Chanchra is a signature Bengali "Mishmash" type side dish prepared with various veggies including leafy vegetables ( Malabar Spinach or Pui Saag, Potato, Pumpkin, Eggplant, Onion etc) along with the Fish head or Fishbone.
- Fish Head: Head of a 3-4 kg sized fish (I have used Bhetki Fish Head)
- Malabar Spinach / Pui Saag: 1 Bunch
- Potato: 2
- Pumpkin: 150 g (equal to the pieces of the potatoes)
- Eggplant: 150 g (equal to the pieces of the potatoes)
- Onion: 2 (medium Size)
- Tomato: 1 (Big size)
- Ginger Paste: 1/2 Tsp.
- Garlic Paste: 1 Tsp.
- Panch Phoron / Five Spices*: 1.5 Tsp.
- Dried Red Chili: 2
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Red Chili Powder: 1/2 Tsp. (can be added more)
- Sugar: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Mustard Oil: 5 Tbsp.
- Wash Fish head and the central bone of fish thoroughly.
- [url href="https://kitchenofdebjani.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Frying-Fish-head-for-Chancha-300x188.jpg"][/url]
- Sprinkle half of the turmeric powder and ½ tsp. of salt and little Red chili powder over the fish head and coat with the spices and leave it for 10 minutes.
- [url href="https://kitchenofdebjani.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Making-of-Chanchra-300x188.jpg"][/url]
- Cut Potato, Eggplant, and Pumpkin after peeling the skin into small cubes as shown in the picture and keep the veggies dipped in a bowl of water to prevent blackening of the veggies.
- Slice Onion thinly and chop tomato roughly.
- Chop Malabar Spinach** after washing 2-3 times under running water.
- Make a coarse powder of half of the Panch Phoron and keep that aside.
- Now take 4 Tbsp. of Mustard oil in a deep bottom pan and heat the oil sufficiently and start frying fish head and fish bone in medium flame till the fish chunks soften and turned brownish and crunchy.
- Strain fried fish pieces using a strainer and keep those aside.
- Now temper remaining oil with dried red chili and remaining whole Panch Phoron.
- Add sliced onion and fry till the onion turned light pink in color.
- Add Ginger and garlic paste and mix properly using a spatula.
- At this point add cubed potatoes and start frying those as well.
- While the potatoes soften a bit add cubed pumpkin and cubed eggplant and give a thorough mix.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and mix properly.
- Once the veggies cooked at least 2/3 add turmeric Powder, Salt, Sugar and Panch Phoron Powder to it and mix properly.
- Finally, add chopped Malabar Spinach and mix thoroughly.
- At this point cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes in medium flame.
- Open the lid and stir veggies using a spatula and add fried fish pieces after breaking them into medium sized pieces using a spatula or hand and mix properly.
- Cover the pan again and cook in medium flame for 10 minutes and stir in between.
- No need to add water while cooking as Chanchra will be cooked using the water releasing from the veggies.
- Drizzle little mustard oil and give a thorough mix and switch the flame off.
- Serve Chanchra with steamed rice and a bowl full of Moong Daal and enjoy your perfect Bengali meal.
* Panch Phoron: A mixture of Fenugreek seed / methi , Nigella seed / Kalojire / Kalonji, Cumin seed/ Jeera, Black mustard seed/ Sorshe and fennel seed/ Mauri / Saunf.
** I prefer to microwave Malabar Spinach before cooking for 5 minutes on high speed.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Bengali