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ZAMIN DOZ MACHHLI

An old recipe for cooking fish is the "Zamin Doz Machhli" wherein a whole fish is stuffed with spices sealed in an earthenware case, buried in the ground and cooked by the placing cow dung cake fire on the ground above. Though it takes 6-8 hours to cook, it is worth the wait! In the days of yore, special earthenware cases were made to order by the kumhars (potters) according to the size and shape of the fish to be cooked. The case would fit the fish like a glove and moisture would be absorbed by it. The final product would have an earthy flavour. As such luxuries are rare these days the fish-shaped case can be substituted with the easily available roti-dish or the flat curd setting dish. This dish can also be prepared in an oven by covering marinade and by baking in a casserole dish at the lowest temperature for approximately one hour.

Ingredients:

SOLE FISH 1KG
GRAM FLOURS 100 GMS.
ANISEED POWDERS 50 GMS.
CARAWAY POWDERS 25 GMS.
CURD 250 GMS.
ALMONDS 15 GMS.
PISTACHIO NUTS 15 GMS.
DESSICATED COCONUT 25 GMS.
CHIRONJI 20 GMS.
POPPY SEEDS 20 GMS.
GINGER 20 GMS.
GARLIC 20 GMS.
CHILLI POWDERS 1 TBSP.
SALT TO TASTE
MACE 2 BLADES
BLACK CARDAMOM 4 NOS.
CLOVES 6 NOS.
PEPPER CORNS 6 NOS.
ORANGE COLOUR (EDIBLE) A PINCH
LIME 1 NO.
REFINED OIL 1 TBSP.
FLOUR 150 GMS. FOR SEALING

Method:

Skin and wash the whole fish and slit one side lengthwise. Squeeze the juice of one lime and apply with salt on the Fish. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Grind the ginger and Garlic to a paste. Blanch and peel the almonds, grind to paste along with lightly roasted poppy seeds and chironji and dessicated coconut. Blanch, peel and finely chop pistachio nuts. Grind to a paste the mace, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns. In a teaspoon of water, dissolve the edible colour and apply evenly on the marinated fish. In bowl mix all the above and the remaining ingredients except the pistachio nuts and stuff inside the fish. Next grease with oil a flat earthenware dish, the kind used to set curds in, and place the fish in it along with Cover with a lid and seal with atta dough. Bury 4"-6" below the Ground. Cover and place a slow cow-dung cake fire or charcoal fire on the ground directly above the dish and let it cook for 5-6 hours. Open and serve with roomali roti.  

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