Monkfish in Spiced Yogurt Sauce (Dai Mach)

This is a classic fish dish from Bengal, in Eastern India. Fish is a very popular ingredient in this region of India, and the cooking style relies on a less is more principle where spices are concerned. The flavour of this fish dish is delicate slightly sweet sour affair.

In place of Monkfish any firm fleshed fish such as haddock, or bream, can be used.

Serves4 Origin India
Preparation 10mins Heat rating (Mild)
Cooking 15-20mins Ease (Very easy)
Vegetarian No


tsp Indian Garam Masala
4 Green Cardamom pods
tsp Cayenne Chilli powder
1 Cinnamon quills
4 Whole Cloves
tsp Ground Turmeric
800g Monkfish fillet, cut into 8 pieces
1 carton of natural yogurt.
Salt to taste
3 tbsps of sunflower oil or butter
10/15 raisins
1 medium onion thinly sliced
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsps of freshly grated ginger


Mix together the yogurt, turmeric, chilli powder, and ginger paste. Add ½ tsp of salt and rub the yogurt marinade into the fish. Set aside.

In a heavy pan heat 3 tbsp of oil or butter over a medium flame. Add the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon stick, gloves and raisins and stir for a few seconds. Reduce the heat a little and add the sliced onion and fry until the onions are soft and melting, tinged golden. This will take a about 5-8 mins. Add the fish and the marinade, add a l and stir. Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 mins. Check the seasoning, add more salt and sugar to taste 9remember this is a sweet, sour dish). The gravy should be thickish and not too thin. If it is too thick loosen with a little water and stir. Check to see that the fish is cooked through. Once cooked through, turn off the heat sprinkle with ground garam masala and garnish with fresh green chillies (optional). Serve with boiled rice.

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