Ompok Tomato Pepper Curry

Ompok is a tasty fish available specially in lakes and rivers of Southern Asia. It is famous for its very distinct but mild fishy flavor. Ompok being soft-fleshed, it needs bit more careful handling compared to sea fishes. During mid of previous week, fresh Ompoks were available at local market and seeing that, I thought of cooking a curry with bit unusual flavor compared to the way it is cooked in Kolkata. The dish turned out to be even better than I thought of! A must-try for all fish lovers.

Take 4 ompoks each weighing approximately 60 gm totalling to 250 gm, clean with water and put in a bowl. Add pinch of salt and mix with hand gently. Heat up around 3 tbsp of refined oil in a flat bottom frying pan and shallow fry the fishes until light golden. Once fried, keep aside. Take 1 medium sized tomato, 3 tbsp of tomato sauce, 2 green chillis and a few coriander leaves and grind together to form a mixture. Keep the mixture ready and heat up 2 tbsp of fresh refined oil in the same frying pan. Add 1 tsp of crushed cumin seeds or cumin powder and 0.5 tsp of crushed coriander seeds or coriander powder to the pan. Quickly stir a couple of times and then add the grinded mixture to the pan. Stir fry and then add 1 tsp of crushed black pepper and 0.5 tsp of crushed white pepper. Again stir fry quickly and then add a cup of water followed by 1 or 2 slit green chilli and 1 tbsp of fresh cream. Mix well and let part of the water evaporate to make the curry moderately thick. Adjust salt and sugar. Now add the fishes. Ensure all the fishes submerge in the curry. Do not put one fish on top of other. Do not toss the fishes vigorously with spatula. Keep a minute on heat until the curry starts boiling. Once it starts boiling, remove from heat. Garnish with tomato slices and coriander leaves. Serve hot immediately with steamed rice.


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