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.
While growing up, I remember, Sundays were always special. It was a holiday for the whole family. As in any Bengali household all special days are celebrated with food, lots of food and even more food. So while there were luchis (poori) being fried for breakfast to accompany the ‘shada alu’r chochori’ (a side dish made with potatoes and no turmeric), somewhere the father would be getting freshly cut chicken and loads of vegetables from the Sunday market, masalas being prepared for the lunchtime chicken curry, tomatoes mashed for the ‘tomato chatni’, while we brother and sister watched our weekly Ramayan / Mahabharat. We could watch cartoons till mom took each of us for our cleaning… yeah it was the shampoo day and we would be scrubbed till our skins were burning, our ears cleaned till the eardrums filled with water and we jumping around to get it out of our ears. Once we had stuffed our selves with the sumptuous lunch and helped mom to clean the table (this was never applicable to my brother) we could do anything we wanted other than watch TV, would occasionally have some ‘mishti pan’ and doz off to sleep. If it was summer we would wake up to have ‘Frooti’ in its distinctive green colored tetrapack that dad always got as Sunday special. Evening spent by watching movies and catching up on studies and in no time Sunday was over.
This was a very long time ago and eventually we learnt to clean ourselves, we would in fact scream with embarrassment if anybody wanted to check our ears, Ramayan / Mahabharat long ago gave way to ‘Chandrakanta’ or maybe no TV at all (specially during high school). ‘Luchi’ was replaced with noodles and idlis, chicken curry preserved its position at lunch table, frootis were replaced with Thumbs Up and Pepsi. What remained constant was the celebration with food.
Now decades later I realise this was a ‘mom-made ritual’ we all had religiously followed without any complaints till we left home.
Times have changed and now we have a 5 day work week. Which means Friday evening marks the beginning of the weekend and lasts till Sunday night. For me and Hubby-B Sundays are lazy days when we lament the end of the weekend, try to hold onto the last few hours before we have to face the week again. Sundays have long ceased to be the Special days being replaced by Fridays. And so I try to jazz up most of the Friday evenings with something special. I too have almost made a ritual out of it, just like my mom. Guess somethings are passed on without our being aware of.
One such Friday, more than a month ago, Lehsuni Murg or Spicy Chicken in Garlic was prepared (courtesy BongMom’s Cookbook) which never got posted till today. Am sure everyone has their own version of Lehsuni Murg and so do I. Hope you like my version. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful weekend!
- Chicken – 800 gms, cut into bite size pieces
- Yogurt – 1/4th cup
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – as required
- Onions – 1 large, thinly sliced
- Garlic cloves, grated or paste – 1 large whole head
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Tomatoes, pureed – 1 large
- Ketchup – 1 tbsp or to taste
- Hot Sauce – 1 tsp or to taste
- Green chillies – 3 to 4 slit or to taste
- Red Chilli – 2 or to taste (you can omit this if you want)
- Panchphoron / Panch puran – 1/2 tsp
- Lime juice – 1 -2 tsp
- Coriander leaves – for garnishing
- Marinate the chicken with yogurt, ginger garlic paste,1/2 tsp turmeric, salt and a few drops of oil.
- Heat a pan and add oil to it. Add the finely sliced onions and fry them on moderately high flame till they turn brown. Do not burn them. Drain the fried onions on a paper towel and set aside for later use.
- In the same hot oil add sugar and let it melt.
- Add the paste of 1 whole garlic and fry on medium flame for a few minutes without burning them.
- Next add the pureed tomatoes with green chillies, salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric . Cook till the raw smell and color is gone.
- As the tomato gravy thickens add the marinated chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and cook on medium flame till the chicken is half way cooked and the liquid released from the chicken evaporates. Keep stirring in between.
- Add the sauces (if desired) and mix well. Cover and cook for couple more minutes till the chicken is completely cooked and the gravy thickens to the desired consistency. This is not a gravy dish so the gravy needs to be thickened considerably, but again it is according to your preference.
- In a separate pan dry roast red chilli and panchphoron. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Sprinkle this powder, lime juice and the fried onions to the chicken preparation and mix well.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with parathas or rotis.