white as also the mixture. Add the mashed potatoes - coriander leaves and mix well and cook for another 3-4 mins. Bhetki takes very little time to cook and so does Butter fish / Pomfret - other fishes will take more time but the smell of the fish is important. Over cooking will kill the sptiy of the fish-chop.

Take it down on a shallow plate - add the coriander leaves - mix and check salt and add if required. Sprinkle the black pepper powder. Roll the mixture into balls or shape them into croquet ( if round then keep a diameter of two inches, if croquet - then two inches ling while one inches thick) and keep aside. Fish Chop come in many shapes.

Beat the egg white thoroughly and mix the wheat flour and half a spoon of of salt. Heat Oil in a shallow skillet ( kadai) so that the chops dip fully. Dip the balls in the egg white and then in the shallow bowl of bread crumbs . The crumbs should be as fine as possible and stick to all sides. Dip again in egg ( very fast) and dip back in bread crumbs before you put them in the oil. Don't bother about some breadcrumbs going in the egg white - the twice dipping is a technique to make it crunchier. Do not put too many of the balls ( four should be ok and manageable) in the oil as you need space to turn them so that all the sides fry well. Once done take them out and place them on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

You can have it with Mustard Sauce or Tomato Chili or plain Tomato sauce. Salads can be made with a mix of sliced onions, thinly sliced beet root, carrots and cabbage - sprinkled with black salt with a squeeze of lemon.

Tip: Whenever using white oil - always add a little of the strongest herb or spice before cooking - like whole black pepper for non-veg curries, cumin seeds, garlic, red chili, etc. White oil does not have a food-friendly flavor on its own. You don't require to add anything while frying puri or coated stuff.


Jaya said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe and the tip for flavouring the oil for frying .
Do you have a recipe for the bhetki macher fry that is served in bengali homes...

Jack Sparrow said...

Bhetki Macher Fry is now on the blog :) Enjoy. Next week Prawn Cutlet.

Anu said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe. I used this coating (egg white+ wheat flour) for "bhetki maach butter fry" recipe (although I used Tilapia) and it turned out great (exactly what I was craving). Thanks.