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Knaccki Machher Peyaji by Rohini Banerjee

Ganges river sprat (Corica soborna) is a small river fish found extensively throughout Bengal. Locally known as knaccki, it is prepared differently across Bengali households. This recipe uses gobindobhog rice flour to bind the fish in a fritter, spiked with thinly sliced red onions and green chillies; the rice flour adds a beautiful crunch to the fritters with a hint of toasted aroma. 

    Method

    1. In a deep mixing bowl, add everything except oil.
    2. Mix the ingredients to form a dough. If it sticks too much, add some more rice flour.
    3. Divide the dough into 15-20 balls. Apply some water to your palms and flatten the balls to about 1/4thinch thick discs. Lay them flat on a separate tray or plate.
    4. Heat about 3-4tbsps oil in a frying pan. Coat the pan evenly with oil.
    5. Place the flattened dough mixture one at a time on the pan, carefully. Don’t crowd the pan; depending on the surface area of the pan fry 3-4 fritters at a time. Lower the heat to medium-low.
    6. Cook each fritter for 30-45 seconds on each side or until both sides turn deep brown.
    7. Keep on repeating the process till the dough is finished.
    8. Serve warm as a starter, with or without a dip/chutney.

    For 15-20 fritters, you will need

    • 200 gms knaccki fish, washed
    • 250 gms onions, thinly sliced
    • A pinch of pnach phoron
    • 2 tbsps gobindobhog rice flour, plus more if needed
    • 1tsp Kashmiri chili powder
    • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
    • Salt, to taste
    • Sugar, a pinch
    • Oil for frying, as needed
      Rohini Banerjee is an accomplished Odissi practitioner and performance artiste from Kolkata. When not on stage, she likes to dig up old recipes from her mother and grandmother's treasure chest like this one.

     

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