Often times, I have found cliches boring. Such and such bread goes with only such and such cheese. This wine goes with only that meat. If you use garlic, you better not use vanilla...well you follow the idea. I beg to differ. And I have gone to extremes to find out at what point is it really possible to admit, 'this is a real bad combination'. Garlic with vanilla is one example :)
However, the process of disobeying has helped me dig out recipes--which are terrific but unexplored. Today's post is about one such recipe. This is a very traditional Bengali (East Indian) dish- craved for and enjoyed by most, not served in restaurants--which a lot of people assures me is because very strict rules need to be obeyed to make this one perfectly. I disagree.
First, I hate the fish (Hilsa hilsa) traditionally used in this recipe. Hate. Second, the amount of oil that is used is absurd. And finally, I do not like super strong flavors that drown the fish taste. But other than these issues, the recipe that I am going to talk about today is an elegant simple dish. Equally enjoyable without the oil, strong flavor and definitely the much-hated-fish.
So here goes!
Steamed Trout in Mustard
Steamed Trout in Mustard
A Trout cut into three or four pieces.You can substitute with Sea bass, Haddock, Flounder.
You can also use jumbo prawns for this one. I really prefer fish. Fresher the better :)
2 tsp of ground mustard powder. You can use yellow or brown of good quality. For extra sharpness, whisk in a tiny amount of Wasabi. Now, we are talking :)
Half a tsp of turmeric
2 tsp of flaked unsweetened coconut. You can also use unsweetened coconut powder.
2 tbsf of regular oil. However, I like to use olive oil. If you are using olive oil, I would add half a tsp of grated garlic :) (ahh! for that smell). For a very exotic flavor you can use 2-3 tbsf of mustard oil.
1/4 cup of water.
Salt to taste
3 Jalapeno or green chilli pepper-- seed removed and sliced lengthwise.
You just steam it!
You heard it right. Clean the fish pieces and place them in one layer in a baking tray. Whisk together the coconut, mustard, turmeric and salt with water to make a fine paste. Pour the paste all over the fish taking care so that each piece is well coated. Place the sliced Jalapenos on top and leave for 20 minutes.
Preheat the over to 350 F for 10 mins. Pour the oil all over the marinated fish and seal the tray with an Aluminum foil. This will seal in the vapor. The fish is going to be cooked in the flavorful vapor which will permeate throughout the fish and, will also prevent the fish from drying up. That is what is so great about this dish. Bake for 25 minutes, turning once.
Take out your fish...and that aroma, as you uncover....ahhh!!. Serve with jasmine rice or bread. Fresh French bread is a great choice.
A flavorful version of a very traditional dish-- no compromise on the taste...just without the oil and the strong spiciness. Enjoy and let me know!
Happy eating and healthy living!!