Bina Kakimar Muro die Shim bichir Dal

8:04 PM

Do you know how it feels to converse with people you have never met? especially when they share their heart and open up to you like an old friend. It feels like you are entrusted with love, faith and a blessing called friendship. 
And I am very thankful to my journey of blogging that often I have been blessed with such experience. 

A few days back when I posted the shim bichi die shol mach recipe a reader Mita commented with a mention of her mother's Macher muro die shim bichir dal recipe (Hyacinth beans curry with fishhead). The dish sounded so good that I messaged her back requesting for the recipe. Like a seasoned cook and a true foodie, She sent me the detailed recipe with how much the gravy should thicken and what to pair it with. 
According to her, this recipe belongs to Bangladesh, to the districts of Noakhali and Chattagram. 

I was dying to make it but had to travel to Mumbai for a day for work and finally cooked it this week. and what a meal we had. The hyacinth beans soaked up all the flavours from the spices and the fish head and melted away into a creaminess that tasted so so good with rice. It was a meal that we would remember for long and would await the next season when we could make it once again. 

We can't thank Mita and Bina kakima enough for this recipe. They proved once again that love and taste of food increase many folds with sharing. 

Macher Muro die Shim bichir dal

Shim bichi (Hyacinth beans seeds): 250 grams
Fish head: 1 cut in halved (I used the head of a Rohu fish, that weighed around 2 kgs)
Onion: 2 medium: Finely chopped (almost 1/4 cup)
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1, medium
Cumin-coriander powder or paste: 2 tsps
Oil: Mustard or white oil: 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 2-3
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Whole red chillies: 2
Bay leaves: 2
Chili powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder
Salt as per taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp

Wash a boil the seeds with salt. Boil for 10-12 minutes or till its soft. Cool it down and then remove the leathery skin. I generally prepare the seeds the previous day. Removing the skin becomes easier while watching a movie or catching up with your favourite show.

Once you are ready to cook Wash the fish head and rub salt and turmeric on it. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish heads on medium flame till its crisp on the edges. Take out and keep aside.
Temper the oil with cumin seeds, dry chilies and bay leaves. Once it starts to splutter add the chopped onion. Sprinkle some salt over it and cook on medium till softened. 
Mix the ginger paste, cumin-coriander powder, chili powder and turmeric with 2 tbsp water and pour in the pan. Cook on medium till water starts to separate (4-5 minutes) now add chopped tomato. Cook on low till it's mushy. Mix in and add the boiled seeds and fried fish head. Mix everything together and break the fish head in big chunks. Add a cup of warm water, adjust the seasoning and add the slit green chilies. 

Cover and let it boil on medium. Mash the seeds a little bit to thicken the gravy. Once you are happy with the thickness, add the sugar and check the seasoning. If needed add more water (1/4 cup) and boil for some more time. The end dish should have a semi-thick gravy with some mashed and some whole seeds for texture.

Finish off with coriander leaves or garam masala powder.

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  1. sayantini this recipe is so interesting.One query though. is shim bichi easily available in the grocery shops. or does one have to grow and save them. i have saved some to dry roast and grind to put on dishes but not enough to make daal. Also can you suggest a vegetarian alternative to fish head.
    Many thanks

    1. Hi I dont think they are available in the grocery store. You might get them in South under the name of field beans. Here in Kolkata we use fresh seeds during winter and some people even sundry them to use later.


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