Tag Archives: Lentils

Fish Head Lentils Recipe (Maacher Matha diye Dal Recipe)

We Bengalis are known for our inherent talent for devouring fish. While like the rest of the world, not only do we enjoy the fish by only its flesh, but we dont throw away the head, rather we make a delicious dal out of it. Well to be frank, the head of the fish is full of nutrients mainly proteins, vitamin D and its very good for your eyesight. Enough of the science talk, lets get right to it to make this delicious recipe.

To make this dish, you will need the following.


  1. Large head of fish (Preferably Katla cut into 4 pieces)
  2. Yellow gram lentils (Moong dal) [150 gm]
  3. Ginger Garlic Paste [1 tspn]
  4. Cumin seeds (Jeera) [1 tspn]
  5. Bayleaf (Tejpatta) [2 pieces]
  6. Dried Red Peppers(Lal Mirch) [2 pieces]
  7. Garam Masala [1 tspn]
  8. Mustard Oil [3 tbsp]
  9. Turmeric Powder [1 tspn]
  10. Salt [1-2 tspn]
  11. Sugar [1 tspn]
  12. Water [300 ml]
  13. Coriander Leaves
  14. Green Chillies [2 pieces]

Hope you have noted it down, not lets get started. Follow these steps below
Step 1: Season the fish head

Add 1 tspn salt and 1 tspn turmeric powder on the fish head and apply all over the fish head and let it rest for 10 mins. The salt will take the water out and the turmeric will add colour to the fish.

Step 2: Fry the fish head

Heat your wok and add the mustard oil to it and wait till the oil starts smoking. This is very important to get it super hot, or else the fish will stick to the base and break. Once smoking, reduce the heat to medium and add your seasoned fish head. There will be a sizzling sound and might be some mini explosions as the fish is being fried, Do not be scared, as this is supposed to happen. Fry each side for 5 mins until it starts getting golden. Once golden, remove your fish head into paper towels which will absorb the excess oil.

Step 3: Prepare the Lentils

Use the leftover oil in the wok and add cumin seeds, red peppers and bayleaves to it and let them fry for 1 minute. Then add your ginger garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the moong dal into this and stir for another minute until the dal gets fried. While, doing this add some salt, some sugar and turmeric to taste and colour. After the dals are fried, add your water and bring it to a boil.

Step 4: Add the fried fish head

As soon as the water starts to boil, add the fried fish head, and cover your wok with a lid. Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook for 10-15 mins until your lentils are perfectly cooked. Once complete, the dal will be soft and you can easily press it with your fingers.
Sprinkle some garam masala powder on top and turn off the heat.

Step 5 : Garnish and serve

The dal is ready already, but to add to the taste I always garnish it. Roughly chop some coriander and green chillies. Take the daal on a serving bowl and spread the chillies and coriander on top over your daal.

And there you have it! Easy,Tasty and delicious your Fish Head Lentils or Maacher MAtha diye dal is ready to eat. Serve hot with rice and enjoy. A healthy and tasty recipe for you to try.