|CHANCHRA ( MALABAR SPINACH WITH HILSA FISH HEAD)|
'Chanchra', is very traditional, popular and monsoon favorite dish in Bengalis cuisines.Malabar spinach curry while mixed up with fish head is called 'Chanchra'.
Other names of this herb is Pui shakh or Puin shaak in Bengali, Poi saag in Hindi, Pasalai keerai in Tamil, Bachhala kura in Telugu, Basale soppu in Kannada.
1 banch Malabar Spinach / Creeping Spinach (Pui saag)
1 Hilsa Fish head, cut in two pieces (may use Rohu fish head)
200 grm Pumkin
1 long ridge gourd
3-4 Green Chillies, cut in slits
1 tsp Paanch Phoron
(combination of mustard, cumin, nigella, fenugreek and fennel seeds)
2/3 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/3 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Sugar (for flavor only)
Salt to taste
4 tbsps Mustard oil (or any white oil)
Wash and clean the fish head. Marinate fish head with 1/3 tsp turmeric powder and little salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Cut and clean Malabar spinach first. Cut leaves and finely chop them. Then cut the tender stalk in 1&1/2" length. Wash them in running water. Drain all the water from it. Set aside. Peel potatoes, pumpkin. Cut potato, pumpkin, flat beans, ridge gourd and eggplant in medium sized cubes. Wash all the vegetables, make those pat dry.Heat mustard oil in heavy bottomed wok. When it comes to smokey, add fish head in it. Fry till the both sides of fish head turns golden brown. Remove it from the oil. Keep aside.
In the remaining oil, add paanch phoron. Then add 1 red dry chili and bay leaf leaf in it. Fry for 2 minutes, add all vegetables and green chillies in it. Stir for 2 minutes. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Cumin and Coriander powder in it. Keep stirring for 2-3 minutes, then add Malabar spinach and salt in it. Fold nicely. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.At this point add fried fish head in it. Break the fish by the tip of spatula and mix with the vegetable nicely. Keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add sugar and fold well thoroughly. Remove from heat. Serve with hot steamed rice.