Muri Ghonto, Chal Diye

A Bengali delicacy of fish head cooked with fragrant, short-grained, non-parboiled rice like gobindobhog.

  • Cooking time
    1 hour
  • Calories
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Muri ghonto can refer to a large number of dishes that use fish head and another main ingredient (such as dal, or potatoes, or cauliflower). For example, in Bangladesh, muri ghonto is often made with moog dal, much like the kind shown in our machher matha diye bhaja mooger dal recipe. This particular variation is the one with rice. Any culture that truly loves fish holds the fish head in great esteem. There are hundreds of different ways in which Bengali cuisine uses fish head—sometimes as a way to flavour other ingredients such as vegetables or dal, but also often as the main ingredient. Muri ghonto is such a dish.

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6 servings
  • 550 g machh'er matha (fish head)
  • 10 g salt (to marinate fish head)
  • 3 g turmeric (to marinate fish head)
  • 300 g aged gobindobhog chaal (fragrant, short-grained, non-parboiled rice)
  • 250 g potatoes (3-cm cubes)
  • 50 g green peas
  • 35 g cashew nuts
  • 35 g raisins
  • 55 g mustard oil
  • 30 g ghee
  • 2 pcs dried red chillies
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • 4 pcs cardamom
  • 1 pc cinnamon
  • 4 pcs cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 15 g ginger paste
  • 6–8 pcs green chillies (slit)
  • 750–800 ml hot water
  • 12 g salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • ½ tsp gorom moshla
  • 1 tbsp ghee


  1. Wash the fish head thoroughly, paying particular attention to the gills if you're using them. Drain the water completely and marinate with salt and turmeric for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash the rice multiple times until water runs clear. Strain over a cloth to dry (30 minutes).
  3. Heat 5 g each of mustard oil and ghee in a kadai. Fry cashew nuts until lightly coloured, and then add the raisins. Fry until they plump up, then add the washed and dried rice. Fry on low heat for about 10 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
  4. Now heat mustard oil in the same kadai.
  5. Fry potatoes (cut into 3 cm cubes) with some salt. Once they are half-cooked, set aside.
  6. Fry fish-head on medium-low heat, until well browned (10 minutes). Set aside.
  7. Add ghee to the mustard oil remaining in the pan. Temper with dried red chillies, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seeds. Add turmeric, cumin powder, and red chilli powder. Gently fry the spices on low heat taking care not to burn them; turn off the heat, if required.
  8. Add green peas. Fry on low heat for 1 minute. Add ginger paste and gorom moshla. Fry on low heat for 2 minutes.
  9. Add the fried fish head and braise it along with the spices for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the rice, cashew, raisins, potatoes and slit green chillies. Add hot water and the remaining salt. Stir gently to mix everything. Cover the pan and steam on the lowest possible heat for 10 minutes.
  11. Open the lid and check if the rice is cooked. If it is, add sugar. Stir gently to avoid the rice breaking. Cover and steam again for 5 minutes.
  12. Finish with a sprinkle of gorom moshla and ghee.

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A Bengali delicacy of fish head cooked with fragrant, short-grained, non-parboiled rice like gobindobhog.

  • 1 hour
  • kcal