Doi Mach (Fish in Yogurt based creamy Gravy)

11:09 AM

Doi Mach literally translates to fish in yogurt sauce and this delicately favoured creamy fish curry is a very common dish for Bengali meals during special occasions. The highlight of this dish is its creamy slightly hot-sour sweet gravy laced with delicate aroma of whole garam masala, dotted with fried cashews and raisins. Its easy to prepare, could be cooked in huge batches yet classy and rich to serve to your guests for a special meal

Though its easy and calls for fewer ingredients but the selction of ingredients play a very crucial role in it. It is so important to coose the right fish and yogurt that if anything goes wrong it can ruin a perfectly cooked doi mach. First thing first Doi mach tastes best when cooked with larger fishes like a min of 3-4 kgs Rohu or Carp which in Bengali is known as paka mach or matured fish with plenty of oil in it. For the same purpose mostly peti pieces (pieces from the belly of the fish) are used which contains more oil than the other parts. Next important ingredient is the doi or the yogurt. Choose a good quality one which is creamy, fresh and not very sour. I don’t cook this dish often but when I do I prefer to use homemade yogurt for it. if you opt for store bought ones then please make sure its fresh and does not have that overtly sour smell. Last but not the list use good quality green chilies for a delicate flavour and that perfect sweet-sour-tangy taste.

The recipe am sharing here is my family’r recipes, the way my maternal grand mother used to cook it. Rich and velvety just the way it should be. Before getting into the recipe let me tell you that its not your everyday fish curry, make it occasionally and serve with good quality rice and some sides and see your family drool over the meal.

Doi Mach

Fish steaks: 4 pieces
Yogurt: 5 tbsp
Red onion: 1 medium
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Garlic paste: ½ tsp
Mustard Oil: 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Bay leaf: 1 small
Cloves: 3-4
Cinnamon: small 1” piece
Green cardamom: 1 (lightly bruised)
Raisins: 1 tbsp
Cashews: handful
Green chilies: 4-5
Chili powder: 1/3 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp

Wash and dry the fish pieces. Using a fork prick the pieces gently (at 3-4 places) for better absorption of flavour and taste. Rub salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Soak the raisins in 1/3 cup water and make a fine smooth paste of the red onion.

Beat the curd very smooth. Use a fork, whisk, hand beater or even your food processor for this. There should not be any lump in it. take the onion paste in your hand and squeeze out the juice in the yogurt. Repeat the same with ginger-garlic paste. Add salt (as per taste), 2 tsp mustard oil and 3 slitted green chilies. Mix to get a thick creamy mixture.

Heat 3 tbsp oil and fry the pieces very lightly till they turn white and small golden spots start to appear (a minute on each side.) take out and place in the yogurt mixture. Using a spoon very carefully mix everything together. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.

Once you are ready to cook heat the oil again and fry the cashews till golden. Take out with a slotted spoon and keep aside. In the same oil add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and green chilies. Once they start to splutter add ½ of the onion paste (residue after taking out the juice). Add a tsp of water and fry till oil starts to separate at the sides 4-5 minutes. Add half of the ginger-garlic paste and fry again for 2-3 minutes.

Lower the flame and carefully add the yogurt mix along with the fish pieces. very carefully mix everything together. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes and stir very gently. Finally add 1/3 cup water, fried cashews and soaked raisins. Adjust the sugar and salt and let it simmer till you get your desired gravy. The recipe I am sharing here has thick gravy. Finally sprinkle the garam masala powder on top and keep covered till you are ready to serve.
Tastes best with steamed white rice.

A Homemaker's Notes:
Many people add turmeric to this dish but i prefer not to. The colour you see in my curry comes solely from the very good quality mustard oil.

The picture shows more gravy than actual. As Guests were due soon and I had to click direct from the pan. The gravy thickens as it cools down and thickly coats the fish pieces.

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  1. I was drooling as reading about paka rui mach, doi mach boro mach chara ekdom bhalo hoy na. One of my favorite fish preparation, ma used to make it for my birthday along with holud pulao and mangsho :)

  2. Love the gravy. I've never used yogurt in a fish curry, will surely try it out.

  3. Have been wanting to make this preparation for the longest time. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Shall certainly try very soon.

  4. I love Doi Maachh and make it once in a while.. though I have never tried it with cashews and raisins. Might work to make the dish richer in flavour.:)

  5. Lovely preparation Sayantani. Looks very delicious.

  6. Your pics are always so good,i love fish but never tried it making this way, am sure must be v tasty

  7. Dunno why we never cook fish with yogurt, DOi mach makes me hungry and pulling me to give a try..


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