We got some haddock the other day and from past experience I think the best way of cooking haddock is making fish cakes, if you are not deep frying it for fish and chips. I do love deep fried food but the rest of my family detests it. So I tried making it healthy. I made these hot and spicy bite size fish cakes, which is served with rice, “dal sedho” (boiled red lentils) and “bati posto” (spicy white poppy seed paste).
For dal sedho (boiled red lentils) all you need to do is wash and boil red lentils in salted water for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked. You need to add in enough water so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the lentils are cooked, in a separate pan make the “tarka”. Heat 2-3 tbsp of mustard oil (or you can use any cooking oil if you cant get hold of it!), whole red chilli broken into 2/3 pieces and 1 tsp of whole cumin seeds. Fry for a minute or two or until you get the chilli, crispy almost burnt, remove from fire and pour over the boiled dal. Check for seasoning and serve it with hot boiled rice. You can also add some roughly chopped red onions.
Posto is a typical Bengali dish. In-fact Bengalis can be divided in to two groups on this. Ones who love any preparation of posto and the others who secretly like having it but would love to tease the other group who openly loves posto.
Ideally “bati-posto” is done in a pressure cooker, but I tried making it on hob. For this you need 100 gm or so poppy seeds (you can find these seeds in the Indian shop near spices section). Dry grind them in a coffee grinder. Add water to it and make it a smooth paste. Keep it loose. Now add and mix some finely chopped green chillies, red onions, salt and 2-3 tbsp of mustard oil to it and then start cooking it on the hob. Stir continuously so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When the water from the posto is almost gone, take it off the hob and serve with rice.
This fish cakes are very spicy and you can have them just like that or with main meals. For this I boiled the 2 fillets of haddock in water for 10-15 minutes and boiled 2 medium sized potatoes separately till they are fully cooked. Mash the fish and potatoes together (make sure there are no fish bones left in the mash). Add red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and aamchur powder, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp each. Next add salt, fresh chopped coriander, green chillies, pea nuts, all as per your taste. Mix every thing together and then make small cakes out of the mixture. Cover them well with breadcrumbs and shallow fry them in oil. Serve with rice.