Lemon flavored rice with ghee and scrapped coconut served with Topshe fish fry
It is to no wonder a poet like "Iswar Gupta" composed a lengthy poem solely on "Tapse fish or "Mango fish" by the British. Iswar Gupta was highly addicted to the Topse fish.
Topse a soft-bone fish, close to extinct, now in 2014 is Rs 700 a kilo [about 15 fishes]. I heard from my father it was available in the 1950s approximate half a rupee per 20 pieces. Still Bangalees love it very much.
Legendary director and renowned writer Satyajit Ray wrote a total of 35 Feluda [detective] stories. The detective Pradosh Mitter's favorite cousin-cum-assistant Topse [Topeshranjan Mitter] is to Feluda as was Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes and the narrator in all the stories. I doubt if the name Topse came to his mind from the intense love for "Topse fish" he had.
Oh Bengali, come, let us find some substitutions of our favorite Topse, we will be proud to import and serve our children, let them introduce our own dishes once more.
See market names:
- Polynemus toposui/paradise threadfin
- Indian salmon/Paradise threadfin/Row ball - India
- Tapasi/Taposi - Bangladesh Bengali
- ವಾಮೇನು/Vahmeenu - Kannada
- Dodywa-rawas - Maharashtra
- തമുതി / വമീന് / വാമീന് / ബാഹ്മീന് / നൊറകുടിയന് / നൊറക്കുടിയന് / ബമീന് - Malayalam
- Bahmin/Norakudiyan/Thamuthi/Wahmeen - Malayalam
- Battihiravalai/Kala/Kattikalai/Kondiangalai/Panigala/Seenakalai/Thiravalai/Valanakala/Vellaikala - Tamil
- తెల్ల మగ / పొడికిమాగ / బోడ్డుమాగ / బుడతమాగ - Telegu
- Boddumaga/Budathamaga/Podikimaga/Sahala/Thellamaga - Telegu
- Kulampiros/Boka dulse/Tigi/Kugaw/Mamale - Philippines
- زعنفة رقيقة جنَّة - Arabic
- 長指馬鮁 /长指马鲅 /长指马鲅 - Chinese
- Striped threadfin/Tassel fish/Ikan bulu/Kurau/Kurau janggut/Lelauh minyak/Senangin/Senangin-bulu rambu panjang - Malaysia
- Barbure paradis - French
- Mangofisk - Sweden
Ref. has been taken from fishbase.sinica.edu.tw
Bengali style Lemon rice [Lebu bhaat]
This rice dish is exclusively served as a starter of a meal during any Bengali celebration. Best offering accompany with this lemon-flavored piping hot rice is with 1 teaspoon cow ghee, 1 tablespoon freshly scrapped coconut [নারকেল কোরা], 1 piece of gandharaj lebu [গন্ধরাজ লেবু], and 1 green chili with just cooked hot Topse fry [তপসে মাছ ভাজা]. It will be a memorable meal for everybody.
- Long grain rice 200g, four leaves of Gandharaj lebu (Citrus limonia)/Bangladeshi lemon "Shatkara" (Citrus macroptera)/Rongpur lime.
- Cook plain rice, after draining starch, add slightly torn up four gandharaj lemon leaves in the cooked rice and cover the rice bowl with a lid, keep aside for 5 minutes. Rice will get a strong flavor of lemon.
Yield: For 4 persons 1 tablespoon | Prep time for soaking rice 10 mins. | Cook time: 10 mins. | Total time: 25 mins.