Tel koi recipe

Tel koi with piping hot rice(গরম ভাত এর সাথে তেল কই) at lunch is one of my favourite dishes. Even that would be great If that tel koi is cooked by my mom or prepared by following her recipe. As she cooked best tel koi like other fish curry recipes with an authentic taste & great texture.  

About Tel koi recipe

What is tel koi? Tel koi is actually a spicy Bengali fish curry cooked with koi mach(English name climbing perch) in pungent mustard oil accompanied by a rich masala gravy consisting of onion-mustard-ginger-garlic-tomato-green chilli paste with cumin-chilli-turmeric powder & flavoured with garam masala. Though tomato is not part of authentic tel koi, however, it takes the taste of this dish one level up.

tel koi is served in black cooking pan with piping hot white rice & chingri mach diye pui shaak er chorchori at lunch

This fish curry is one of the most popular & traditional preparations of Bengali cuisine. This fish curry is also popular as shorshe bata diye koi macher jhal or koi macher tel jhal or koi macher Kalia. 

Tel depicts oil in bengali language & in Bengali cuisine tel mainly indicates mustard oil. Just because frying fish to making any curry mustard oil-enriched our Bengali cuisine for years. I even could not think about a Bengali fish preparation without mustard oil. Though now people are more health-conscious & even because of health issues, shift to vegetable oil. However, to get that authentic taste I must suggest using mustard oil, especially for this preparation.  

My tel koi recipe is easy to make at home just in 30 mins. Doesn’t matter If you are a bachelor or a newly-married girl or a novice cook or love to eat fish, just follow my step by step recipe & reach your goal. It never disappoints you because it is my mom’s recipe. Taste-wise authentic & delicious even can beat any renowned restaurant in Kolkata aka Bengal. 

Try this recipe in any Bengali pet puja festival at lunch in the upcoming Jamai shosthi, Durga Puja or Bhai Ponta, even it will be equally hit in any Bengali get together house party. Even prepare it for the ongoing Ramzan month(during Iftari) too.   

Must try it at home and let me know your valuable feedback about this recipe in the comment section below.

Tel koi recipe

Recipe by Moumita PaulCourse: fish recipesCuisine: BengaliDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Tel koi is actually a spicy Bengali fish curry cooked with koi mach(English name climbing perch) in pungent mustard oil accompanied by a rich masala gravy consisting of onion-mustard-ginger-garlic-tomato-green chilli paste with cumin-chilli-turmeric powder & flavoured with garam masala. Goes perfect with piping hot rice(ধোঁয়া ওঠা গরম ভাত).

Ingredients

  • 200g(3 pcs) Koi Fish

  • 5+3+3 tbsp(165 ml) Mustard oil 

  • 1 medium Onion paste

  • 3/4 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 1/4 inch Ginger pcs

  • 3 pcs Garlic Cloves

  • 2 pcs Green Chillies

  • 1 small-medium Tomato

  • 3/4 tsp Cumin powder

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/2 tsp Chilli powder

  • 1/4 tsp Garam masala power

  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

  • 2 Bay leaves

  • Salt(as required)

Making tel koi

  • Thoroughly wash the koi mach in running water, especially the fish’s stomach and head.
  • Smear the fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp mustard oil.
  • Heat a pan, add 5 tbsp mustard oil and heat it too. When smoke starts coming from oil, leave the fish in the oil.
  • Fry the fish until golden from both sides. Remove the fish from the pan.
  • Add bay leaf and whole cumin seeds in the same oil and fry the onion paste first until a golden and raw smell goes off. 
  • Then add masala paste(prepared with mustard-ginger-garlic-tomato-green chilli) in oil, and sauté until the raw smell goes off. 
  • Add little water(mixed with the leftover masala in the grinder jar- বাংলায় মশলা ধোয়া জল) to the pan.
  • When the water almost dries off, then add cumin powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder one by one. Mix it well.
  • After 30 secs of cooking add a little salt and homemade garam masala powder(which consists of 1 green cardamom, 2 cloves and 1/2 inch cinnamon stick). Mix well.
  • Add 3 tbsp of raw/hot mustard oil(কাঁচা/ গরম করা সর্ষের তেল). Cook for a while, then add water and let it boil.
  • Once the gravy starts boiling, add 2 whole green chillies, and a little salt(as per taste), then add fried fish to the gravy. Add 3 tbsp raw mustard oil(কাঁচা সর্ষের তেল) for authentic taste & flavour.
  • Cook both sides of the fish in the gravy for 10 mins by covering the pan(each side 5 mins cooking). Once the oil floats on the gravy, tel koi is done. Turn off the heat.
  • Once the oil floats on the gravy, tel koi is done. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve tel koi with piping hot rice((ধোঁয়া ওঠা গরম ভাত) and enjoy every bit of this fish curry.

Notes

  • For making tel koi masala, one must soak the mustard seeds in water at least for 10 mins. Then make a smooth paste along with ginger, garlic, tomato & green chilli. Just add a little salt while grinding the spices to avoid the bitterness of mustard seeds.
  • Must saute/fry the onion & masala until the raw smell goes off & leave oil from the sides. It will enhance the taste of this gravy.
  • If you want to cook this tel koi without onion & garlic, then skip both ingredients. Though the rest of the ingredients & cooking process will be the same as described above.

Instruction

How to make tel koi with step by step pictures

Step 1 – Preparation

  • Thoroughly wash the koi mach(scaled out, perfectly cut & cleaned fish) in running water, especially wash the fish’s stomach & head.
  • Smear the fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp salt & 1 tsp mustard oil. Mustard oil will reduce the spluttering tendency of fish when goes into hot oil for frying(তেলে মাছ দিলে কম তেল ছিটকায়), it will also prevent the fish from sticking to the pan as well(কড়াইতে মাছ আটকেও যায় না).
koi mach smeared with salt-turmeric-mustard oil

Step 2 – Frying Fish

  • Heat a pan well, then add mustard oil & heat it too. When smoke starts coming from oil, leave the fish in the oil. Fry until golden from both sides. Remove the fish from the pan.
koi fish while frying after frying in oil

Step 3 – Making Tel Koi Gravy

  • Add bay leaf & whole cumin seeds in the same oil, and fry the onion paste first until golden & raw smell goes off. 
after cumin & bay leaves, onion paste in mustard oil
  • Then add masala paste(prepared with mustard-ginger-garlic-tomato-green chilli) in oil, and sauté until the raw smell goes off. 
masala paste prepared with-mustard-ginger-garlic-tomato-green-chilli-in-oil-with-fried-onion-paste
  • Add little water(mixed with the leftover masala in the grinder jar- বাংলায় মশলা ধোয়া জল) to the pan. It enhances the taste of the gravy.  
adding little masala flavoured water(moshla dhoa jol) to the pan
  • When the water almost dries off, then add cumin powder, chilli powder & turmeric powder one by one. Mix it well.
cumin powder chilli powder turmeric powder in tel koi gravy
  • After 30 secs of cooking add a little salt & homemade garam masala powder(which consists of green cardamom, cloves & cinnamon). Mix well. Add 3 tbsp mustard oil(raw/hot- কাঁচা/ গরম করা সর্ষের তেল).
after adding garam masala powder raw mustard oil in cooking the gravy
  • Now cook the gravy for a while, then add 1 cup of water(about 240 ml) and let it boil.
adding water in gravy
  • Once the gravy starts boiling, add 2 whole green chillies, then add fried fish to the gravy. Add 3 tbsp raw mustard oil(কাঁচা সর্ষের তেল) for authentic flavour & taste.
green chilli & fried koi fish is in the gravy
  • Cook both sides of the fish in the gravy for a few mins by covering the pan(about 10 mins, 5 mins cooking for each side). Once the oil floats on the gravy, tel koi is done. Turn off the heat.
cooking the fish in gravy by covering the pan for first 5 mins then turn the fish
  • Serve tel koi with piping hot rice(গরম ধোঁয়া ওঠা ভাত) at lunch & enjoy its every bit.
tel koi is ready when oil floats on the gravy as shown in the picture serve with piping hot rice(ধোঁয়া ওঠা গরম ভাত)

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