Fish Head Mishmash
May 02 2019

One of the best parts of cooking is trying to find a way where there is zero or minimal waste of produce. It’s heartening to watch even cookery shows placing emphasis on the concept of zero-waste in an attempt to turn it back into norm rather than a trend. And I am well aware that I used the term ‘turn it back into a norm’. Over the years, I’ve seen my mother practice the same thought process that she has learned from her mother.

For instance, the skin of the bottle gourd does not land in the wash basin. It is washed well and fried till slightly crisp, making it a perfect accompaniment with daal bhaat (rice & lentils). The stems of cauliflowers and leafy greens like spinach are used in chochodi (mixed vegetable).  The bones of mutton/lamb, if not used in the curry, are utilised to make soup. And we use the entire banana tree! The leaves are used as plates, the fruits are eaten, and the flowers are used to make a vegetable as is the fleshy part of the tree’s trunk.

The muri ghonto is another such dish that uses a part of the whole fish that is generally not taken home by people. I always remember my father bringing home a whole fish, from the head to the tail. A second round of cleaning at home ensues before the fish pieces are seasoned with salt and turmeric. Then, calculating the number of people in the household, Maa divides the pieces into containers which are then stashed in the freezer until further use. If the fish, however, is a Catla or Rohu, the fish heads are kept in a separate container with a big chunk of fish. Because this fish head is used to make the muri ghonto – fish head mishmash in rice..... (continue reading for recipe)

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