Friday, April 7, 2017

Fish and bongs are interchangeable!

How could I ever justify myself of being a bong if I never write about fish. So, here's a post on the unofficial favourite food of almost every bong born in this world, and maybe even alien bongs too, fish or as we call it maach.

The love of fish is established firmly with the very first few morsels a baby is fed with during her annaprashan (grain initiation ceremony). A special fish dish is prepared for the occasion and post the payeesh (kheer / rice custard), the baby tastes her staple food for the first time and my guess, loves it too! We are bongs, we are born genetically to love fish. No questions asked.

And our fishes need to be fried, only and only in mustaard oil (that's how we pronounce it, and we are proud of it too, thank you very much). I wonder what we would have done if Kanodia never existed. The whiff of the mustard oil, along with the smell of the fresh fish, my mouth is already watering!

And, if this wasn't enough, we are the ones who can have even the most ridiculously 'bony' fish ilish with ease and call it a delicacy. Our fish menu is actually worthy of a PhD thesis. Who would not love to do a research on 'Bhaapa maach, maacher kalia, chingre maacher malaicurry, sorshe ilish'. The list is just starting, and I have no idea of how to translate the names of these dishes.

All our ceremonies are incomplete without fish. Weddings, for instance. The groom's family, along with haldi (turmeric) and other gifts, send a whole fish duly decorated. And, mind you, the groom is served with the head of the same fish and is expected to eat the entire thing post the wedding!

Fish for us is auspicious, it is our way of life, and 'maach bhaat' (fish and rice) is what defines us :)


  1. You hooked me with your title Asha. I'm not a bong but I've lived In Kolkatta and the man I'm married to is a Kolkatta maanush. Thank you for this mouth watering treat -- now I'm carving some fish but will make do with the whiff of mustaard oil for now:)

  2. Thanks so much Arti, I loved your comment so much...Please do savour some mouth watering maach soon :)

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