Macher Matha die Lau Ghanto (Bottle Gourd Cooked with Fish Head)

9:09 AM

The reason I am so concerned about the weather is because am very sensitive towards it. Slightest change in the temperature makes me sneeze like a mad woman.  This mostly happen in the summer months when the pollens take advantage of the light humid air and float easily. After heavy downpour for almost a week the afternoon temperature now is soaring. No one dares to go out in the scorching sun and all afternoon we can only hear the humming sound of the air conditioners. Yes, the typical Indian summer is already here. Sigh!!!

This hot and humid weather calls for changes in our meal plans as well. The agonizing heat results in loss of appetite and all we want these days is to eat and drink plenty of water. In our home we always cook the water laden summer vegetables and try to stay away from greasy or heavy food on regular basis. though as kids we often termed the summer vegetables as bland and tasteless but they actually are very beneficial for the hot and humid months. These vegetables not only have all the prefect ingredients that helps us fight the hot weather but also Provide us with some wonderful health benefits. Most of these vegetables are cooling, easy to digest, are natural detoxifier and high on fibres.

Bottle gourd or lauki specifically has many healing properties. According to ayurveda it is very good for diabetes, constipation and urinary disorders. Bottle gourd juice is very effective in the treatment of stomach acidity, ulcers, and indigestion. It is also great in summer for quenching your thirst, preventing fatigue, and keeping you refreshed throughout the day.

I personally don’t like dishes cooked with fish heads but every week 2-3 heads accumulate in the fridger. To finish it off once in a week I cook curries that taste good with light fishy smell. Cooked this particular dish with jhinge chingrir jhol for lunch one day. My father came over that afternoon and loved these light flavourful meal with aam dal and rice.

Rui Macher Matha die Lau Ghanto
(serves 4)

Bottle gourd: 1 medium
Fish head: 1 medium (I used the head of a 2 kg Rohu fish. In kolkata, generally the fish mongers cut this in 2 pieces, length wise)
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric: ½ tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Bay leaf: 1
Dry red chili: 1
Green chili: 1
Oil: 4-5 tbsp (for fish based recipes, I generally use mustard oil and refined oil in 1:1 proportion)
Sugar: 1/3 tsp

Peel and chop the bottle gourd really thin. If the seeds are matured, throw them away otherwise can chop with the flesh. Wash, drain and keep aside. If the bottle gourd is not fresh then place the chopped vegetable in a bowl of water for 5-6 minutes.
Smear the fish head with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for minimum 15 minutes.
Mix the ginger paste, cumin powder and coriander powder with 1/3 cup water. Keep aside.

Heat the oil and fry the fish head till golden brown on all sides; approx. 5-6 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

Now temper the oil with cumin seeds, bay leaf, green and red chilies. Once they start to splutter mix in the spice mix. Cook on low till oil starts to separate at the sides. Then tip in the sliced gourds. Add ½ tsp turmeric and little salt. Always add less salt while cooking bottlegourd because the volume of this vegetable reduces drastically when cooked.

Break the fried fish head in 5-6 pieces. Mix in the vegetables and cover. It will release lot of juice. Cook covered on medium till the juice dries up and the vegetables are soft and squishy. 10-15 minutes. If the gourd is not very fresh then you might have to add some warm water.

Finally check the seasoning and add the sugar. mix and serve hot with white rice.

The final dish would be moist but with no extra juice. Mostly more oil is added while cooking so that once the dish is done oil comes out from the side and keep the dish moist. If you like you can add more oil like I did while preparing the chalkumro dish in similar fashion.

A Homemaker's Notes:
Vegetarians can cook the dish with soaked yellow lentil or mung. Add the soaked dal with the bottle gourd and cook as mentioned.

You can also use Carp or Hilsa head for this recipe.

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  1. wow never heard of this combination very new n interesting!

  2. Nice and new yummy combination.

  3. Looks really awesome.. love 2 try this combination..nice cliks as always ...

  4. It is too hot here Saya, good use of summer huh? Take care!

  5. Tempting,sounds a really delicious combo,authentic recipe..

  6. Quite an interesting combo, am yet to cook fish head with veggies,simply loving this combo.

  7. New to me... interesting one..

  8. I love any ghanta with macha munda...
    Love the way how your dad dropped by!

  9. very nice.. i've also the same sneeezing problem.. :(

  10. Love those bowls, they are so pretty ! I may give the veggie version a try. I like fish, but not brave enough for fish head :)

  11. I too am sensitive to temperature changes and I can very well relate to sneezing like a mad women....

  12. aamer ambol ar patle dal ei duto khe ja aaram na ei gorom e.....Take care of your health dear..Macher matha diye lao ghonto is an awesome dish...Khoob bhalo hoyeche dekhte

    Hamaree Rasoi

  13. Unique recipe n yummy combination.

  14. darun byapar....eyi ranna ta toh amaar favourite!

    Loved the pictures and loved the fact that you gave a great veggie option as well!
    Please drop by my blog to collect some awards waiting for you!

  15. a lovely twist...never thought of trying this combo....

  16. Intriguing combo ! Guess bongs find one way or the other to incorporate fish in their dish,just like us Mallus Sounds great S :)

  17. Sayantani,
    Khob garam podeche okhane :-(..amar to bhebhe hi garam lagche..garam bachiyen thakbe specially lil one ekhono cholche na garam 'er choti hoyeche ?..lao ghanto bori diye /mach'er matha diye amar O khete bhalo lagey..hugs and smiles

  18. much I miss having fish head curry!..Sounds weird to many..and I don't even dare mention to my friends over here...but secretly i crave for ghanto!..thanks for posting :)

  19. I still sucks in making lau er ghonto, be it lau chingri or this one with fish head. I am missing my home...
    Love love this one, the pics itself are so tempting...pass it on pls.
    Btw abt those poppy seeds, black ones are usually used in baking breads, not the one that we used in posto.
    hey I tagged you with 7*7 award , looking fwd to it.
    reply to ur queries in my post too.

  20. completely new & interesting recipe
    thanks for sharing

    Tasty Appetite

  21. Wow, what a great idea! Looks really good, lovely pics!

  22. very nice combo..Pics are really good!!

    Do link your recipes in my "COLLECTION OF BEST RECIPES"




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