Another award!! This is clearly overwhelming for me. This time for my oldest blog friend, Nat of Girl's are made of.. . Thank you so so so very much Nat. This is such a super good week for me. Just plain super good. And this is my 50th post too! And all of this calls for another celebration. With nothing other than...you guessed right this time!
Fish :) There is a saying that Bengalis (that's me from West Bengal, India) cannot thrive without fish and rice. For once I agree...about the fish part. Not the rice. I am an out and out bread person
One thing has always fascinated me. How come gourmet dishes are so much more easy to make than regular fares. e.g its easy to make clafoutis than a regular yoghurt cake. It is easier to make garlic spinach than say roasted veggies. I mean its counter intuitive. Right? Or maybe its me. I don't know. Well this has its upsides. Needless to say :). I make gourmet meals regularly. Simply because they are easier to make!!
This one is a gourmet, very authentic Bengali fish dish. As light as a couple of tsp of oil. And about 20 minutes in the kitchen. It is called 'doi maach' literally translating to yoghurt fish. Even for a fishy person like me (:), I can say for sure, that this is one of my all time favorite fish dishes. And its not a curry. Cos you use nothing more than cloves and yoghurt. It ain't a curry unless you use a few spices together. Everyone with me on this? :)
Traditionally, it is made with fresh water fishes from which you can cut a big steak size chunks. But, of course that is never mandatory. You can use this with any fish of your choice. Will taste just as good. In all Bengali homes, this is a lunchtime delicacy, to be served with warm rice. Its almost never a dinner recipe. Because in India, lunch is the most important meal of the day. That culture is changing, of course, now. But hey..food wise that is such a calamity. There is something to a good hearty lunch followed by tea and siesta..if you have the time. For those good old days..of which I have had the luck of only reading in novels....
But...we can always evolve good food to meet our needs. Especially those that are healthy and flavorful and easy to cook! And this recipe does exactly that. The way I have changed a bit of the proportions will make it into a lovely dinner recipe, in time as short,.... as 20 minutes.
So here is to good old times...never really lost!
1 big rainbow trout-- Cleaned and cut into four peices
A word about choice of the fish: I used Trout. But you can really use any thing. Best will be haddock and Salmon. I will not recommend Tilapia and Tuna and Flounder ..but I bet it should be fine as well. I just have never made this dish with anything other than Trout, salmon and Haddock.
1 medium onion- chopped very very fine or made into a crunchy paste in the food processor or blender. Do not use water.
1.5 cups of yoghurt
1 tsp of grated ginger
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of lime juice
1 cup of water
1 cup of water
4 tsp of oil
A big pinch of turmeric (optional)
Turmeric gives only color to food. No flavor. So if you do not like yellow color feel free to opt out of it. Will make no difference.
A big pinch of cayenne pepper (optional).
This is for Heat. If you don't like it, just skip it. Use paprika instead :)
Lets do the drill:
Marinate the fish in a bit of salt, a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
This next step is optional. If you like a bit of crunch on fish, do this, otherwise just skip it.
Preheat oven to 500 F for 10 minutes. Drizzle just 2 tsp of oil ( one on each side) and place on a shallow baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes. You can adjust this time depending on the power of your oven. I use 15 minutes. Turn once. The fish will end up with a oven-fried feel.
If you want, you can opt out of the step and simply leave the fish marinated.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a skillet. When hot pop the cloves, taking care to remove the head before popping them in the skillet. Will lessen the chance of it popping out of the skillet :). Wait for a 10 secs, and add the minced or crushed onion and fry on medium for 3-4 minutes or till it turns a bit brown. Just a bit. Add the ginger and sugar. Fry for another minute or so. Lower heat and add the yoghurt, a pinch of turmeric and cayenne pepper. An important tip here. Never put yoghurt on a hot surface. It ruins the flavor of yoghurt and even burns its badly. I learnt it from terrible experience. So before putting in yoghurt always turn down the heat, wait a bit and then, carefully place the yoghurt in the skillet.
Saute for a minute or so. Add lime juice and water and bring to a boil. The lime juice will take the milky smell out of the dish , leaving it fragrant :) Clever idea! Add the baked or raw fish and continue cooking on low for 10 minutes. Go a little longer if you have not baked the fish beforehand. You can tell that fish is done, when it is all white. Season with salt. Remember you have already used some salt in marinading the fish. So add accordingly.
You are done! Serve with warm jasmine rice. And maybe some lovely tropical cocktail to go with it?
Happy eating and healthy living!