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.

 

 

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.

Green Papaya with Dried Shrimp

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You Need:

  • Grated Green Papaya, preferably a small one.
  • 100 grams of dried shrimp.
  • 2 Medium onions chopped fine
  • 2 Green chilies chopped fine.
  • A couple of garlic cloves chopped up.
  • Curry Leaves
  • Turmeric powder
  • Mustard oil

The first thing is to get liter of water to full boil. Then switch off the heat and add the dried shrimp to it. Leave it covered for at least 30 mins. This will remove all the grit from the shrimp and also re-hydrate them. This step will also remove a lot of the strong smells associated with dried seafood.

Saute onions, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves in mustard oil. When they are well cooked, sprinkle some turmeric powder and mix in the re-hydrated shrimps. Cook covered on low heat for about 10 mins.

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Open and add the grated green papaya. Cook on high heat till the papaya gets slightly caramelized and its volume has come down by almost 30 to 40 percent. Check and add some salt if needed.

 

Seer Fish Curry

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You need:

  • Fast cooking fish like the Seer used here. About 600 gms.
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped up.
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger.
  • 5 Large green chilies, the ones we use for making Mirchi Bajji. You can also use capsicum if you want.
  • 2 tomatoes chopped up.
  • A fistful of chopped curry leaves.
  • 100 ml of coconut milk.
  • 2 cm diameter ball of tamarind soaked in 100 ml of hot water.
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilly powder.
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric.

Heat some coconut oil and saute the onions, curry leaves, chilly and ginger. Once the raw smell is gone, add the chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric. You can use regular green chilies instead of the red chilly powder and large chilies but the color will not be the same.

When the masala is all mixed well and the raw edge from the chilly powder is gone, add the coconut milk, strained tamarind water and tomato. Mix and without waiting for it to boil, add the fish pieces. The amount of liquid is already low, so there is no reason to lose it as vapor and then add plain water.

Cook covered for about 15 mins on the lowest heat. Open and turn around the fish pieces. Cook covered for another 10 mins or till the fish is fully cooked.

You can reduce the consistency of the gravy but keeping it a little wet makes it easy to mix with rice.

 

Fish Cafreal

I don’t claim this to be an authentic Goan recipe. I used ingredients available in my kitchen without anything fancy. So, Peace!

You need:

  • Sturdy Fishes cut into appropriate sizes. Used here are two Seer fishes, which weighed approximately 400 grams each.
  • Lots of coriander. Like one full cup when cut up.
  • A one inch piece of Ginger.
  • A dozen cloves of Garlic.
  • A teaspoon of pepper corns.
  • Three or four green chillies.
  • A one inch stick of cinnamon.
  • Three tablespoons of vinegar.

Blend all the ingredients and some salt into a paste. I like to keep it a little rough as it makes the finished dish a little crunchy. Rub it all over the fish and let it chill in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours.

Let it come to room temperature before frying. Heat oil. Fry on low heat. Add the marinade along with the fish. At first the oil will get cloudy. But as the fish slowly cooks in the oil and marinade, the oil will suddenly turn clear. This is usually a sign that the fish is cooked. Remove the marinade to protect it from burning, while letting the fish go an extra to minutes or so.

Serve the fish along with the cooked marinade. Enjoy a bit of Goa in your homes with your lovely families.