Dried Keski Fish With Aubergines And Leeks

Dried Keski fish with aubergines and leeks.
A spicy and moorish dish
Creamy aubergines melt in your mouth
Subtle underlying sweetness

We all love a good dried fish curry, ‘shutki’ as we Bengalis call it! Here we have dried Keski, leeks and aubergines. A hot and spicy dish but with an underlying sweetness from the leeks and creamyness coming from the aubergines!

This dish makes a terrific side dish to finish off a traditional Bengali dining experince.

I like having a ‘shutki’, essentially a dried fish curry. You can use dried bombay duck but for me this is light and moorish!

Try it, brave it and trust me you will love the combination of ingredients.


1 aubergine
Pinch of turmeric for sauteing
1 tbsp paprika
5 cloves of garlic sliced chunky
1 leek sliced
Naga optional
1 tsp turmeric
5 tbsp oil or as required
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup dried keski washed/cleaned
5 slit green chillies
1 onions chopped small


Wash and clean the keski gently in cold water, pick out any debris and leave it standing to drain. For insight into cleaning the dried keski fish visit How To Clean Dried/ Fresh Keski Fish

Cut aubergine into fingersize 2 inch lenghth pieces.

Take a non stick pan and once heated add the oil. Add the aubergines and a pinch of salt and turmeric. Fry untill the aubergines release the oil back into the pan and have a little colour. Aubergines will soak up the oil but release some once cooked. Remove with slotted spoon and keep aside.

Pinch of salt and turmeric
Fry on high heat
Let oil be released from aubergines
Ensure they get some colour
Remove and set aside

In the same pan add a little more oil as required, you want about 4 tbsp in the pan. Add the onions, half the chopped garlic, salt and cook. Let the onions soften and change slightly in colour. Do not brown.

Add additional oil
Add the onions and garlic
Cook till softened

Once the rawness has dissisipated reduce the heat. Add a couple of tablespoons water and then the chilli powder, kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric. Cook this well for a few minutes. Let the oil separate a little and the masala come away from pan wuth a sheen.

Add spice powders
Do not burn
Do not burn

Now add a quarter cup of wate, salt. Stir, cover and simmer untill the oil separates, the water has cooked out again and you have a loose thick masala. Stir frequently.

Add water
Gently simmer covered
Wait till oil separates

Now add the leeks, half the sliced chillies.
Stir in and cook covered on medium heat untill the leeks have softened and cooked out. You are essentially steaming the leeks.

Add leeks
Sweat till softened and cooked

Once the leeks are cooked, add the sauted aubergines, remaing chopped garlic, last of fresh chillies and naga if you want as I have.

Add aubergines
Garlic, naga and fresh chillies

Add the washed keski and very gently fold to mix well.

Washed keski
Gently fold in to combine

Add a few tablespoons of water, cover and cook on low untill the fish is fully cooked and it has a lovely sheen but no sauce.

Add a little water
Cook covered

You will know its properly cooked when you move it to the side and you see no liquid residue on base of pan.

No liquid remaining

Check for seasoning and adjust.

This is a dryish dish. You can loosen it a little but you will enjoy it better as the soft aubergine and leeks when mixed with rice add a delicious creamyness in your mouth!

Serve with hot rice.

Ready to serve
Dish up with garlic chunks on top
Serve with hot rice

Quality spices and dried hot peppers available from The Herb and Spice Emporium.

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