Bengalis are definitely inseperable from their fish specialties. They’ve got one for every occasion. While meats like chicken and mutton do make an appearance every once in a while, it is the fish that remains constant. From the rich Kosha Mangsho and Hilsa to the creamy Doi Macch and spicy fish biryani, the Bengalis can never have enough of fish. These curries are the star of the meal and everyone looks forward to relishing them during feasts. Wait, why did we jump to the main course without any appetizers? Not fair, right? 

Don’t worry, because Bengalis have their way of sprucing up fish starters too. From the streets of Kolkata to the in-house dinner parties, there are some snacks that will surely find place on the menu. Here are some lip-smacking Bengali-style macch snacks that scream indulgence. 

1. Macher Dimer Bora 

Come monsoon, the aroma of these deep-fried fritters fill the Bengali homes. Just as we like to savour our aloo and pyaaz pakoras in the north, Bengalis love their Macher Dimer Bora. This is a fish egg fritter which is prepared with fish roe. Fried in mustard oil, the fritters give you a slight sweet after-taste that is best enjoyed on the side of dal chawal. 

2. Fish Kabiraji 

This is another crunchy affair that Bengalis like to indulge in during tea. The fish fillets are brushed with a range of spices which are tossed in a layer of breadcrumbs and gram flour. The fried Fish Kabiraji translates into fried fish with egg net. The crispy appetizer is a gift of the British to Bengal. 

3. Bhetki Butter Fry 

Made with an airy batter of coriander paste, ginger-garlic paste and cornflour, the bhetki fillets are wrapped in this mix and filled with cheese before frying. Serve this with tomato ketchup or a spicy dip of your choice and enjoy!

4. Macher Chop 

These Bengali-style fish croquettes will make it hard for you to stop at one. A crispy outer layer and a moist and soft fish on the inside is a marvelous combination for a snack. A deep-fried snack that is a popular street food of Kolkata, Machher Chop are disc-shaped cutlets, coated first with egg and then with breadcrumbs to give it a croquette-like texture. 

5. Kolkata-Style Fish Fry 

Quite similar to Macher Chop in texture, the specialty of Kolkata Style Fish Fry is the marination. With a simple marination of ginger, garlic and green chilies, the fish is fried until it turns golden brown. You can use any fish for this starter like bhetki, rohu, illish etc. 

6. Illish Paturi 

This one is a special so we’ve saved it for the last. Also known as Hilsa Paturi, the illish is marinated with turmeric and a whole lot of spices before being wrapped in a pumpkin leaf and fried in mustard oil. 

If this is the fishy affair Bengalis have to deal with, we don’t mind indulging in it too, do you?