Chital Macher Muittha

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Happy New Year to all our readers at Cook Like a Bong. A few months back one of our readers mentioned that even though we are a blog mainly with Bengali recipes, we put up less recipes on fish, the heart and soul of Bengalis. The reason behind it is where I stay there were not much options to have fish. But, with a new store that just opened I now have access to almost all fishes that I used to get back when I was in Kolkata. So, hopefully this year I’ll have many more authentic Bengali fish recipes to share with you all.

Last weekend I went to the store to get some of the common fishes from Bengal – rohu, hilsa, tengra. But, to my surprise there were more, and the best part was a box of minced chital. Chitol or the clown knifefish is one of my favourites. These are huge fishes and with loads of bones. The spicy and oily preparation of chital belly (peti) is one of the many recipes to drool over from the Bengali kitchen. But, there is more to chital, than just its belly. Scraping of the other parts of the fish (discarding the bones) and frying those into dumplings – chital macher muithya is another very popular way of cooking this fish.

Chitol Macher Muittha

I’m not sure how the name “muittha” was derived. But, the preparation is a fishy form of the kancha kalar kofta or the Bengali style malai kofta. The ground fish is mixed with spices, made into balls and fried. These fried dumplings are then cooked in rich gravy and served with rice.

Chital Macher Muithya

Indian, Side, Authentic bengali fish recipe, Chital maach, Fish recipe, Fish dumpling
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • For the duplings:
  • 250gms ground Chital
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3-4 chopped green chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
  • For the gravy:
  • 1 medium size potato, cut into squares
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Bring the ground fish to normal temperature. Mix all the ingredients for the dumplings, and make small balls or shapes of your choice.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, and deep fry the dumplings. Take out and rest on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  • Heat the mustard oil for the gravy. Mix a pinch of salt and turmeric powder with the chopped potatoes and fry lightly. Take out and store.
  • Mix all the spices expect garam masala in a small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of water
  • Throw in the whole cumin seeds to the same oil, add the potatoes, and pour in the spice paste. Stir for a little while till the spices coat the potatoes and the oil starts separating. Season with salt. Pour in about 1 cup of warm water and cook covered till the potatoes are soft.
  • Gently place the fish dumplings in the gravy. Add the ghee and garam masala. Turn of the heat. Wait for 5-10mins before serving, let the gravy get inside the dumplings

Hot Tips- While making the dumpling, if the mixture sees to be too sticky add a little more cornflour. The dumplings suck in the gravy, so its better to take the dumplings out of the gravy and keep separately. Mix them in again once you are ready to serve. You’ll love this, I specially love to have dumplings & beer all at one. 

Chitol Muittha

Sending this recipe to Traditional and Native Recipes hosted by Sara.

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12 thoughts on “Chital Macher Muittha

  1. All said and done, the bottomline is always the freshness of the fish, something which we city-dwellers always miss, whether in Kolkata or elsewhere. Recently I had the rare good fortune of sampling freshly caught Chitol. Even the plain fried version was heavenly. But as I said, it’s an extremely rare opportunity.

  2. My mom always boiled the dumplings before frying them. And she never added any binders to them like corn starch or potaotes.

  3. Great recipe for a version of the muitthya – the name from making the fish balls by hand (or muitthya in Bangal – as this is definitely and East Bengal dish).

    I the version I learned from my mum – you mix 1/2 ground fish and 1/2 boiled white potatoes and mix in finely chopped green chilli, ginger and onion – together with salt. Lubricate ones hand with water and make the muitthyas and drop them in boiling water. When the float up, they are done. I have served these boiled fish dumplings straight with soya sauce for drinks – and these will go down like a dream. I have cooked them in the gravy like described above – both with and without frying the fish dumplings and if one’s got their spices and tastemakers right, either is great… Thanks for this post anyway – living as I am in a fish-less city, reading this recipe brought back memories of great muitthyas i have eaten…

    By the way, if you guys are adventurous enough to start from ‘scratch’ i.e. from getting a portion of the chital ‘back’ and scraping the fish off (comes out very easily) with a spoon (and NOT starting with ground chital); then with the skin and bones left behind – you could create the best of a hot savory ‘chital’er chamRar chorchoRi’… tastes divine!

  4. Muitha- this name was given because our grand mothers would make balls in their mutho which means palm of their hand and put these balls in boiling water to get firm. Later the balls would be fried and added to the prepared gravy. But no cornflour or flour or besan was added to the chitol fish mixture for the dumplings.
    Now, the dumpling mix is prepared,rolled into longish pieces, boiled in water. They are taken out and cut into pieces and fried in mustard oil. Then they are added to the prepared gravy. What a delightful dish!!!

  5. Hi
    So glad to have found your site!
    I am hoping you can help me out. I’ve been looking for a chittagong recipe I think the locals call it FULOTI.
    They are like small dumpling made with shrimps and they can be added to fish curries.

    My mum loves them and I would really like to make them for her 🙂
    Hope you can help!

  6. The dumpling for this dish was traditionally prepared with hand ” mutho kore kore ” exactly the same way naaru is made…..and hence the name ” muittha……”…..and those dumplings were slowly dropped in boiling water (very slowly otherwise they will disintegrate)……it nicely cooks the fish and makes it soft.

    1. All your fish receipes are great, Ilove fish and simply love the bengali way of cooking it. I hope I can try all these dishes and enjoy, Thank you and have a great day.

  7. Dear Sudeshna
    recipe ta Po-re..confidence pachhi..try karar…previously failed always …
    I like the spicing, no onion and ..absence of garlic is the typical signature of most bong dishes…. and you always cook like a bong ha ha .
    have a nice week

    1. Thank you UshinishDa. Amio ae prothombar banalam muthiya all by myself, and it came out just perfect. Tumi try kore bolo keman holo.

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