19 March 2012

Naga Fish Curry/ Fish in Bamboo-Shoot

I think i have mentioned in my earlier post, the Naga people's love for bamboo-shoot  and soya beans. When you live far away from your hometown it's not funny how you begin to appreciate and preserve with utmost care, things that remind of home :D. Today i am sharing the Naga Fish Curry recipe. Every home will make it differently but the dominant and uniting ingredient will be the bamboo-shoot/thunkhiang in Rongmei / bastenga in Nagamese. It is a simple unassuming dish surprisingly packed with amazing depth of flavors.

If you have Naga friends it doesn't hurt to ask them for some bamboo-shoot to try :) or else you can buy the canned ones sold at Ratnadeep Supermarket ( if you are in Hyderabad) but i must mention that the flavors are mild and miss the intensity of the Naga bamboo-shoot. The use of mustard oil in this recipe is important as it gives a distinct flavor to the dish. A possible Bengal influence among the Rongmei is the use of mustard oil in our cooking. I do remember clearly my mom using engine mustard oil, a really pungent one, for any oil based cooking  while growing up :D. These days though, dhara seem to be the preferred brand, and of course a variety of other refined vegetable oil.

There is nothing such as Naga style of cooking per se because it is just so simple. If you are short of time or patience, you can just toss in all the ingredients and cook for 15-20 minutes an you'll still have a surprisingly wonderful and flavorful curry :) but to create depth in flavor and if you love and enjoy the process of cooking in particular, here is the recipe and how to go about :). Please Enjoy!!

For Curry:
1 Kilo - Rohu Fish
2 Tbsp - Mustard Oil
2-3 - Big Tomato, cut in 4 equal pieces each
2 - Big Onions, diced
1 Cup - Bamboo-Shoot, shreaded
5 - Green Chillies, Slit in half
1 - Garlic Pod, the cloves crushed
1 Tsp - Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
500 ml - Water
1 cup - Shallots Chopped
Salt as per taste

To marinate Fish:
2 Tbsp - Ginger-Garlic Paste
2 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp - Turmeric Powder
1 Tsp - Salt
Oil for deep frying fish

 Marinate the fish overnight or for atleast an hour.
Heat oil till hot and deep fry the fish till the pieces are evenly browned, about 2 mins each, and keep aside to drain excess oil.
In a casserole dish heat 2 Tbsp of mustard oil till the raw smell is gone or till you see the oil begin to smoke and add the diced onions and stir it is well caramelized.
Add the tomatoes and the rest of the spices and stir to allow the flavors to permeate.
Add the bamboo-shoot and water, cover the pot and cook till the water starts boiling, let boil for some time and then reduce flame and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Now add the fried fish and cook for ten minutes and then spread the shallots, cook for another 5 minutes, turn off flame, give a gentle stir making sure not to break the fish pieces, put the lid back on and let rest.

Serve it with hot rice, dried fish chutney and some salad and you have a well fed tummy :).


  1. Thank you for the recipe. Look forward to posting of more Bamboo shoot recipes (including Dried Bamboo shoot) and other Naga Dishes.. I just love them.

  2. Hello Tirthankar, thank you for stopping by. Delighted to know you love bamboo shoot :). Will definitely post recipes using dried bamboo shoot as well...keep looking around. Cheers!

  3. amazin ....tried it out :)

  4. Hi Anonymous, thank you for the feedback. Delighted to know you loved it too :).

  5. nice recipe i m from hyderabad i'd like to buy bamboo shoots can u suggest places/address ?? i've been searching for bamboo shoots for quiet sometime now..i have few naga freinds but i'm not in touch at present :).

  6. Am not sure if anyone is selling Naga bamboo shoot but i've seen tin bamboo shoot by Druk, available at Radnadeep Supermarket. The flavor will not be as intense as the Naga ones but pretty good all the same :D.

  7. Can u jot down the recipe of chicken with bamboo shoot ? Thanks in adv !!!

  8. Hi Girtartha, Thank you for stopping by. Will try and post a recipe using bamboo shoot in a chicken curry...hopefully soon. Do come back for more! Cheers!

  9. Can't wait to try! I miss the food and my Naga friends

  10. Hope it turn out well for you, Flopsy! Keep coming back for more -- thank you!

  11. love the dishes, I had Manipuri friends who cook the similar way ,.. miss them

  12. Just made and is waiting to start eating! Love bambooshoot and love fish and love the Northeast cuisine of India ....am a Shillong person .!...indranie

  13. Oh thank you for this. Sending you lots love. Naga fish is soooo yummmy

  14. Hope your fish curry turn out awesome, Indranie and Sam. Keep coming back for more North East delicacies!

  15. Thanks for posting this brilliant article. I'm a long time reader but I've never left a comment.

    I've bookmarked your blog and shared this on my Facebook.

    Thanks again for a quality post!

    1. Thank you for your kind feedback and for sharing, Anonymous! I'm not sure why, but your message was sitting in my spam all this while. I hope I bump into your comment again. Happy cooking!


Thank you for stopping by. Delighted to be sharing some l-o-v-e from my kitchen with you. If you sample any of my cooking, do come back and let me know. Cheers!