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Aier Maancher Jhal/ Spicy Sperata Aor


Aier or Aor is a giant eyed river catfish very delicious meaty oily fish. If you search the fish wiki you will get a Bengali name Artamim though in the local markets of Bengal I never heard this name, it is popular as arr or aier or aor the scientific name of this fish is Sperata aor . Today I am sharing a traditional spicy and a very common fish recipe from the kitchen of Bengal. As the festive season is knocking the door, the countdown for Durga Puja has started so I am sharing a very simple yet delicious fish recipe with you. For those who are living outside India for them you can search for this fish in a nearby fish stores from Bangladesh.

Preparation  time 15 minutes 
Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves  4 

Ingredients:
4 steak size pieces of aier/ aor
1  big tomato paste
2 onion paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1tsp red chilly powder or to taste
1 tej patta / bay leaves
¼ tsp sugar
2 green chilly slited
1tsp ghee/ clarified butter
¼  tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp finely julienned ginger
hand full  fresh green peas (optional)
½  cup mustard oil
Salt to taste

Cooking Methods

 Wash the fish pieces and pat dry. Then the fish pieces with salt and ½ tsp of turmeric powder. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fish till golden brown in both side. Be careful while you fry such fish without scales they form oil blisters and have a tendency to burst which is bit dangerous for the first timers so better to cover the fish as soon as you slip the fish in oil. Remove the fried fish from oil and then add tej patta to it and onion and garlic paste. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add tomato paste and red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Stir and cook till oil oozes out from the spices. Now add the fried fish mix well in soft hand so that spices are well coated with the fish. Now add 1 cup of hot water. Let it come to boil then add fresh green peas, silted green chilly. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the lid and cook till the gravy is almost dry add garam masala and ghee. Mix well. Put off the flame. Sprinkle the ginger julienne. Cover and give 8 to 10 minutes standing time. Serve with steamed hot rice.


Happy Cooking!

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