Showing posts with label Fish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fish. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Crispy Grilled Sardines ......Oil Free Cooking

The owner of this fish shop is a very cheerful young guy. Each time I visit his shop he helps me recognize the fishes in display. Mostly with local names in Kannada ...... I can barely recognize fishes, except Rohu, which is our staple. Well, now I am well versed with white and black Pompfrets, Shrimps and Mackerel to a certain extent. Also, he would oblige me with cleaning the fishes and cutting it per my instructions, no matter how crowded the shop is. Especially on weekends.I can however boast of selecting fresh ones .... I got my lessons pretty young when I went to the fish market with my dad. 

These days I have been doing a bit of research on fishes and their nutritional values. I love my fish hot, crispy and shallow fried in oil. But I understand that frying the fish in oil is not that healthy and I don't like raw curried fish.To satisfy my taste buds, the fish needs to be fried first and they curried. But that's not quite healthy. Although I love the taste. Of late myself and J are on a health diet. No we don't kill ourselves by starving. We are just trying to eat healthy.  And we both love fish. We can eat it on any given day. So I am trying to recreate traditional dishes with very little or no oil. 

Today when I visited the fish shop, they had some good fresh stock of Sardines. We are not much into eating Sardines because it's a sea fish. People in my part of the world prefer fresh water fishes. The reason why I got attracted to it is because of it's nutritional values. It is a very oily fish and is extremely rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorous and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is known to promote heart and bone health as it is rich in Omega 3 and calcium. However, if you are having a medical condition, it is better to consult a doctor before including it in your diet. 

I prepared a crispy grilled sardine today. It requires less than a teaspoon of oil as the fish itself is very oily. And I really loved it as it can be prepared in a jiffy. It was crisp and equally yum as the pan fried ones. Marinate and toss it into the oven and forget it for next 20 minutes. I can say that I recreated the taste of pan seared sardines minus the oil. So it was guilt free indulgence.

Serves - 2
Preparation Time - 10 minutes
Cooking Time - 20 minutes


Sardines - 6-7 (medium size) cleaned
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Laal Mirch - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like it more spicy)
Ginger Paste -  1 tsp (fresh is better)
Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
Tandoori Masala - 1/2 tsp (use any store bought ones)
Curry Leaves - A handful
Mustard oil -  1 tsp
Salt per taste

Method of Preparation

Clean the sardines and pat them dry. Or leave them in a colander so that all the water is drained out. 
Prepare a tray by lining it with aluminum foil (reduces your work of scrubbing and cleaning it later). Preheat oven in grill mode at 250 degrees centigrade for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients to make an even paste. Add curry leaves to the masala. It enhances the taste of the fish. 
Make deep gashes on both sides of the fish.
Take the marinate masala  and rub on both sides of the fish. Now layer the fish on the prepared tray. Now reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees centigrade. Place the try on middle rack and grill for almost twenty minutes or till done.
Serve with rice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Macha Tarkari aka Fish Curry

Shanti would sit just outside the porch and call out for Aai  in her shrill voice that can be heard from a mile after keeping aside her big basket of fish. Her timing is always perfect..... 9 am sharp, Sunday mornings. The old bamboo basket is now falling apart and permanently stinks fish. Shanti has been selling fish for many years now. She is a dark busty woman with paan stained teeth. Padma, Aai's domestic help would also follow Aai to the porch. Buying fish every Sunday was more of a ritual. Shanti would carefully remove the leaves from top of the basket and pull out the best one for Aai. But it is Padma who would give the final approval after checking the gills. Then they all nod in agreement before the fish is weighed and cut. 

Aai's house had a big aangan,a courtyard in the middle of the house. The fish is cleaned there, even now. While Padma cleans it, there are more than one onlookers. One of them being Meeoon - Aai's cat, my sister M and few crows perched on the roof. The cleaning regime is completed admist constant chatter, purring of Meeoon and cawing of the crows. After through cleaning the pieces are marinated with a generous amount of haldi and salt and kept away securely from the prying eyes, especially Meeoon. 

Aai eye balls the amount of garlic, ginger and onion and hands it to Padma. And its perfect every time. The masala for the fish curry is prepared the old school way using a seelbata (a mortal and pestle made of stone). Padma's bangles make a nice jingle as she grinds the masala. 

The smoky and nutty smell of hot mustard oil fills the kitchen as Aai carefully drops the fish into the hot oil. And you don't need a sensitive nose to know that the maach is already in the oil. Even before the first batch is out of the kadhai, little M is already there waiting for her share with a small shiny steel plate. Aai smiles and carefully places a crisp hot piece on M's plate with a warning "hot". And as for Meeoon, she is curled comfortably on the kitchen doormat hoping that she gets a little more than the left over bones. 

Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Rohu Fish - 750 gms ( You can also prepare this with Catla or Tilapia)  
Potato - 2 small
For the masala
Onion - 1 medium 
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Bayleaf - 1
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 

Method of Preparation
1. Wash the fish pieces and pat dry. Add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt to the fish. Marinate and keep aside.
2. Chop the onion, ginger and garlic roughly and make a smooth paste using a food processer/ blender.
3. Cut tomato into small pieces and keep aside.
4. Cut the potatoes skin on into medium side wedges.
5. Pour some mustard oil (you can use any vegetable oil instead) and heat it to smoking point. Slowly add the fish pieces one by one and shallow fry them in batches. 
6. When the fish is done add the potatoes and shallow fry them in the same oil and keep aside.
7. If enough oil is still left in the kadhai (else add some more oil)  add whole garam masala to it, ie cinnamon, cardamom and bayleaf.
8. Next add the onion ginger garlic paste to the oil. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add chopped tomato, turmeric, cumin powder,corriander powder, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. Cover and let the curry simmer on medium heat till potatoes get soft.
9. Remove from heat and add chopped coriander leaves on top to garnish.

Serve with rice. 
9. Add 2 cups water to the masala to make a gravy. Cover and bring it to a boil.
10. Add potato wedges and fish to it. Now add the garam masala powder. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bhapa Illish

The one thing that I and my bengali friends discuss often is food. It doesn't take much time for the discussion to take the avatar of an argument. Well don't take me wrong, I am also picky about my friends with whom I argue. They are my childhood friends .... hence always taken for granted. Let me clarify that it happens both ways .... not that I am a nasty girl and that they are saints. (Just in case they are reading and smiling about my confession).
The comparison is always there as both the states share similar food habits. And both are big time fisheaterians !! Illishi Macha (in Odiya) or Illish Mach (Bengali) being the most sort after one. My Bengali friends leave no stone unturned when they go gaga about Bhapa Illish. But they have never been generous to serve me with this Bengali Delicacy. Yah I am complaining about all you guys ..... so at least feel sorry for this and stop grinning for heaven's sake.
So I decided to prepare it all my myself and stop relying on these guys. But let me admit that I called up Soumik - a Bong and an awesome cook ( it sometimes takes gutts when you praise people you fight with :-) ) for the recipe.
Well the conversation was not so pleasant as we fought over food again ...... But I got the recipe for Bhapa Illish (Microwave version) from him.
I hate hate hate to admit that his recipe indeed turned out to be finger licking good.

Soumik, just in case you are reading , don't be in the false notion that I am going to agree with you ever when it comes to food ! This is probably your lucky day and the last time I am agreeing with you :-)

Preparation Time - 15 minutes
Serves - 3
Hilsa Fish - 6 pieces
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 cup
Poppy Seeds - 1/3 cup
Plain Yogurt - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Green Chili - 4
Mustard Oil - 4 tsp
Salt per taste
Method of Preparation
1 Wash and clean the hilsa pieces. Pat them dry with a paper towel and keep aside.
2 Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds for couple of minutes.
3 Add green chilies to the mustard and poppy seeds and wet grind it to a thick paste.
4 Now remove this paste into a microwavable dish.Add turmeric powder and plain yogurt to it.Also add 4 tsp of mustard oil to it.
5 Add the hilsa pieces to it and coat well with the mixture.
6 Cover the dish with a plastic wrap and microwave it for 12 - 15 minutes.
Serving Tips
Serve warm with plain rice.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fish Do Pyaza

What is life without some spice ! I sometimes wonder how the use of same spices induces different flavors to different dishes. Guess that's the wonder of Indian cooking ! This fish recipe comes from my grandma's kitchen.She herself is a vegetarian but her fish recipe is something that I die for. Back home Rohu is the fish used for this recipe. But I replaced it with Tilapia fillets.So all the fisheterians get ready for this simple yet delicious fish fry.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 4
Fish - 1 pound Tilapia
Lemon juice - 1tsp
Onion - 2 Medium size
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Tomato Puree - 2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste
Red Chili Powder as per taste
Oil for Cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Wash and clean the Tilapia fillets.Cut the fish into medium size pieces. Marinate the fish with lemon juice,turmeric and little salt and keep aside for 10 -15 minutes.
2 Take some oil in a pan and fry the fish on both sides till cooked.
3 Chop onions into thin slices. Take about 2 tsp of oil in the pan. Fry the onions till they look translucent.Add vinegar to the onions now.
4 Add ginger garlic paste and tomato puree to the onion and cook thoroughly. Add salt, and red chilli powder.
5 Once the masala is ready add the fried fish to it. Mix well such that the masala gets coated well on the fish. If needed sprinkle a little water. Add garam masala and pepper powder.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Serving Tips
Serve hot as a side dish with Jeera Rice/ Fried Rice / Plain rice or even with any flat bread like Naan or Roti
Make sure the oil is properly hot while frying the fish else the fish may break. Do not over fry the fish.
You can use any other fish instead of Tilapia for this recipe.
Fresh chopped tomatoes may be used instead of tomato puree.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grilled Pomfret

This week went by very fast. A beautiful surprise from J on my B'day. A quite birthday celebration ..... just the two of us with some mushy moments, good food and wine. He swept me off my feet ! Getting my first blog award. .... life was indeed generous to me. Could not have asked for more. Also glad that I made new friends on the way of blogging ..... it feels so nice when people whom you hardly know applaud you for your work. I thank them all from the core of their heart.
J and I are big time fisheterian This grilled fish is one of our fav. Traditionally it is prepared with mustard paste. The fish is wrapped in a banana leaf and thrown into a traditional chula.
But this variation tastes equally good. It being summer and with weekend around the corner, I thought this is the perfect time to post this recipe. Barbecue/ Grill a fish instead of meat and you will fall in love with the taste.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Serves - 1
Whole Pomfret Fish - 1
Plain Yogurt - 2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Crushed Kasuri Methi - 1 pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp
Lime Juice - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Clean and wash the Pomfret. Wipe dry using a kitchen towel.
2 Make small slits on the fish on both sides.
3 Rub lime juice over the fish.Sprinkle a little salt and rub again.
4 In a bowl mix plain yogurt + Coriander Powder + Cumin Powder + Red Chili Powder + Crushed kasuri methi + Oil and a little salt. Mix well.
5 Marinate the fish well. Make sure you rub the marination on the slits on the fish.
6 Keep in fridge for about 1 hour after marinating.
7 Preheat oven at 350 Degree F.
8 Grill the Pomfret for about 20 - 30 minutes (varies from oven to oven)
Serving Tips
Sprinkle chat masala and a little lime juice before serving. You may also grill some onions and serve along with it.
Rubbing Lime juice reduces the fish smell. Do not over grill it.
You may also mix store bought tandoori masala with yogurt. Instead of whole pomfret, try salmon steaks. Tastes equally well.
Other Names
Grilled Pomfret - Tandoori Pomfret.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fish Croquettes

How was your weekend ? We (myself n J) went to the beach, made sand castles, collected conches and pebbles, played frisbe ,read a book,listened to our favorite music ......... overall our weekend was great !!
It was wonderful taking a break from the routine life. These sweet nothings of life bring us so much joy.And celebrations are incomplete without great food and drinks. I prepared fish croquettes and it was a terrific combination with some great wine. Now I am fully rechared ready to begin another week.
Preparation Time
- 60 minutes
Serves - 4

Fish Fillets - 2 Medium size
Potato - 1 Big
Semolina - 1 tsp
Corn Flour - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 3
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Finely Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
Egg white of 1 egg
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt per taste
Oil for frying
Method of Preparation

1 Wash the fish fillets and wipe dry (I used Tilapia). In a non stick pan fry the fish for 2 minutes for each side (Till the meat looks opaque and white). Keep aside and let it cool. Crumble the fish using a fork.
2 Boil and mash the potato.Finely chop the green chillies.
3 In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (fish+potato+salt+egg white+chopped onions+ginger garlic paste+garam masala + green chillies+semolina+corn flour) to form a dough like thing.
4 Pinch out small portions and give it a desired shape.
5 Take some semolina and spread it on a dry plate. Roll the pinched out portions on the semolina.
6 Heat oil in a kadhai or deep bottom pan. When hot, deep fry the croquettes.
7 When uniformly brown, remove and place on paper towel to soak excess oil.
Serving Tips

Serve Hot with Ketchup or your favorite sauce.

Make sure that the oil is properly hot, else the croquette may break in the oil.

Instead of frying the fish fillet, microwave them for 3 -4 minutes (depending on the power of the microwave).
Use any fish fillet of your choice.
You may also add little lime juice to the fish croquette mixture.
In case you want it spicier, add more green chillies or red paprika powder.
Other Names

Fish Croquettes - Fish Cutlets, Fish Chop, Macha Chop, Macher Chop.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fish in Mustard and Poppy Seed Gravy

This fish recipe is very dear to my heart and especially when it is from mom's kitchen.

This recipe is popularly known as Macha Besara. Macha means fish and Besara meaning mustard gravy.My love for fish is unending.This is a household recipe in Odisha and is prepared from a local fresh water fish called Rohu.Traditionally the masala for this curry is prepared by grinding poppy seeds and mustard seeds along with other spices in a mortar and pestle.
If you are visiting Odisha anytime,this is a highly recommended dish for all fish lovers.
Enjoy your fish curry.
Preparation Time - 60 minutes
Serves - 4
Fish - 4-5 pieces medium (I used Tilapia)
Onion - 1 Small
Tomato -1
Green Chilli -2
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 2.5 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chilli - 1
Garlic Cloves - 3
Turmeric Powder - 1.5 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Method of Preparation
1 Clean fish and pat dry with a paper towel.Rub turmeric powder and little salt on both sides of the fish.
Finely chop onions,tomato, slit the green chilli's.
On a skillet,dry roast the poppy seeds till they turn light brown in color.
Combine Mustard Seeds(2 tsp), Poppy Seeds, Cumin Seeds,Garlic Cloves and Red Dry Chilli and grind to make a good paste.(Add approximately 3 tbsp of water for grinding)
2 Take a Skillet and pour some oil on it. When the oil is hot fry the fish on both sides.Keep aside. Make sure that you only semi cook the fish.
3 Now take around 3 tsp of oil in a deep pan (kadhai), sputter 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add a pinch of turmeric powder to the oil.Now add the onions and fry till they look translucent.Also put the chopped tomatoes to it and fry till they are semi soft. Now add 3/4 cup water to this and cover it till the water comes to a boil (Takes approximately 5 minutes on medium heat). Slowly put the fried fish into this boiling water. Now add the masala prepared from mustard and poppy seeds on top of it. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat till the gravy reaches a desired consistency.

Garnish with little cilantro leaves if desired.
Serving Tips
Serve hot with rice.
Make sure the oil is hot before you fry the fish, else the fish will stick to the skillet and may break while turning it.Properly grind the mustard and poppy seeds. Also use water at room temperature to grind it as hot water makes the mustard seeds bitter. Cut the onion length wise for this specific recipe.
You may use any fish as per your taste for this recipe. For a more nutty taste use an additional spoon of poppy seeds.
Other Names
Poppy Seeds-Khus Khus,Posto,Kasakasa,Gasagasalu

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tawa Masala Fish

This recipe is called Tawa Masala Fish beause the fillets are marinated in a variety of spices (masala) and fried on a Tawa (Skillet). I had this dish at one of my friends place. In one sentence I can describe this fish recipe as "Simple and Delicious".
I am sure all of you will also like this dish as much as I did.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Fish - 2 big fillets of Tilapia
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1 tsp
Gram Flour - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Method of Preparation
1 Wash the fish fillets under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
2 Cut the fillets into medium size pieces
3 Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, corriander powder on the fillets and rub them properly.
4 Next add the lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and rub on the fillets to marinate.
5.Keep the marinatd fish fillets aside for 20 - 30 minutes.
6. Now sprikle the gram flour on the fishes and rub it on the fillets. This acts as a binding agent and will not allow the spices to fall off the fish while frying, so that all the flavors remain intact.
7. Take an iron tawa ( nonstick pan is also good ) and pour some oil on it. Once the oil is properly heated, put the marinated fishes to fry. Fry equally on both the sides till golden brown for a crisp texture.
Once everything is fried, remove to a serving dish and garnish with corriander leaves, onions and lemon.
Serving Tips
If you serve it as a starter, cut thin slices on onion and sprinkle some chat masala on it along with few drops of lemon juice.
Also add it as a side dish with rice/ pulao/ jeera rice etc.
Make sure that the oil is properly heated before you fry, else the fish may break while turning it.
Instead of Tilapia fillets, try with Salmon fillets or any other fish.
You can also marinate with store bought fish masala instead of individual spices.
Other Names
Gram Four - Besan