One thing that never gets tossed out from my kitchen is Fish head or Rui Mach’er Matha. Often I have seen people buying fish without the head as they find it harder to cook. Also, very few people actually know the technique of eating one. So, Rui Macher Matha Die Pui Shak Chorchori is actually one of those dishes which is all time favorite to everyone in my house.
Pui Shak or Malabar Spinach is quite indigenous to this part of the world. Also known as Basella, some call it Ceylon Spinach, Mong Toi (Vietnamese) or Remayong (Malay) as well.
A very frequent arrival in a Bengali kitchen, I have actually shared another very easy Pui Shak Bengali recipe called Bhapa Pui Shak, where Pui Shak or Malabar Spinach has been steamed with grated coconut. If you are looking for Bengali chorchori recipe, then here’s another one.
Macher Matha diye Pui Saag Chanchra recipe
Chanchra or a traditional vegetable mishmash is a culmination of various vegetables like greens, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, raddish, aubergine with or without fish heads. Ideally an offering to Goddess Kali or a wedding menu dish, this is rarely being made in modern Bengali kitchens. One of the reasons behind such absence is the fact that these recipes often turn out portioned as you would have thought. For instance even if you start with single unit of each of these ingredients, you would eventually turn out with enough food to feed at least a family of 6-8. With the rise of nuclear families and shrinking number of members in a household, making these dishes mean you would be sitting with a lot of leftovers for the next few days!
My way of making such dishes is taking out whatever is left in the vegetable bin and clearing them up with the fish head into a hearty mishmash or chorchori. So, if you are left with half a slice of pumpkin and few small aubergines, it’s time to get them together in a delicious dish of Rui Macher Matha Diye Pui Saak Chorchori.
- 750 gms Malabar Spinach or Pui Saak washed, cleaned and chopped
- 1 cup Aubergine Diced
- 1 cup Potato Diced
- 1 cup Pumpkin Diced
- 1 cup Radish Diced
- 2 Onion Cubed
- 8-9 Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped
- 2 Green Chilies Slit in Halves
- 1 Fish Head Slit in Half
- 5 tbsp Mustard Oil
Heat oil in a pan. Add the fish heads and fry them till golden.
Take them out and keep them aside.
Now, add the chopped Garlic and onion in the same oil and fry them till light. now add the diced vegetables and stir them for 2-3 minutes till they turn tender.
Now, add the Malabar spinach greens. if you find your pot too full before you add the whole of greens, allow them to wilt before adding the rest.
Season with some salt and add the green chilies and fried fish heads. Cover the pan and allow it to release the water and cook in it. It should take somewhere around 15-20 minutes to fully cook the vegetables and stalks of Malabar Spinach or Pui Saak.
Once cooked, remove the lid and cook on medium-high heat to reduce the water completely. Break the fish heads further using the spoon.
Once it dries out completely, and starts releasing oil from the edges turn the heat off and serve.