>Harem Intrigues…. Khar fish market & squid butter pepper garlic recipe


Scroll down patiently for the recipe
The Knife & his women
My mother led me to another woman sometime back. No this is not the plot of a progressive 18th century Bengali novel. It is about my new find at the Khar Fish Market.
 For long I used to go to Pushpa (9819611625) and her mom at the Khar fish market. The quality of their fish was good, price reasonable, they were sweet people, not too pushy. Then I took my mother to the market once when she visited us. I was checking out the fish at Pushpa’s when I saw that mom had disappeared. She surfaced a bit later and whispered conspiratorially in Bengali, “there is good Hilsa in another shop”. I was quite loyal to Pushpa and her mom and hadn’t strayed ever since I found them. Never looked around. ITill that day. I followed Mom to the shop in the centre and the market. It was the “beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
The shop is run by Poonam and her identical looking sister Sangeeta. By ‘shop’ I mean a corner on the elevated platform. Their mom sits with them occasionally. They have a larger stock of fish than Pushpa and her mom. They sit at the centre of their market. Prices are marginally higher to Pushpa’s but you can sweet talk them into lowering them. One basic purchase that I make when I go to fish shops is a large cut rohu or katla. Poonam and Sangeeta are more likely to have it than Pushpa and their mom. The quality of their fish is pretty good. Of course yet to stand the test of time unlike Pushpa and her mom’s.
I always go to Pushpa first. But today too she didn’t have the cut of rohu that I wanted. I then went to Poonam and Sangeeta and picked up Rohu (Rs 180 for cut piece), Pomfrets (4 for Rs 240), Squids (Rs 150 a kilo), Hilsa (Rs 350) a kilo. They then reduced quite a piece on the overall amount.
Poonam and Sangeeta sit beside the plump, comparatively older and very aggressive fisher lady. I bought fish from her in the beginning. Often turned out to be bad and bitter. She starts screaming the moment she sees ame and gives me grief for not coming to her. She was far away when I used to go to Pushpa. Now too close to comfort.
On the way back I sheepishly went to Pushpa and said  “next time”. She pouted, sulked, turned away. Muttered “I had the same fish. I saw what you bought. My fish was just 300g less. I had hilsa too”.
Poonam’s cell number is: 9867402956
Squid butter pepper garlic recipe follows after the photos:
Poonam, she cuts the fish the way I like it, Bangali cut
Poonam with a mobile calci & Sangeeta (dark sari) working out the final price for me
Rohu, Pomfret ec etc
Live mud crabs. The mobile camera didn’t do justice to it
The mussels were moving around too
Squids…the skin needs to be peeled off
Mackarel or Bangda…very popular with the locals

Squid butter pepper garlic recipe

I picked up squids today after I read about how Sassy Fork chose it over red meat. In reply to my question, she said that squids aren’t crustaceans. Sassy Fork prefers to remain anonymous but let’s just say that she would know. She is a child of a mixed marriage (Mahararashtrian  & Bengali). Her posts reflect this cultural confluence. Her blog has meticulous restaurant reviews with some nice scientific tips too. There, did I give out too much? 😉

Note: post this Sassy Fork mailed me the following on squids

squid has cholesterol but is low in fat,specially the much feared saturated fat.
here’s a link about the same
important how we cook things too


an important page

I cooked the squids in the Butter Pepper Garlic Salt style of Mahesh Lunch Home. The recipe is pretty much in the name itself. I had made it years back in our first house and first kitchen. With some lobsters mom in law sent us. Here’s the ‘recipe‘ if you really need it.

Prep: Get the squids peeled and cut them into rings. A contrast to the Far East. Places like Thailand and Malaysia seem to cook their squids whole.


  • Heat a tablespoon of butter. Olive oil would do. But would be a different dish then (realised butter was over when I started to cook at 11 PM. Went to New India Stores at the corner and got it)
  • Add a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic to the melted butter. Try not to faint in ecstasy as the heady aroma of garlic roasting in butter enshrouds you. (Note to self: desist the temptation to add curry leaves and split green chillies. Would again be a different dish)
  • Once the garlic turn light brown add half a tea spoon of coarse crushed black pepper and some rock salt if possible. I used regular salt.
  • Then add the squids (750 g) to it and toss till the there is a golden tinge to the squids. The juice which comes out of the squid should have dried up by then.
  • Take a squid out. if it’s not rubbery and you can chew it then you are ready. Takes less than ten minutes to cook and no effort
  • Eat this with bread. The best part is mopping up the butter garlic part with bread

You can and also have the butter pepper garlic squids as a party starter. Very quick to make. A discreet lead in to the fact that I, ahem, had been interviewed by DNA for their article on starters 🙂



Filed under FC in the news, Lazy cooking, Lonely Hearts cooking, People, pisces, Recipes

7 responses to “>Harem Intrigues…. Khar fish market & squid butter pepper garlic recipe

  1. >Im starting to feel a little stalkerish- but i promise I was just taking a break from some intense drawings when your post popped up and now I want.. i love squid and everything u photographed. I love mussels. Beautifully done.. the last shot is brilliant (the squid all plated). And congrats on the article.. my dad showed it to me this afternoon when i got back from tree walk.

  2. >nice to see an actual fish market…love the pictures..I like jus fish ..no mussels or squids…kalyan plz post a bengali fish curry recipe ..a real traditional way its cooked …I like bengali style ..and lemme know what similar kind is available in US for that cooking!!(we dont have pomfret or hils or rohu…but salmon rainbow trout,cat fish ,flounder etc)thanks

  3. >Man!! That's the best looking Squid Butter Pepper Garlic I have seen!! Looked the way you spoke about the fisherwomen and the market!Thanks for mentioning me 🙂

  4. >correction: loved the way you spoke abt the fsherwomen

  5. >Thanks Curry Spice. I am trying to learn from youHi Harman, you can try for rui kali http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2009/11/rocky-vii-cracking-doi-maachh-code.html or doi maach http://finelychopped-k.blogspot.com/2009/11/rocky-vii-cracking-doi-maachh-code.html with carp.Thanks for the tips Sassy ForkGlad you liked it K

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