Machher chop/ Fish croquette
It is three years now since we have been able to fly to India and more than I guess five to six years since I have touched my mother’s feet on poila boisakh. In this era of smart phones, subho noboborsher priti o subhechha is conveyed being thousands of kilometers away from my near and dear ones. But what I miss the most is noboborsher halkhata i.e. hopping around from one shop to another to get mistir packet.
Additionally, what I miss is noboborsher shopping and gorging on telebhajas from some of my favorite shops in Jalpaiguri. And my favorites have been mangsher shingara. And being a bangal I am an ardent fish and meat lover. 😅 As I sat down leaning on our window, flashes of my childhood occupied my mind. How, the chops bought home from shop was equally divided “inch by inch” among my sister. Na na boner chop ta boro amar ta chhoto I would say and fight with my mother who was always at this troublesome end of division.
As these memories troubled my mind, I got up from my chair and decided to make machher chop. Well, those days cannot be brought back but recreating the taste of machher chop was in my hands.
The machher chop is easy to prepare. The first thing that you need to do is cook the fish. You can pan fry them but I chose to bake the fish. In this chop, potato is used as a binder which holds the chop. II have doubly coated my chop with bread crumbs and beaten egg to make them extra crisp. but you can choose to do it once. They will be equally delicious.
Machher Chop/ Fish croquette
- Frying pan, ovenproof bowl, slotted spoon, a pot
- 600 g of any fresh water fish rohu/basa/bhetki
- 3 medium sized potatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
- 2 green chilies finely chopped
- 1+1 tablespoon of oil
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- ½+½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
- 2 whole dry red chilies
- ½ inch of cinnamon stick
- 3 cardamom pods
- 5 cloves
For the cover
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups of bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- oil for deep frying
Preparing the filling
- Take the fish in a baking dish. Sprinkle salt, lemon juice and oil on the fish, mix it and keep the fish pieces aside.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C. Bake the fish pieces for 10-15 minutes or till the fish is completely done. The idea behind baking the fish is cooking the fish. You can also lightly pan fry the fish. But do not preferably boil the fish. Baking or frying the fish gives a better taste.
- Once the fish is completely baked, let the fish cool completely. Mash the fish, remove all the bones and keep the fish aside.
- Boil the potatoes and keep the boiled potatoes aside to cool.
- Mash the boiled potatoes and keep them aside.
- In a pan, dry roast the dry red chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Grind them to a fine powder. Strain them to remove the bigger chunks and keep the ground spices aside.
- In a kadai, add a tablespoon of oil and heat it. To the hot oil add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add the finely chopped onion to the kadai and saute them for a minute on medium flame.
- Now, add the ginger paste, green chilies, garlic paste to the kadai followed by turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder.
- Mix and fold everything in the kadai for about 30 seconds. Then, add the mashed fish that you have kept aside.
- Mix everything in the kadai properly. Now, add the mashed potatoes to the kadai and mix.
- Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool a bit. Use your hands to mix everything properly to prepare a homogeneous mixture. Also, add 1 tablespoon of the ground masala that you had prepared earlier.
- Divide the entire mixture into 20 portions and shape them according to your choice. I have made them into balls.
Preparing the outer cover and frying them. (See Notes)
- Spread the all purpose wheat flour on a plate. Take one chop/ball and roll it in the wheat flour to coat it.
- Crack open the eggs in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt to it and beat them properly. Now, with one hand drop the flour coated chop in the beaten egg.
- With the same hand now take the chop from the egg mix and drop it in a plate of bread crumbs. Now, use your other hand to roll the chop in bread crumbs.
- Again, drop it in the beaten again and roll them in bread crumbs. Doing this step twice, makes the cover extra crispy. You can similarly prepare all the chops and keep them aside.
- At this point, you can leave them in refrigerator for frying them later. Chop is always served hot. Therefore, you can prepare these chops, ahead of time and store them in refrigerator till you are ready to fry and of course serve immediately.
- In a pan/ kadai heat oil. When the oil is hot enough gently drop them one by one and fry them golden brown evenly on medium flame. Since the filling is already pre-cooked, you need not fry them on low flame to cook them from inside. Sprinkle black salt on the chop. Serve chop with kashundi, tomato ketchup and slices of onion and cucumber and of course do not forget a steaming cup of tea.
- Take a plate of wheat flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs and keep them ready.
- Always use one hand for the wet ingredient i.e. beaten egg and one for the dry i.e. bread crumbs while rolling them. Do not mix them.
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Other telebhajas on my blog