Chanchra | Bengali “Mishmash with Fish Head and Veggies
 
 
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.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bengali
Serves: 4 People
Ingredients
  • 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: ½ Tsp.
  • Garlic Paste: 1 Tsp.
  • Panch Phoron / Five Spices*: 1.5 Tsp.
  • Dried Red Chili: 2
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
  • Red Chili Powder: ½ Tsp. (can be added more)
  • Sugar: 1 Tsp.
  • Salt: to taste
  • Mustard Oil: 5 Tbsp.
Instructions
  1. Wash Fish head and the central bone of fish thoroughly.
  2. %Frying Fish head for making Chancha
  3. 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.
  4. %step by step Making of Chanchra
  5. 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.
  6. Slice Onion thinly and chop tomato roughly.
  7. Chop Malabar Spinach** after washing 2-3 times under running water.
  8. Make a coarse powder of half of the Panch Phoron and keep that aside.
  9. 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.
  10. Strain fried fish pieces using a strainer and keep those aside.
  11. Now temper remaining oil with dried red chili and remaining whole Panch Phoron.
  12. Add sliced onion and fry till the onion turned light pink in color.
  13. Add Ginger and garlic paste and mix properly using a spatula.
  14. At this point add cubed potatoes and start frying those as well.
  15. While the potatoes soften a bit add cubed pumpkin and cubed eggplant and give a thorough mix.
  16. Now add chopped tomatoes and mix properly.
  17. Once the veggies cooked at least ⅔ add turmeric Powder, Salt, Sugar and Panch Phoron Powder to it and mix properly.
  18. Finally, add chopped Malabar Spinach and mix thoroughly.
  19. At this point cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes in medium flame.
  20. 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.
  21. Cover the pan again and cook in medium flame for 10 minutes and stir in between.
  22. No need to add water while cooking as Chanchra will be cooked using the water releasing from the veggies.
  23. Drizzle little mustard oil and give a thorough mix and switch the flame off.
  24. Serve Chanchra with steamed rice and a bowl full of Moong Daal and enjoy your perfect Bengali meal.
Notes
* 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.
Recipe by Debjanir Rannaghar at https://kitchenofdebjani.com/2016/03/chanchra/