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Indian Fish Pie Recipe
Fish Pie, the Indian way
If I start, I should start from the beginning. We all know the dish Fish Pie itself is not at all Indian in origin. Although it had its roots in the West but as it landed in India along with the British settlers some four hundred years back, it started acquiring its Indian characteristics. With the intermixing of the two races, the British and the Indians a new class of people evolved, known as the Anglo-Indians. These Anglo-Indians had a distinct culinary practice where traditional British foods were flavored with Indian spices and these foods developed an Indianness, making them stand apart from their British counterparts.
A similar thing happened with the very British fish pie. The Anglo-Indians made it Indian, they made it famous in India. Now in many Indian homes fish pie became a part of their cuisine. The fish pie along with its close cousin 'keema pie' (meat pie) are not some regular dishes that are cooked in Indian homes every other day, but they are regarded as special delicacies that are prepared on special occasions.
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My encounter with The Great Indian Fish Pie
Well, being born in a typical Bengali family I had no idea of what a fish pie is until and unless I got married. Before that I have tasted Western foods in 'continental' restaurants. I had no idea that it can exist in a Bengali kitchen.
It was just few days after my marriage that we got an invitation for dinner from my husband's Aunt. By that time we were flooded with dinner invitations from each and every relatives of ours and got almost tired of obliging them one after another. After the hectic weekdays when we looked forward to the weekends to spend some quality time with each other the same boring customary dinner invitations were getting on our nerves. I could see this time it was different. It was only me who was fretting. My husband was rather excited. On asking him he only said, "You will see for yourself once you visit her". "Huh!!! What's new? Another weekend evening is about to be destroyed", I thought in vain.
That evening came and I can still vouch that till now that evening's dinner experience was one of my best. I simply got floored. Each and every dish that his aunt made that day were unique. Among them was this piquant looking fish pie. I could not resist myself longer from it and when it was offered to me I devoured it like an animal. It definitely tasted somewhat 'continental' but still it had all my known Indian flavors.
From that day till the time we left India, we had been to her house on many occasions. Each time along with many new delicacies my favorite fish pie waits for me in the menu. My relationship with this fish pie has become a love affair that will never cease to end.
Apart from herself being a great cook, my husband's aunt is also a cooking enthusiast. She usually encourages everybody to cook new dishes. Before I came to U.S she handed me the recipe of her famous fish pie which is like a blessing to me. So this recipe is mainly her recipe with little bit of modifications at some places from my side.
- 300 grams Rohu Fish/ Cod/ Smoked Haddock/Coley
- 200 grams Extra large prawns
- 2 potato, cubed into small pieces
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 200 grams green peas
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
- 2-3 green chillis, chopped
- 50 grams coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoon white oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper salt
- Marinate Rohu/Cod/Haddock( I used Rohu) with turmuric powder, salt and chilli powder for fifteen minutes and then boil the fish pieces for about 10 minutes.
- Once cold peel off the skin and pull out the bones from fish pieces.
- Similarly marinate prawns with salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder for about 15 minutes and then lightly saute it in oil and keep aside.
- Boil peas and keep aside.
- Put 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan and lightly fry the cubed potatoes. Add salt, turmeric powder and black pepper salt to it and fry further. Put 1 cup of water on the frying potatoes and mash the potatoes and keep aside.
- In the same frying pan again put 1 tablespoon of oil. Now add the chopped onions. Then add green chillies. After frying for 5 minutes add the boiled fish. Then add ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder and garam masala powder and little bit of salt and sugar. Continue frying for another 5 minutes.
- In the mean time break the eggs in one cup of cold milk and start heating it in a pan. While heating the milk stir continuously. After sometime the milk will get thickened.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Take a baking pan and grease its insides with ghee or butter( I prefer ghee). Now place the onion-fish fry mixture at the base of the pan. Then add the thickened milk. On top of it add the mashed potatoes, peas and fried prawns. Finally sprinkle some coriander leaves, shredded cheese and bread crumbs on it and bake it for about 30-35 minutes until you can see the top layer of the pie has become crispy brown.
- Once baked, bring it out of the oven. Your Anglo-Indian Fish Pie is ready. Serve it hot with bread and sauteed veggies like broccoli, carrots, sweet corns and peas.
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|Serving size: 400 grams|
|Calories from Fat||36|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 4 g||6%|
|Saturated fat 2 g||10%|
|Carbohydrates 28 g||9%|
|Sugar 11 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 83 g||166%|
|Cholesterol 146 mg||49%|
|Sodium 240 mg||10%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Points to be noted
- You can also add Salmon and Crab meat in the pie. This will definitely add to the taste of the pie. Although the original pie recipe that I received from my husband's aunt mentions the use of only 1 type of fish, you can use variety of fishes according to your preferences.
- In the Indian version of the fish pie potato is first fried and then mashed.
- This Indian fish pie is definitely hotter than the original fish pie.
- Due to its Indian flavor, Anglo-Indian fish pie also tastes great with Basmati rice and lentil soup.
Traditional Fish Pie Recipe
If you are interested in the Traditional Fish Pie Recipe you can take a look at this video.
© 2014 Deblina Banerjee