Doi Maach ( Fish in yogurt and almond gravy)

The recipe which I am sharing is a gravy based fish recipe called Doi Maach. This recipe comes from the region of West Bengal, India. Living out of India, I always crave for Indian recipes. And being a Bengali I always miss the dishes specially made out of fish. As many Indian fishes, we don't get where I live, I have very limited options to experiment with.Most of the Indian fishes what we get here are frozen.Among the fresh Indian fish which I get here is Asian Sea Bass at Indian stores. In West Bengal, it is known as Bhetki.Asian Sea Bass has a mild flavor and a white, flaky flesh, with varying amount of body fat. In Thai cuisine, local  Asian sea bass is known as Pla kapong in Thailand. It is often eaten steamed with lime and garlic, as well as deep-fried or stir-fried with lemongrass, among a variety of many other ways. In West Bengal, locally caught bhetki (Asian Sea Bass) is a popular fish among Bengali people, mainly dished in festivities like marriages and other important social events, cooked as Bhetki macher paturi, bhetki macher kalia or coated with suji (semolina) and pan fried. It is very popular among people who are usually skeptical to eat fish because of their tiny pin bones. Bhetki fillets have no pin bones in them. In Bengali cuisine, therefore, the fry of "Bhetki" fillets is popular, commonly known as "Fish Fry" which is considered to be of good quality if it is made of this fish.

The recipe which I am sharing is typically made from other variety of fish in West Bengal. But due to unavailability of that particular variety, I am making this recipe with Asian Sea Bass. This recipe is made from yogurt and almond paste. Yogurt and almond give this dish a distinct flavor which will stay in your taste buds for long. The gravy of this recipe is slightly sweet and sour in taste with a tint of spiciness.
So here is my recipe:-

Preparation Time:-10 minutes  Standing Time:-10 minutes  Cooking Time:-20 minutes  Total Time:- 40 minutes
Number of Serving:-  3-4 persons


1. Asian Sea Bass Fish:- cut into 6 pieces (with bone)
2. Yogurt:- 1 cup (greek or whisked properly at room temperature)
3. Almond:- 10-12 in numbers (soaked in water)
4. Turmeric powder:- 1 teaspoon
5. Chilli powder:- 1 teaspoon
6. Ginger Paste:-1 tablespoon
7. Cumin Seeds:- 1 teaspoon
8. Cinamon Stick:-1 inch piece
9. Green Cardamom:- 3 pods
10. Cloves:- 3 pods
11. Garam Masala powder:- 1 teaspoon
12. Green chilies: 2-3 (optional)
13. coriander leaves for garnishing
14. Sugar:-2 tablespoon
15. Salt to taste
16. Oil:-3 tablespoon
17. Water:- 1 cup


1)  Grind the soaked almonds into fine paste a keep aside. Now take fish pieces and apply salt and turmeric powder to the fish. Massage it nice over the pieces. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

2) Heat oil in a nonstick pan. When the oil is smoking hot add the fish pieces to it. Fry them in medium flame. After 2-3 minutes turn the fish and fry. Fry till the fish pieces are light golden brown. take them off. 

3) Now to the same oil, add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, cloves and ginger paste. Saute for a minute or until raw flavor of ginger has gone. To that add chili powder, green chilies and almond paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame.

4) Lower the flame of your stove, and add the beaten yogurt to the pan. At this point, the flame should be very low otherwise your yogurt will curdle. Cook it in a slow flame until one boil. Add I cup of water, salt and sugar to the pan. Bring it to boil again. 

5) When the gravy is slightly thickened, add the fish pieces carefully in the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.(Don't cook the fish more than 5 minutes, the fish pieces will break.As it is already fried before.)
Add Garam masala powder, mix well.Cover the pan and switch off the flame. Let it sit for another 5 minutes.

6) Serve in a flat dish and garnish it with coriander leaves.

Your fish is ready to serve.


You can try this recipe using fish fillet also. It will taste equally good.

Serving Tip:- Serve this recipe with hot steamed rice or pilaf.

Do try my recipe and leave your comments below. Till then happy cooking.