A long and a very – very memorable vacation, it has been indeed, of almost 3 months (hah! the benefits of not being tied down to the summons of an organization). Had been off to India primarily for my brother’s wedding and lots of other events. Durga Puja – the main festival for Kolkata folks, followed by Diwali/Kali Puja – another festival widely celebrated in the northern and the eastern parts of India and not to mention – the Jagatdhatri puja in Chandannagar were all in the agenda including 4 weddings in the family, one of which was of my own brother and another of my very close cousin (and friend). Needless to say lots of shopping, running around and sprucing up before all these events left me feeling highly excited though a little tired. Not that I am complaining. On our way back, we had a 12 hour stop over at Dubai and got to see a little bit of the city as well.
Now back to the snow and chill and the never-ending winter. I hardly felt like blogging all this while. Just curled up on the sofa under the plush throw with a cup of hot chocolate and read and read and read…. well watch movies sometimes too, but mainly read. Finished reading “Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks” and waiting to watch the movie. My kitchen, however, has not been dormant like my cookbook. I have been cooking, baking and clicking meanwhile, so have a lot of “to post” lineups. One of which is today’s post.
I first had this “Fish in Lemon Butter sauce” in the hotel we were allotted by Emirates in Dubai. The dinner buffet was grand but what caught my interest was this delicious and extremely appetizing fish. I am very sure that the fish they had used was “Swai” which I found is available in common stores like ‘Target’ or ‘Aldi’. I had never tried this earlier but now that I have I can tell that its the best kind I have ever had. I am not a great fish lover and do not have a high tolerance for the fish-ey smell, the same reason why I rarely enjoyed having Salmon. But this ‘Swai’ tops my list from now on. It is so soft on cooking and has a great taste even if you fry with nothing more than a few sprinkles of salt. I have stopped bringing Tilapia fillets and am stuck up with this for the time being.
This recipe however holds good for any kind of fish and is a very easy and quick one. Parsley is the only herb to be added here but since I did not have any fresh ones I used the dried one. You can choose to skip it if you don’t want. Same goes with cheese – I added it just this once since I was doing it for the first time, but I have made this a couple of times since then without the cheese and it tastes equally good, so skip cheese for the healthier version..
- Fish – 2 fillets, I used Swai but you can use any of your liking.
- Salt – to taste
- Black pepper – to taste
- Butter – 1-2 tbsp (Can adjust the amount according to preference)
- Garlic – 3-4 cloves minced or finely chopped
- Lemon juice of 1 whole lemon
- Parsley – 1 tbsp. I used dried parsley.
- Cheese (optional) – I used shredded mozzarella.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking tray with an aluminium foil and lightly grease it with oil.
- Melt butter in a pan on a medium flame, add minced garlic, lemon juice and parsley to it. Stir it for a couple of minutes and lemon butter sauce is ready
- Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on both sides of the fillets and arrange it on the baking pan is a single row. I usually cut the fillets pieces if I am using a small tray so that it fits.
- Pour the sauce evenly on the fillets and bake it at 350 F for 15-20 mins. Baking time may vary from oven to oven however it takes me about 18 mins.
- If using cheese, take out the baking tray 5 mins prior to finishing time, sprinkle cheese on the fillets and bake it to completion.
- Take out the fillets on a serving tray and pour the remaining sauce from the baking tray on top of the fish
- Serve immediately.
Can be had with any king of bread or rice. We love it with Khichdi or just rice and dal.
Bengalis are usually known for their fervor for Rice, Fish and Rasogolla – a myth more often than not proven true. Again, we also have what is commonly called “Probashi Bengalis” who do not follow (at least not always) the common trails of a pure bong and I guess that is where I belong to.
I might be a complete sweet lover but am also a roti person and try to keep a safe distance from ‘fishy’ stuff. Like any other ordinary Bengali household, in ours fish was considered a must-have for any meal. To add to that, being born and brought up in a U.P. town which did not have easy availability of good and varied fish frequently, it was looked upon as a sacred food and relished whenever possible.
I was actually the outcast.
There have been ample number of times when I was scolded and reprimanded for distaste for fish. Initially I was constantly reminded of the nutritional benefits of having this sea product. It then led to force and I was not allowed to leave the table without having finished my portion. I still remember how I would hide my share of the fish with some excess white rice and try to trash it sneakily. (It still bothers me to think of all those wasted food and am hoping my mom or ‘dida’ never read this part of my blog). Finally my folks resigned and accepted my aversion but continued to bother me by saying that they would get me married to a fish monger so that I end up handling and cooking fish on a daily basis. Luckily it was not meant to be so. I was silently glad and relieved to find out that our tastes and preferences matched when it came to sea-food. We both love prawns/lobsters and – well lets say – do not prefer fish to a great extent.
Coming to the US and cooking on my own made me appreciate many food items that earlier I chose to ignore. So as we tried to develop a taste for many other dishes, we also enjoyed having fish once in a while. Since I am still not comfortable with the fishy smell which is persistent with most of the fish that we get here, I try to stick to my Tilapia fillets.
So this recipe is a product of a quick research for a Saturday lunch with a little change of taste and style. As it turned out we both were floored with this so much so that Hubby-B (a new blog name for BBC) wanted to have this preparation again the very next day, which obviously I refused. I wanted to not repeat this frequently so that we could savor it for a long time.
- Fish – 3 fillet (roughly 12 oz) I used Tilapia, but you can use any fish. Can also try with prawns
- Oil – 3 tbsp or as required
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Red chillies – 3-4 (optional, for spice only)
- Cloves – 4-5
- Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp (Can use coriander powder)
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Lime juice – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Onion, finely chopped – 1 small
- Tomato, grated or finely chopped – 1 medium
- Coconut, grated or ground – I used 1 cup of small coconut pieces for grinding. Can use 1 cup of coconut milk instead of grated coconut. However I prefer to use the former.
- Green chillies – 4 slit lengthwise (to taste)
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves – 6 -10
- Water – 1/2 cup or as required
- Coriander leaves – for garnishing
- Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric and a few drops of oil. Keep aside for a couple of minutes while you prepare the masala mix.
- Heat a pan and dry roast red chillies, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds. Once cooled down, grind them into a fine powder. Mix into this powder – turmeric, sugar, ginger garlic paste and lime juice to this powder. Grind them together once again if required. Keep aside this masala mix.
- Add oil to the heated pan and shallow fry the fish fillets on both sides till cooked. Do not over fry.
- Heat the pan, add some more oil if required, then add the chopped onions and fry them until soft and lightly golden.
- Add the masala mix and fry for a couple of minutes. Keep stirring till the spices are well mixed.
- Add grated/finely chopped tomatoes and cover and cook till they turn soft and is well blended with the masala mixture.
- Add salt to taste and turmeric. mix well. Cover and cook till oil starts separating and most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Add in the grated coconut or coconut milk and water (as required) and mix well.
- Add the green chillies and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce heat and let it simmer till the gravy thickens.
- Add the fried fish into the gravy and let it simmer till the desired consistency is reached.
- Heat a separate pan and add little oil to it. Once hot add the mustard seeds and the curry leaves. Fry for almost 30 secs till they start popping. Add this mixture to the fish gravy.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice.
For all those who know what ‘Fish Manchurian’ is really like – please excuse me… this may not be what you expect! For the name to this dish is a concocted one and may or may not bear any resemblance to the original one :-).
This dish was actually a result of one of my kitchen experiments. It was during my initial months of cooking and the Veg Manchurian (from Sanjeev Kappor’s site) was my latest hit those days. Also, BBC had prepared Fish Amritsari (again, courtesy Sanjeev Kappor’s recipes) which turned out to be a fabulous fish starter. So trying to come up with something different, I stole ideas from the Veg Manchurian and Fish Amritsari and ended up with this dish which I fancifully named as ‘Fish Manchurian’. It turned out to be so good that after tasting it my husband wanted his dinner then and there at 6.30 in the evening. Being not sure what to serve it with we ended up warming up some garlic bread that we had got just the previous day. Since then I have made it countless number of times and while we had it with parantha and with rice and dal too, nothing beats the combination of garlic bread with this particular preparation.
Though between the two of us we had an informal name for this recipe, it was only when I made it for one of his office picnics and everyone started asking the name, did he officially label it as ‘Fish Manchurian’… and well I think that’s when I decided it should go up in my blog with this title … after all it surely is my version of Fish Manchurian.
- Boneless fish fillets, cut into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces – 4 to 5. I used Tilapia for this recipe but one can try with other types too.
- Lime juice – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Red Chilli powder – to taste
- Ginger paste – 1/2 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
- Egg – 2
- Corn starch – 2-3 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp (to deep fry)
- Onions, finely chopped – 1 medium-sized
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Green chillies, chopped – 3
- Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp (or to taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Lime juice – 3-5 drops (optional / to taste)
- Cilantro leaf
- Dried Parsley
- Red Chilli Pepper
- Marinate the cut fillets in a bowl with lime juice, salt, red chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste for 15 minutes.
- Break 2 eggs in the fish mixture, add corn starch to it and mix well. Let the fillets be marinated in this batter for another 5-10 minutes.
- Heat sufficient oil in a pan for deep-frying (2 tbsp approx.).
- Once the oil is hot, deep fry the fish fillets in small batches, till almost done. Drain from the oil and keep aside on an absorbent paper.
- Keep aside the remaining batter for further use.
- Leave about 2 tsp of oil in the pan and remove any excess oil. Reheat the pan, if required.
- Add the chopped onions and green chillies and fry well.
- Add gingerand garlic paste and mix well.
- Add soya sauce, salt and sugar, mix well, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the fried fish pieces and mix well for a minute.
- Add the left over batter to the mixture and mix well. Let the egg in the batter cook and coat the entire mixture.
- Sprinkle a few drops of water if the mixture dries up. Cover and cook for a minute.
- Adjust salt and add few drops of lime juice if required. Mix well.
- Garnish with dried parsley, cilantro leaf and red chilli pepper.
I am not too much of a fish lover, but I love prawns (also called shrimps, though prawns are supposedly slightly larger than shrimps), specially the Bengali style of making ‘Chingri Macher Malacurry’. This dish is very popular in most of the Bengali households. I first got inspired to prepare this from my neighbour who stays above us ‘Rimi’. We had it with plain steaming rice and it tasted simply delicious and lip-smacking.
- Prawns (shelled and headless) – 400 gms
- Garlic cloves (chopped) – 2-3 (optional)
- Ginger paste 1 tsp
- Whole garam masala –
- Green cardamom – 3-4
- Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
- Cloves 3-4
- Bay leaf – 1 or 2
- Onion (finely chopped or made into a paste) – 1 medium
- Red chilli powder – to taste
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – 1 tsp or to taste (optional)
- Grated coconut – 1/2 cup (if using coconut powder soak it in 4-5 tsp of milk for a while, or may also use 1 cup coconut milk
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp (more if you want it spicy)
- Green chillies – to taste
- Ghee (Clarified Butter)- 1tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Peel, devein and wash the prawns. Remove the tail if desirable (that’s what I usually do).
- Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan on medium flame.
- Saute the prawns till they are light golden and cooked all the way through (about 5 minutes). Do not over cook them. Once done remove them from the pan keep aside in a plate.
- In the same pan (ensure the oil is hot and has not cooled off), add the chopped garlic cloves.
- As soon as the fragrance of the garlic rises, take out the garlic from the oil so that the oil is now garlic flavored but there is no garlic in the gravy.
- Add bay leaf, whole garam masala, ginger paste and chopped green chillies.
- Add in the onions, and cook till they turn brown. Alternatively, make a paste of onion, ginger, whole garam masala and green chillies and fry in the pan till browned.
- Add in salt, red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and water and cook for another minute.
- Add in the grated coconut, garam masala powder & sugar and mix well.
- Cover and allow the gravy to come to a boil.
- Add in the prawns, cover and cook for about 10 mins.
- Once done, turn off the flame and add Ghee (optional).