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We aim to preserve the memories of how food was cooked in the past in India, by which we mean at least 40 years ago, though the recipes may still be in use. The recipes are family specialties or favourites . We know that most Indians cooked by approximate measurements, and not by precise recipes. So, some of the recipes here may not be easily reproducible.

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Fish Kalputi by Rekha Rege Print E-mail

Fish, main dish, spicy, Saraswat

Rekha Rege

Rekha has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and works for the Bank of India. She loves reading and travelling. At present she is studying Vedanta. She lives with her husband in Mumbai.

This recipe has a very interesting history - that's what my mother-in-law told me. In the past, in Indian joint families, the men and children were served food first, and the women had to make do with whatever was left over.

The fish curry was made of the best fish pieces, and the head and tail pieces were not used. Most of the time, there would be hardly any fish curry left for the women after the men and children had finished eating. So the enterprising women would make this dish with the head and tail pieces for themselves!

This is a very simple recipe, but it has a unique flavour because of the ginger, green chillies and coriander. There is absolutely no garam masala, and yet it is very tasty. One of my favourites !

Serves 4 people


  • Pomfret fish heads and tails - 300 gms, 10 ounces
  • Kokum - 6
  • Onions -3 small 200gms, 6.5 ounces
  • Garlic - 10 small pods (India) or 5 large pods (USA)
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Green chillies - 8
  • Coriander leaves - 0.5 cup cut fine
  • Coconut, desiccated - 0.5 cup
  • Haldi (turmeric) - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste



Marinate the fish with finely cut garlic, ginger, green chillies, salt, haldi and red chilli powder, coconut and kokum. Let it marinate for 5 minutes.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a vessel. Add the onions and fry till the onions turn pink, not brown. Add the marinated fish, and 4 tsp of water.

Cover and cook on a low flame till done, about 5 minutes

Add the coriander and serve.

© Rekha Rege 2009

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narubhau   |2013-03-10
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