Anchovy Fillet in Basil & Tamarind Sauce

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Here’s another anchovy recipe which just dished itself out from whatever I could manage on one summer evening. As I state, I had some half plateful of anchovy fillet with me and most of my kitchen replenishment pending. So I chopped some fresh basil from my garden and squeezed some tamarind from an almost over pouch and dished this yummy snack. Just used pinch or teaspoonfuls of other spices so as to not to take the thrill out of the crunchy fried fillets.

Try these and prepare a blockbuster snack for yourself !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : 5 to 6 forkful each.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Anchovy fillet, 500 grams : These are extremely pungent on their own so need good cooking. It’s rich in proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids as well. 
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the coarse sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Oil, 2 tablespoons, to pan fry : I do not mind mustard oil here due to it’s pungency. Works well with these fries.
  • Raw Mango Powder (Amchoor), 1 teaspoon : Amchoor is a sour, fruity spice which is a good antacid and antioxidant. I add it here since the kids would love anything with amchoor in it.
  • Nigela seeds, 1/3rd teaspoon : It’s called kalonji in Indian kitchens and is packed with antibacterials, antioxidants, anti inflammatory. It has a slight bitter, onion like flavor.
  • Mustard seeds, yellow, 1 teaspoon : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Tamarind paste, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon : Tamarind manages body heat well and helps in weight loss and heart regulation. It boosts digestion and immunity. Tamarind brings tanginess in the dish.
  • Coriander seeds, 3/4 teaspoon : With a warm, nutty and orange essence the coriander seeds are great for eyes, digestion, joints, skin and abdomen.
  • Star Shaped Anise, 2 : It has a strong licorice essence and helps in digestion.
  • Sweet Basil, 1 bunch : In this I used sweet or Genovese basil leaves which I pluck-wash at my garden. Basil is the “King of Herbs” for many reasons. It is a strong anti oxidant. It fights virus, bacteria and other microbes in the body. I grow 4 to 5 types of basil in my garden and am always looking for new things to do with it.

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Wash the anchovy (really well) x 2 . Means twice at least. Else you might feel the mud in your fries.
  • Roast all the dry spices ( mustard, coriander seeds, anise, raw mango powder and nigela) and grind them dry in a mortar pestle.
  • Coat the fillet with this powder.
  • Now heat a pan and put oil in it to vaporizing stage.
  • Add the roughly chopped basil in it and cook for about 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Lay in your coated fish fillet now.
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes on medium heat. Do turn the fillet twice but gently. As they cook, they turn vulnerable to breaking as well.
  • When they feel almost cooked, splatter your panned fish with tamarind paste and salt and cook further for 4 minutes till absolutely well done.
  • Take off and serve hot.
  • Serve with some refrigerated cherries or litchis to get a tropical kick !

Storage : No Way, Jose !! Storing will make it loose the crunch.

Missing Something ? : I would allow you to grind in some curry leaves and mix the in the tamarind paste !!

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