Where I buy my fish from

Do you have a Sunday ritual?

Mine is to wake up, check Twitter, Facebook, head out for breakfast, come back and nap, and then go to the fish market.

For those who ask, I buy my fish from Poonam (left in the pic) & Sangeeta's (right in the pic) and their mom (in the middle) who sit in the middle of the Khar Station fish market. Works for fresh water fish & sea food. Consistent quality . Their no is 98-67-402956. They don’t deliver though so you have to go and get your fish.

But frankly which Bengali would have their fish home delivered? The thought of buying fish makes us get off our lazy derrieres and head to the market. We need to press the fish to see if its bouncy and fresh. See if its of the right size. Get it cut the way we like it. Home delivery of fish is for philistines!

Buying fish is my way of connecting with my roots. Reminds me of the times mom would send me to Bansdroni market to buy fish.

I was not much of a fish lover as a kid though over the years have developed a taste for it. Yet when it comes to carnal thoughts on food, a hunk of pork belly would still win. Initially going to the fish markets of Mumbai was about buying fresh water fish such as rohu and caatla, pabda, betki and ilish of course for a migrant Bengali like me. Sixteen year in Mumbai made me open up my machhed tholi (shopping bag) to pomfret, rawas and surmai too. One day I want to buy crabs as well. Off late I have started buying mackarel (bangda) and tuna as that’s where my cardio tells me the Omega stuff are best kept. Though my little sister in law says that that conclusion’s because all medical studies are done in the West and do not cover our local fish.

It’s the period of Shravan right now when Marathis don’t eat fish. Fishing has stopped locally too for now as the sea is rough and it’s the spawning season.

Poonam tells me that the fish for the moment comes from Gujarat, Andhra and Kerala and a bit from Bengal. They go in the morning to buy it from Crawford market.

I bought some caatla, pomfret, surmai and bangda today and looked longingly at the ilish. I normally go berserk and buy an excess of fish when I go alone. If K comes to the market with me she get me to practise restraint.

Today I marinated the surmai in Anjali Koli’s koli masala and salt and grilled it for ten minutes at 200 c.

The picture below might reflect the thoughts of some of those who are on a forced fish abstinence now.

I am now waiting for my surmai to rest like a good Bengali before I meet her for lunch over some bhaat and mushurir daal.

For interested Bengalis, ilish at Pushpa’s is Rs 900 a kilo and allegedly from Howrah.

This grilling method gives a pretty close to fried fish and yet oil free versions of surmai, pomfret, bangda and even rui. I used to earlier do it for 15 min but then K suggested 10 min and she was right. More juicy that way

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