This image was taken after we had made substantial inroads into the meal. Indeed this is the rest (note the missing tail) of the small fry, so to speak! The "mother fish" had already been consumed!
Here Comes The Pretend Fish
Once in a while one discovers a dish which is completely unpretensious, easy to make, and is a major hit at a party. The Pretend fish recipe was in one of my cookbooks, on Italian seafood. It mentioned that it was easy to put together and with time short on hand, that was a laudable point in its favour. It also helped that it was a fish dish which epitomised boneless-ness! Eating fish is an acquired art. I find that many people cannot manage to separate the fish bones and justice to fresh fish prepared in the usual Bengali style. This dish being made of tuna flakes took the pain out eating something fishy :). If you have the mashed vegetables ready, it takes about 10 minutes to put together. My cookbook had mentioned only potatoes. I used a mixture of root vegetables and plantain along with two cans of tuna.
400 gm potato
100 gm carrot
100 gm sweet potato
100 gm plantain
2 Tablespoon Bengali prepared mustard, kasundi
1-4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon coriander stalks, finely minced
1 teaspoon capers
1 cup mayonnaise, good quality
300 gm tuna, flakes
Peel and boil the root vegetables with salt. Boil the plaintain separately and peel. Mash all vegetables. Add mustard, more salt, chopped coriander and tuna. Taste for salt and add more if necesaary. Shape the mashed mass into the shape of a fish. I got 2 fishes of varying size. Pat and smooth the shapes. Put spoonfuls of mayonnaise and coat the sides completely. Once its uniformly coated, use more to make the scales and ridges on the tail. Add a few capers to make the eyes. Keep at room temperature before serving.