Saturday, July 25, 2015

Baked Fish Chop or Fish Croquette

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      Who doesn't love to devour hot, crunchy and crispy snacks when it's raining outside. yes, India is having its Monsoon season in full swing. It's pouring heavily or drizzling all day and night. And at home your tongue tells your mind that, "bring something crunchy-munchy". And when it's raining, we, Indians first think of some batter fried veggies or Pakora. North Indians 'Pakoras' are synonymous to Bengali's 'Chop'.

         Today I'll share a famous Bengali appetizer/snack recipe, which is an integral part of Bengali's appetizer menu, rainy day's craving and also a part of any special ocassion. I'm talking about The very famous Macher Chop or Fish croquettes. It is deep fried croquette made with fish. The fish (without bone) is first cooked with spices, then a patty like shape is given. Those patties are then egg washed and rolled over breadcrumbs and then deep fried in oil. These fish croquettes are made in many shapes, like round like a ball or round-flat patty shaped or cylindrical. Shape doesn't matter for this deep fried delicacy, taste is just out-of-this-world in any shape you make it. Generally, Bhetki(Sea-bass), Rohu, Katla(carp) are used for this, but Tilapia or Basa can work too. But I love to prepare them with any sweetwater fish. If you are a non-veg. eater, then you must try this fish croquettes at least once.
    But I usually tweak this traditional way of making Fish chop or croquette, instead of deep frying I usually bake them in oven and the outcome is very close to the fried one. At least I don't feel guilty of consuming oil and have the satisfaction of having my favorite fish chop without compromising on taste and look.


So let's see how you can make this at home, the process is very simple and easy to make.

You Need : [2 medium size fish pieces make 7-8 medium sized fish croquettes]

For the croquette ::
Fish : 2 medium size piece
Potato : 2, medium, boiled until just done
Onion : 2, small, chopped
Ginger-garlic paste : 1 tsp.
Green chilli : 2, finely chopped
Tomato : 1, small, chopped
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 2 tsp. or as per taste
Roasted Cumin seed powder(bhaja jeera powder) : 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 1 tblsp.
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
To coat :
Egg, whole : 1
Bread crumbs : 1/2 cup or as needed
Little oil to brush
Green chilli sauce/Tomato chilli sauce/Bengali Kasundi(mustard sauce) to serve with



How To : 
  • To cook the fish :: Generally, raw fish pieces are cooked in a pan of water, cooled and then mashed and later again cooked with spices. But my kids and hubby don't like the smell of raw fishes, so I marinate the fish pieces with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder and then lightly fry with fish pieces them. Let them cook, then debone them very carefully making sure there is no bones left. Then mash them well.
  • To make the croquettes : Take the mashed fish in a bowl, then add the mashed potato. Mix them well. Keep aside. In a pan, heat  tblsp. oil, add finely chopped onions and green chillies, when onions are fried, add ginger-garlic paste and chopped tomato. Cook till tomatoes are mixed well with the onions, then add the mashed fish and potato mixture. Mix well with the onion-tomato mixture, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and roasted cumin seed powder. Mix well together, adding a little water. Add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Lastly add chopped coriander leaves and it's ready. 
  • Cool the cooked fish mixture to make the croquettes. Once it has cooled down, give any shape you want, You can make round like balls, round and flat, cylindrical, rectangular any shape you want. I made them into round and flat. Make all your croquettes ready to bake.  
  • Coating the croquettes : Take a well-beaten egg in a bowl, in another bowl take bread crumb, take one croquette, dip first in egg wash, then roll in bread crumbs, keep aside. Do the same for other croquettes. Dip each patty again in egg wash and roll in bread crumbs too and give them a definite shape this time. Keep aside and do the same for other croquettes.
  • To bake the croquettes : heat just 1 tsp. oil in a flat frying pan, place each croquettes in the frying pan and in medium flame, keep them for 2-3 minutes or they are lightly brown for each side. If needed, add 1 more tsp of oil. Now preheat your oven to 200 degree C. Grease a oven roof dish with very little butter/oil. Place the lightly fried patties on the oven-proof dish. Bake for 7 minutes on each side or until the patties turn into lightly brown shade. 
  • Fish croquettes or Maacher Chops are ready to be served. Serve with tomato ketchup, green chilli sauce or Bengali's Kasundi(mustard sauce).  

Recommendation : : Enjoy this Bengali delicacy with a hot cup of tea. This can be a great starter/appetizer for any party. Kids will also love them. 
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