Uncomplicated Fish Masala

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This is a recipe for anyone who is intimidated by fish. Its super simple and fail safe.

You Need:

  • Dill leaves or Coriander : Couple of bunches.
  • 2-3 Green chilies.
  • 5-6 Tomatoes.
  • One inch piece of ginger.
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic.
  • Pomfret, you can use either white or black. This recipe will work fine with Sea Bass, Pink Perch, Lady Fish, Basa etc.

Put all the ingredients except the fish in a blender. Puree it. Season with salt.

It does not matter if you used more tomatoes or more herbs. Just taste it once its pureed and adjust accordingly.

Use a heavy pan, which has a lid. Heat some oil in it. Fish tastes best when its cooked in mustard oil. But you can use any oil you like. When the oil is shimmering add the pureed masala. Let it cook on high heat for about 3-4 mins. As it cooks, it will start bubbling and sputtering. Let it do that for another 2-3 mins. Reduce heat. Spread out the fish and cover it with the masala. Cover the pan. Let it cook on low heat for no more than 15 minutes.

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Open the and if needed simply dry it up a little.

This goes great with both rice and roti.

Fried Mackerel

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The key to good fish fry, is buying fresh fish. The flesh must be firm, the skin shiny and the eyes look clear. Also when cut, they must bleed. Fresh fish does not have any bad smell.

The second and often ignored part is how the fish is cut. For fishes like Mackerel, I highly recommend filleting them. But don’t remove the middle bone from one portion. This allows a clean fry and no wet masala left inside the stomach cavity.

A simple rub with:

  • Ginger Garlic Paste : One teaspoon per fish.
  • Turmeric : A pinch per fish.
  • Red Chilly Powder : Half a teaspoon per fish.
  • Salt : as per taste
  • Lemon Juice to dilute the paste into an easy to rub consistency.

Marinate the fish in this for about 20 minutes. Fry in hot oil. Skin side down till more than 80% color changes. Flip and finish it off. Never force the fish when detaching from the pan. When its ready, the skin will let go on its own.

Enjoy.

Fish Baked in Parchment (En-Papillote)

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This is a very fascinating technique that is extremely easy and tastes amazing. The only thing better than the taste is the aroma.

You Need:

  • Parchment Paper : A rectangle of approximately 18 by 12 inches.
  • Any Delicate Fish : Used three slices of Black Pomfret.
  • French Beans : About 100 grams. The ends cut off and the rough corner strips removed.
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Fold the parchment paper into two equal sides. One side is the base and the other will be the top cover. Take a little olive oil and rub it on the base part of the paper. Massage olive oil on the beans, fish, shallots and garlic. Make a bed using the beans. Place the fish on this. Arrange the shallots and garlic around the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Close the parchment paper. Seal the corners by folding into triangles. Don’t worry too much about this. I forgot to season with salt and pepper. Opened it, seasoned and closed it again. All you need to do is to crimp the ends so that the steam won’t escape. The first time, it may look a little messy. By the second or third time, you will easily get the hang of it. You can also check youtube videos for tutorials. There are a lot of them.

Preheat oven to 180C. Bake for about 20 minutes. By the time it crosses 16-17 mins, it will start smelling really good. Enjoy the aroma and decide if its ready based on that. It will NOT take more than 25 mins. So plan accordingly.

Be careful when opening the parchment paper. There will be hot steam inside it.

Enjoy a super delicious, low carb all in one meal.

 

 

Red Snapper with Sorrel Sauce

You need:

  • A fillet of Red Snapper.
  • Sorrel Leaves about 200 grams. Finely chopped.
  • Two tablespoons of butter.
  • Some pepper corns.
  • Cream, 200 ml.

First prepare the sauce. Start heating the cream at a very low temperature. In another non stick pan, melt butter and then saute the sorrel leaves and pepper corns. When there is no more water being released by the leaves, add two teaspoons of the warm cream. Mix well. Then add all the cream. These steps will protect the cream from curdling.

Cook only if the consistency is to watery. It should ideally be perfect as it is. Remove sauce from stove, season with salt. Leave it in a warm place.

The fish must be completely dry. Season with salt and pepper. Some slits on the skin help it look better and also cook cleaner.

Because the fillet is big and in my case, it weighed almost 400 grams, using low heat after initial sear it’s highly recommended. Use a wide spoon to flip it after the color has changed to white. Do not force the fish. If you encounter any resistance, try after some time. If you force, the skin will tear.

Fish is cooked when juices run clear. I also recommend using a digital thermometer. At 70C the fish is cooked and just perfect. If it feels like it’s taking forever and temperature is over 65C, simply cover and cook for five minutes.

Enjoy a 5 Star meal at your home for a fraction of the price.

Pomfret Curry (Khatta / Sour)

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You Need:

  • A Pomfret approximately 700 gms, cut into slices.
  • 2 Medium Onions finely diced.
  • 6 Tomatoes, chopped. If texture is very important, blanch and peel off the skin.
  • 2 Green Chilies.
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • A marble sized ball of tamarind.
  • A fistful of curry leaves.
  • A bunch of coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped.

Heat oil. Saute till tender the onions along with green chilies, curry leaves and cumin. Add the tomatoes and cook on low to medium heat. Sprinkle salt as soon as you add the tomatoes. This will hasten their cooking. When the tomatoes have fully softened, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and ginger garlic paste. Mix well and keep it at low heat. Add the coriander leaves.

In a microwave safe bowl take about 300 ml of water. Place the tamarind ball in it and nuke it for a minute. Using a spoon mash the tamarind to dissolve it. Strain out the tamarind and  add this water to the tomatoes. When this gets to a boil, carefully place the fish pieces in it. The pieces must be fully immersed. Cook covered on low heat for approximately 15 mins or the fish is cooked.

Switch off the stove but do not open for another 10 mins.

Enjoy with rice or dosa’s.

Super Light Prawn Spaghetti

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This uses no heavy cream or cheese to be a very tasty but at the same time a super light dish.

You need:

  • 200 grams of de-veined prawns.
  • 2 Medium finely diced onions.
  • 10 cloves of finely diced garlic.
  • 3 dried red chilies, broken into smaller pieces.
  • A fistful of any greens you want. If none, then simply add coriander or parsley.
  • Cooked and drained Spaghetti. Have enough for at least two or three portions.
  • ¬†Olive oil.
  • A teaspoon of dried herbs. Use any you like.

Heat olive oil and add the onions, garlic, greens (I used Malabar Spinach) and dry red chilies. Cook on low till the raw smell is gone. Add the prawns and cook on low heat, covered for approximately 7-8 mins. This is enough time for the prawns to be more than 90% cooked. There will be a lot of juices collected in the pan. This is our sauce.

Add the spaghetti. Season with salt, pepper and add the dried herbs. Continue cooking on low heat till the consistency is just right. Remember the spaghetti will also absorb a lot of it.

Garnish with thin slices of a tomato.

Enjoy a guilt free lunch or dinner.

Eggplant with Prawns

You need:

  • One medium onion, chopped.
  • Two medium tomatoes, chopped.
  • Three green chillies, chopped.
  • An inch of Ginger diced.
  • About half of kilo of small egg plants, cut into one cm size pieces.
  • Hundred grams of shelled and deveined prawns.
  • Two teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • Some coriander leaves and stems, finely diced.

Heat any oil and saute the onions, ginger and green chillies till the raw edge is gone. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric and coriander powder. Mix well. After about a minute or two add the egg plants and mix well. Cook covered on low heat for about fifteen minutes. Occasionally open and stir them to avoid the base from getting burnt. When the egg plants are almost done add the prawns.

Mix well and cook covered on the lowest heat setting for about ten minutes. Garnish with fresh Coriander.

Serve with rice or rotis.