If you are even remotely aware of Bengali food, you must be aware of our fascination with fish. There are a dozen curried, steamed and fried fish preparations originating from Bengal alone. A good number of these preparations came to life during the British rule. The British settlers took and gave a lot to the food scene of Kolkata. While we introduced them to a rich array of spices, curries and gravies, they left behind some fond culinary remnants that they brought from their land. Macher chops, or fish chops, is a delectable fish preparation that is said to be a result of this cultural barter.
Macher chop is basically a filling fish cutlet with a spicy mashed potato filling. There are several kinds of chops popular in the street food fare of Bengal. Chops are basically just distant cousins of cutlets that got a spicy and super wholesome makeover in India. There are so many varieties of them; from mutton chops, aloo chop, deemer chop (egg chop) to our favourite macher chop. Mutton chops are believed to be a popular snack that was born in the elite British clubs of Kolkata which travelled to the local kiosks of Kolkata, where people started enjoyed the snack as part of their evening tea-time adda.
Macher chop is also a delectable snack that you find in Durga Pooja pandals, served in a pool of sauces and topped with masala. Deep fried in mustard oil, the crusty and crumbly exterior is due to the breadcrumbs and flour coating. You can use any fish of your liking, make sure you boil it, de-bone it and skin it in advance. The inner tender filling typically includes boiled, mashed potatoes, onions, cashews, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin and garam masala.
You can serve these cutlets with a dash of kasundi, a special hot and pungent Bengali mustard sauce. Those who cannot palate so much of hotness at one go, can opt for simple tomato ketchup. Here's a delicious macher chop recipe by noted YouTuber and Bengali home chef Ananya Banerjee.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.