Bengalis love fish. Fish curry and rice is an integral part of their staple diet. Fish curries can be made in several different ways. Other than fish curries, Mach bhaja or fried fish is also served as a starter with rice and dal(lentils).
The mach bhaja (fried fish) is fish pieces seasoned with salt and turmeric and fried in mustard oil till crisp and golden brown. A wide variety of fishes are used to make Mach bhaja, small fishes like Mourola(Anchovies), PuNti(River barb), Parshe(Mullet) etc, as well as the Peti(belly part) of the large fishes like Rohu, Katla etc are also used. And of course every Bengali’s weakness Ilish mach bhaja.
Other than simple fried fish, fishes are also dipped in batter before frying. The most common one is Topshe fry. This special fried fish is very popular and served on special occasions like Biye bari(marriage ceremony) or Annaprashon (rice ceremony).
All of the above mentioned fried fish dishes are made of fishes with bones. The continental style of filleting fish was not known to Bengalis initially. It came as an influence of the British cuisine and lead to one of the famous street food of Kolkata, the Fish fry, bread crumb coated Bekti(Bhetki) fillets.
Fish fry is my all time favourite. I can have them anytime…at breakfast to dinner. Just thinking of munching those soft fish fillets with a crunchy bread crumb coating…brings a smile on my face.
Today, we take you through some of the places we think, offer the Kolkata’s Best fish fry in kolkata.