There are many different types of satni—the most popular being fish, potato, and eggplant. Like fish, the potato, eggplant, or other vegetable is cooked then mixed well with the same ingredients (onion, cilantro, and chili peppers). In different districts of Bangladesh it is called by different names; such as “bortha” in Dakha.
The first step is to prepare the fish. I like to use tilapia fillets. Pour a small amount of olive oil over the tilapia, then sprinkle in a little bit of turmeric, red chili powder, and salt. Rub the marinade well into the fish.
Heat up a small amount of oil in a pan on medium high heat. Place the marinated fish in the hot pan and cook for several minutes, flipping once halfway through until golden brown and completely cooked. Remove the fish and set aside to rest and cool.
The Onions, Cilantro, and Pepper
While the fish cools, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Slice the yellow onion very thinly, chop cilantro, and mince Thai chili peppers. Place the chopped ingredients in a pile and sprinkle over salt. Massage the salt into the onions, cilantro, and pepper by hand until they start to release liquid and the onions soften and turn translucent.
Combine the onions mixture with the fish and break it apart until completely mixed together. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
This dish is traditionally served as a side to rice. It’s deliciously spicy and sharp and savory, and makes a perfect quick meal!
- 3 tilapia fillets
- Olive oil, divided
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 Thai chilis, minced
1. Marinate the tilapia in a mixture of oil, salt, turmeric, and chili powder
2. Heat a pan on medium heat and fry tilapia until cooked through, flipping halfway. Set aside to cool
3. Combine sliced onions, chopped cilantro, and minced Thai chilis with a sprinkling of salt and massage by hand until it the onions release their juices
4. Combine the onion mixture with the fish and break up the fish by hand to mix thoroughly
5. Serve with fluffy white rice and enjoy!