This blog is dedicated to Mum, my greatest mentor. It is a compilation of simple recipes - Bengali, Indian, Burmese and Continental, among others. All of these recipes have been tested in my kitchen. Most use everyday ingredients found at your local market, but some use specialty ingredients available at Asian and/or Indian markets. Comments are welcome and members are invited to send in any recipes they would like to share.
They're called whitebait in English and keski or kachki maach in Bengali. Compare the thickness of the translucent strips of onion in the picture above to the opaque, skinny whitebait.
I had whitebait for the first time at my sister, Rene's, home and she advised that to remove any fishy smell, the fish should be marinated in turmeric and garlic paste as soon as they're thawed. Stir-fried in onions and tomatoes, there's no need to add water to get a gravy because more than enough moisture is released by the sliced onions and tomatoes.
Mustard oil would be the best oil to use for this dish, but if it's not available vegetable oil would work just as well.
Frozen Blocks of Whitebait
Whitebait comes in blocks of ice, three to a package, in the Vietnamese market. The package is labelled silverfish mainly because of the translucent, silvery colour of the fish. In some Asian markets the fish is called Chinese Whitebait.
When they're thawed, whitebait look like silvery threads that are about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length which turn white when cooked.