Health is one of the ignored assets today for n number of reasons. Although, people are making efforts to reverse this trend, but healthy lifestyle is more of a fashion trend than a routine. I think we have to go back to our basics i.e. home cooked meals to create balance. Food is a source of loving and caring nourishment. Many food blogs are reincorporating the values of home cooking again. Through this blog, I am learning and sharing that enthusiasm. I hope you join me in this journey.
India has so many coastal areas and of course states near the coastal
areas have their way with seafood. I believe, like anything in life when we are
near the source of any product, we gain lot of exposure and experience about it
and imaginations fly to make the basic product evolve as per user’s convenience
and desire! I think one such example is West- Bengal (Capital – Calcutta), an Indian
coastal state which has mastered their way in cooking fish dishes. And I absolutely
love the Bengali fish recipes. This recipe is dedicated to all those hard
working fishermen who bring us the best seafood we have ever tasted and made pleasant
memories out of them.
Fish has an interesting dictionary meaning: “A limbless cold-blooded
vertebrate animal with gills and fins and living wholly in water.” Whatever
their dictionary meaning is, all I care is that it makes an awesome food
that they are an amazing source of important nutrients that our body cannot
synthesize such as omega- 3 fatty acids. The exact nutritional value
depends on the variety of fish, but overall fishes are considered
to be good source of quality nutrients. There is also some metal toxicity
associated with every kind of fish which we might want to bear in mind.
For this recipe I used tilapia, I wish I could get specific Indian varieties of fish here in US,
in that case this recipe would have been 100% authentic; that being said, I absolutely
love tilapia. Moreover, in terms of cooking it is an easy fish to work with. The
best thing about tilapia is that it could be the star and also a very good team player ingredient
in the same dish. And that's awesome! It’s a very rare blend
of characteristics that any chef would appreciate. Tilapia is very quick in
absorbing varied blend of spices and it does not have a distinct fishy odour that
some fishes do, which am sure everybody could appreciate :).
Sesame Oil: 2 Tbsp.
Tilapia: ½ Lb. (Thoroughly cleaned and cut
into desired size)
Coriander leaves: ½ a
bunch (I use stem as well the leaves) – Finely chopped
Fresh Bay leaves: 2
Thyme: 1 sprig of
Dry spices: ¼
tsp. turmeric powder, ½ tsp. cumin powder, ½ tsp. red chilli powder. Salt: to taste
1. Cut thoroughly cleaned tilapia into desired
size and marinate it with ¼ tsp. of turmeric and salt. Put fresh bay leaves and
the thyme sprig in this marinating bowl and cover it with lid (this gives the
fish a nice herbal aroma). Let the fish marinate for 15-30 minutes.
2.In a wok pour 2 Tbsps. of sesame oil. Once
the oil is heated, shallow fry the fish (both sides -1 min on each side), thyme
and bay leaves.
3. Get rid of excess of oil by blotting the fried
fish on two sheets of paper towel.
4.Meanwhile, blend all the ground mix
ingredients in a blender (I have Indian style mixer-grinder, but any blender should
be able to do this job).
the same wok (containing the remaining oil), sauté this ground mix+ ½ tsp.
cumin powder + ½ tsp. red chilli powder for 7-10 minutes (until the oil separates)
on medium heat. Make sure to cover the wok with lid throughout this process.
Keep checking the mix intermittently.
6.Once the oil separates, add finely chopped coriander
leaves and fried fish pieces. Gently fold everything in nicely. Let this
mixture sit for a minute on medium heat. (Fish is very soft and nicely cooked
by this time, so be gentle).
7.Add water to your desired consistency (This
dish is usually served with rice but you could also pair it with bread-
accordingly adjust the consistency).
8.Let the mix come to boil and boil it for 5
mins on medium heat. The dish is ready to serve.