Pan Fried Tilapia / Jalebi Fish

PAN FRIED WHOLE TILAPIA

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While I have been taking some days off being neck deep in my current project, the winters have slipped in cautiously. Cautiously yes, since the farm fires cloud this season so bad in North India that every breath makes you feel it very evidently. Gone are the fears of the industrial pollution, it is the farm pollution which is beating us flat now.

Winters also brings the best fishes to the pools, rivers and the seas and hence auto speeds up my dishing out fish based delicacies. And though however tied up I may be to write up and share, I always squeeze time to cook up some great treats. Here’s sharing one that I managed to make for myself at midnight while writing up a case study. It made the stressful night so much more enjoyable 🙂 ! Read on, this meaty tilapia recipe will surely tickle your taste buds !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 fish to delight 2.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Tilapia fish, cleaned, scaled and slit diagonally 500 grams approx. : Tilapia is a very popular fish in Asia and Africa though is also common near the Caribbeans. It’s not the most tasty of fishes but is chunky, pretty looking decently good for immunity. Remember that unlike most expectations, this fish is not rich in omega 3 and is a low fat fish.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon or from 1 average sized lemon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Aniseed, 1 & 1/2 teaspoon : Anise is a sweet and fragrant spice very similar to the essence of cinnamon. It has wonderful antiseptic property and help in clearing the respiratory track.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Garlic, 6 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Black peppercorns, 8 : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Onion, chopped, 1/4th cup :  As in Red Onions for us Indians, strong, acidic and bitter. That’s what a good red onion is supposed to be. They are also good sources of Vitamin C and Iron and are good for hair, skin and help in weight-loss.
  • Parsley, 5 to 6 twigs : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Paprika, 1/3rd teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Oil, light vegetable or coconut oil would be good.

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

  • Wash the fish and pat dry. Now season it with salt, pepper, turmeric and lemon juice and set aside. Salt and turmeric takes away the foul smell of seafood.
  • Dry grind the whole spices i.e. aniseed, pepper, paprika, salt, cumin. 
  • Separately wet grind ginger, garlic, lemon juice and onion and make a paste mixing the dry ground spices to it.
  • Marinade the fish with this paste for 30 minutes. 
  • Heat a non stick pan not less than 10″ in diameter. Pan fry the fish well for 15 minutes on medium heat till well done. A well done fish would be soft and separate easily near the bones.
  • Garnish with parsley chopped and serve steaming hot.

Storage : Surely, a 500 grams fish is enjoyable in one sitting only.

Missing Something ? : Dress it up with a lemon wedge and enjoy with a homemade pesto dip  or a nice sweet homemade cherry tomato ketchup !!

Deep Fried Silver Carp

Deep Fried Silver Carp

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I do not know why i tried this one honestly 🙂 ! I am never very impressed by the carp, but the great thing about this fresh water fish is that it is available throughout the year in this river blessed country called India. The grass carp, the silver carp, rohu, catla etc. they are easy to get hold of round the year and are relatively average in nutrition but vary in taste quotient. For one, most of them are pretty good looking fishes. So if I do not want to spare too much thought and want to make myself a quick and yummy snack, frying a carp is a great idea. This one is a simple and quick silver deep fried which can be had with any of your homemade condiments like the tomato ketchup, the pesto, the ajwain chutney etc. Have a good treat !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : This is a 2 guest fish dish.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 pcs with a glass of juice would be  treat.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Silver Carp, 250 grams, cut and cleaned pieces : As I said, the carps don’t have a great taste but are easy to get hold off and eat due to their hard bones. Their taste is sweet and texture of the meat is soft. It has mild health benefits but being high on oils they are  beneficial for heart, immunity and respiration. Here we use the silver carp for the dish.
  • Vinegar, 1 teaspoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Soya Sauce, 1 teaspoon : It’s a low cal high antioxidant sauce with several good cholesterols. It has a fine salty taste and is widely prevalent in dishes across south east asia and China.
  • Aniseed, 1/3rd teaspoon : Anise is a sweet and fragrant spice very similar to the essence of cinnamon. It has wonderful antiseptic property and help in clearing the respiratory track.
  • Oil, 1 cup to deep fry : Use a light flavor free oil. As it is we are deep frying, at least we can let the oregano and paprika take over the flavor part.
  • Oregano, dried, 1 teaspoon : Bitter and pungent oregano is a great antioxidant and hence should be added to fried food. It also has anti fungal and antibacterial qualities.
  • Paprika, 1/3rd teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.

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

  • Wash the cut pieces of fish well and the rub it with salt.
  • Marinate the fish with soy sauce, aniseed and vinegar and set it aside for 10 minutes.
  • Make a mild and coarse paste of oregano, paprika, salt and a tablespoon of water and coat the fish with it.
  • Now heat the oil in a skillet and bring to vapors.
  • Now put the fish pieces in it and deep fry while constantly turning. It should take about 180 seconds.
  • Now take out and dry off all the extra oil using a tissue paper or similar and serve hot with a sauce, chutney etc.

Storage : You don’t need to store 250 grams portion.

Missing Something ? : Dress them up with basil, or parsley !!

Neem Begun

Neem Begun / Neem Eggplant

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I am sharing this one which I cook in guilt only. Reason being, it is a bitter veggie and most would not understand as to why this should be made at all. But bitter can be tasty as well, right ! Think of so many things which make bitter an edible flavor. The story of this vegetable lies in the state of Bengal where I believe every 4th vegetable is an eggplant 🙂 .  Soft, new, near fluorescent leaves of the neem tree are used for this since they are yet edible.

The neem is a must found plant in any home in India that has a garden. It falls under the category of Tulsi, Curry patta etc. in terms of existence, character and virtue. Eggplant or the Brinjal is such a delicious veggie too. I grow at least 4 different types in my garden and enjoy them throughout the year. Remember this snack that is really popular in my house, the Eggplant Chops !

I am guilty of cooking this one since my kid obviously would never eat it 🙂 , but this is a loaded with nutrition dish. Try out, but only with your mature taste buds !!

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 tablespoon per person would be a good serving
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Eggplants / Brinjal / Begun chopped, for this dish I prefer long ones with thin tall slices, 3 brinjals : I  Eggplant or aubergine or brinjal or “begun” as the bengalis would refer to it (this being a bengali dish) is extremely rich in fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and help in liver health, blood cholesterol, heart health and many others. As already stated, I love growing this hardy plant all across the sunny portion of my garden though the white flies trouble me a lot. It is mildly bitter in taste which fades after cooking and the texture is interestingly spongy !
  • Mint sprigs, 1/4th cup or 3 tablespoons when chopped : Mint is chopped well from our garden since they are extremely easy to grow. They are slightly bitter and sour with an umami essence. It is great for digestion and is a great anti oxidant.
  • Neem leaves, broken, fresh 1 tablespoon: The virtues of neem are not a few but a list. It is wonderful for skin, hair, blood, ulcers, stomach, teeth and gums and getting rid of intestinal worms. Though neem is one of the most bitter edibles in the garden yet the new leaves that we harvest here are a bit better with extremely mild sweetness embellished in the otherwise first layer of bitterness. Not for kids though !
  • Red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Red chili powder has a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. It is a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Salt, to taste, use simple table salt here : Bitter Regular table salt works best here. So regular treated and mineral controlled it is.

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

  • Wash the brinjals well and slice them along the length, as in the picture.
  • Mix the turmeric powder, the red chili powder, the salt and 1 teaspoon mustard oil.
  • Coat the eggplant slices with this mix paste.
  • Now heat a teaspoon of mustard oil in the pan.
  • When it starts evaporating, add the chopped neem leaves and the chopped mint leaves and stir for 30 seconds on medium flame.
  • To this add the sliced and spiced brinjal and stir well so as to mix with the sauteed leaves.
  • Add 4-5 tablespoons of water and cook while stirring for  5 to 8 minutes till your required stage of cooking is reached.
  • Now take off the flame and serve hot garnished with some more chopped mint leaves. There you are !!

Storage : You’ll either love it enough to gobble it immediately or you wont appreciate the bitterness and wouldn’t want to store anyways 🙂 .

Missing Something ? : Some mild ground mustard paste can be used in the marinate.

Fish Rechiado / Roopchand

Fish Rechiado

Thanx a lot for the amazing response we have to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here ..  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtCkBgnsCo  https://www.facebook.com/gunnmaymarwaha

Rupchand or Roopchand is a medium to big size fish which occupies your platter well. I always need courage to cook it, not because it is not tasty (which it certainly is plentifully), rather due to its hefty size. I like to cook fish whole, especially good looking ones and this is a pretty fish indeed. However, cooking whole means no leftovers. And that makes for a really big treat 😀  !  So here’s the one which I absolutely love when there’s a good couple of hours of eating strength left in me.

And the recipe, well, Rechiado is an amazing concoction which I first came across during a binge with friends in Goa. I was absolutely led by it’s umami essence and a fragrance that would fill a shackk or a room for hours.

So, here’s my treat !! Read on ….

 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : This is a 4 guest fish for sure.
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : Half platefuls would be a great treat.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Roopchand fish, 1 full, cleaned and slit, 1400 grams approx. : Roopchand is sometimes called the Indian piranha, quite unfairly though. It is white and sweet and has chunky meat portions and bones that are easily separable. It is good in omega acid and proteins as well. It looks so pink and pretty and hence the nomenclature. Some also call it the fake pomfret or the chinese pomfret. 
  • Vinegar, 2 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Curry Leaves, 1 tablespoon : There isn’t a household in India which does not have a curry leaves plant. They have high amount of calcium, carbohydrates, fibre, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B, C and A hence helping heart, hair, skin and fighting infections. Here I add them for their extreme spicy aroma. One old friend from Bangalore once told me, if the South Indians would have their way, they would even add curry patta in Chinese food 🙂 
  • Salt, 3/4th teaspoon : Use the sea salt for authenticity and it’s minerals.
  • Sugar, 1 teaspoon : Gets necessary sweetness to the dish adding fibre and aiding digestion too.
  • Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon or from 1 average sized lemon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Dried Red Chilies, 6 : Dried red chillies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/3rd teaspoon : Cumin has the classical earthy and nutty essence. Cumin is also extremely popular due to it’s aid to digestion, immune system, respiratory system and being a source of iron.
  • Garlic, 10 cloves : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Black peppercorns, 8 : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Ginger, 1 inch : Unmistakably earthy, the ginger adds the heat quotient in the dish. The gingerol in ginger is a strong anti nausea and anti inflammatory agent.
  • Cloves, 4 to 5 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Cinnamon, 1 inch : Again an amazing sweet taste and flavor enhancer, cinnamon is also an anti oxidant, anti inflammatory and sugar controlling ingredient which I often use in meats.

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

  • Pick a cleaned fish from the market, the guys will slit it for you too. It’s a medium to big fish with medium to thick bones. Cleaning at home will make a you clean a lot more than you expect.
  • Rub it with sea salt, turmeric powder and lemon juice and set aside for 30 minutes. Make sure that the salt mix gets deep in its  cuts.
  • While that’s been done, grind the red chilies, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, peppercorns, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, vinegar, sugar and salt into a coarse paste. Using a mortar and pestle would be better since that would be cold grinding and wouldn’t evaporate the essence. Grinding it this way will also require any additional water. Apply this paste well to the fish.
  • Preheat the microwave for 5 minutes and then place your fish on a grilling tray. Grill your fish for 20 minutes on medium heat (about 180 degrees), turning 3 to 4 times.
  • Served smoking. Again as I always say, keep checking your fish to keep it soft and edible. Too much cooking and you’ll give it a funeral 😦   🙂

Storage : Since it’s a big fish and cooked with vinegar, you may refrigerate for 2 days reheating once. Thereon, it’s texture will start getting leathery.

Missing Something ? : Dress them up with basil, I did so !!

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic

Beet Stalks Pickle With Ginger Garlic / Chukandar Ka Achaar

Let me introduce you all to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here .. 

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This one is another of my indigenous garden to kitchen experiments that created the “MCMH Original Recipe” . Read on and try to believe it. You know that I am an avid gardner too. The effort that takes to create vegetables and flowers out of dry seeds is only next to parenting a child. So when it’s the time for fruitation, you would want your produce to be used to it’s maximum and respect every element edible or otherwise usable. This is exactly what made me use beet stalks in many ways. remember the beet stalk fries

Do try this one and I promise you’ll stand out unique when you discuss about it in a group. Enjoy !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : Several happy lip smacking faces 🙂
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beet Stalks (stalks + leaves) chopped, 2 cups : Amazing earthly tasting veggie with high level of immunity boosting Vitamin C and with other benefits to bones, liver, kidneys etc. So what are the stalks that i use here. Pluck a beetroot plant off the ground. Most popularly used is the bulbous root, then there are the leaves which are a great alternative to spinach. Finally there are 1/4th to 1/2 inch thick stems which may vary from 4 to 7 inches in length which lie between the root and the leaves. I am using that here. I know we use to throw them away forever long back as we knew. But it is the healthiest and tastiest part of the plant as i have discovered. 
  • Garlic chopped, 1/2 cup : You will hardly find any of my recipes missing garlic. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Green Chilies, 3-4 large, slit & deseeded : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin.
  • Coarse Salt, 1 tablespoon : Use a rough pink salt, it is a good sodium and magnesium provider. Also aids in digestion and dissolution of food particles.
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds, 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.
  • Cloves, 4 to 5 : Cloves is extremely beneficial for it being anti cancer, anti diabetic, pain killing and breath cleansing properties. It has a distinct pungent, bitter essence.
  • Bay Leaf, 2 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Star Anise, 1 : It has a strong licorice essence and helps in digestion.
  • Red Chili Powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Dried red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Vinegar, White, 1/2 cup : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Heeng, Asafoetida, 1 pinch : Heeng controls blood flow and sugar level and further adds pungency.
  • Jaggery, 100 grams : Jaggery is an amazing anti oxidant and helps the body fight against infections. It is like a buttery liquid sugar and is good to mix in food in powder or liquid forms.

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

  • In a hard bottomed pan or a skillet, heat the Jaggery Vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon Salt and cook for 3 minutes on medium till it gets dissolved into a solution. You may take a couple of more minutes if required. Now set this aside for cooling.
  • Now in another pan, heat some oil (2 tablespoon of any vegetable oil would do).
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mustard to it on medium. Stir till it sputters.
  • Add veggies to it one by one starting with chilies and cook for 2 progressive minute each.
  • Add all the dry and whole spices now and cook till the spices are well immersed.
  • Now set down and bottle once cold.
  • In this bottle, now pour the vinegar solution made earlier.
  • Secure the bottle cap well and shake hard to mix everything inside well.
  • Place this bottle in sun for 10 days to sun bake well, while remembering to shake it before every sunbath 🙂
  • You have your most unique pickle ready !

Storage : You can enjoy this for around 12 months for sure, if you do not gobble it all before so.

Missing Something ? : You may add some whole curry leaves to the pickle to give an amazing South Indian recall.

Machhi Jaisamandi

Machli Jaisamandi / Fish Jaisamadi (Udaipur Style)

Before we start with this one, let me introduce you all to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here ..    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7n9nuI85fuaZZiblobDOA?  https://www.facebook.com/gunnmaymarwaha/

Many know that my favorite escape destination in Udaipur. The palatial and amazing lake city. Amazing great big lakes, palaces and palaces within lakes as islands, it is a bliss to be there for a break. With wonderful people with a superb sense of hosting backed with undeniably the most picturesque locations across all of Asia and maybe the best in the world, I have been drawn to Udaipur for it’s wonderful sense of cuisine too. While most of the state of Rajasthan being desert would never think of it, but Udaipur certainly incorporates some wonderful fish in it’s cuisine. Machi Jaisamandi is on dish which I had with my son while we were having dinner at a lake touching window in the fabled Jagmandir, another fabled wonderful palace complex which stands as a complete island in the lake Pichola. This is just one of the many others like Fateh Sagar, Udai Sagar, Doodh Talai and my favorite, the raw and massive Lake Jaisamand, which s the second largest artificial lake of Asia. This recipe is said to have originated from the many islands that still hosts tribals called Bhils who served it to Raja Jai Singh somewhere back in history. Wow ! that’s quite a serving of the place, right. As I said, I love the place. So lets get on with this fabled delicacy ! Machi Jaisamandi

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 for the party
  • Preparation time : 45 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Fish pieces, any carp would do, 250 grams : Carps are generally soft white meat fishes which are easily found in water bodies. They have average to less bones. However, they are not very nutritious but blend very well with the spices used in the dish.
  • Yogurt, 1 cup : Digestion, skin, hair, everything benefits from curd. In sizzling summers, it keeps the internals in control. Curd is our basic curry component here.
  • Mint Leaves, 1/2 cup : Mint is chopped well from our garden since they are extremely easy to grow. They are slightly bitter and sour with an umami essence. It is great for digestion and is a great anti oxidant.
  • Turmeric 1 teaspoon, to be used in 2 halves : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. I grow them in tubs in my backyard. They test your patience coming up, but they are amazingly pretty as a plant.
  • Green Chili, 1 : Fresh green chilies from my garden add to the fresh heat and mild bitter component while adding benefits of eyes and skin.
  • Red Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Ground red chilies are a must in Rajasthani cuisine as I have found out lately. It is quite typical of the desert. Unlike the freshness of the green chilies, red chilies provide heat in a very earthy essence. 
  • Gram flour or Besan, 3 tablespoon : It is ground out of roasted or raw chick peas and is a very popular marinade. Besan is great for skin, control of cholesterol and diabetes and improvement of heart health.
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Cumin 3/4th teaspoon, to be used in 2 halves : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc. Roasting it makes it easy to mix in the salads and curries. A non roasted seed would need irritable grinding by teeth while eating.
  • Salt : A regular low sodium table salt would work well here.
  • Oil, seed oil : A light sunflower seed or any other seed oil would do well.
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish : Coriander provides the garnish to the dish and takes off any unwanted smell. Coriander is also a great digestive and also aids in the digestive and blood system of our body. The sweet coriander is one of the most popular garnish across fat cooked dishes. I pluck the whole plant from my garden since roots give the best flavor in the coriander plant.

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

  • Wash the fish pieces well and rub it with salt and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, mix some gram flour, half turmeric powder, half ground cumin and a little water to make a paste.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, half turmeric and red chili powder and whip to mix well.
  • Now make a fine paste of mint, green chili, lemon juice and salt to your taste. So that’s 4 separate bowls you have now, just to recollect :).
  • Marinate the fish in the green paste and keep aside for 30 minutes so it seeps in well.
  • Now coat this fish with the marinate well into it with the batter earlier prepare with gram flour. 3 bowls used till now.
  • Shallow fry this batter coated fish for around 4 to 5 minutes till the color of the batter turns woody.
  • Now, in a skillet, heat oil. Add the remaining cumin on medium heat and make it crackle.
  • To this add the yogurt mix, i.e. the final bowl and let it cook on medium for 5 minutes.
  • Add fish to it and cook for 2 minutes more.
  • Take off, serve with chopped coriander garnish and enjoy.

Storage : No way, it won’t last long on your platter, I promise 🙂

Missing Something ? : Not much, I just followed the authentic steps, so I suggest for you to do the same too.

Ajwain Ke Pakode / Carrom Leaves Fritters

Ajwain Ke Pakode / Carom Leaves Fritters

Before we start with this one, let me introduce you all to this wonderful new initiative from my loved one. Do check this out too and follow, there will surely be great posts rolling here ..   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmtCkBgnsCo   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn7n9nuI85fuaZZiblobDOA?   https://www.facebook.com/gunnmaymarwaha/

Now this one is certainly my most talked about serving among my guests. I’ve had repeated demands to serve these and also for sharing some offshoots of carom plants which I have so gladly fulfilled. These pakoras are so unique, for 1, you can’t get them in the market, next, you won’t know how they are made and most of all, something like this even exists till they turn up at your serving.

So read on, enjoy, am sure you’ll be tempted with this !

…need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 1 plateful only good for 2, seriously 🙂
  • Preparation time : 10 minutes max.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Carom leaves, freshly taken, about 20 in numbers : Carom seeds are a common spice in Indian kitchens. Here we use the carom plant’s leaves for this chutney. Easy to grow and has a tremendous oregano like flavor. Carom is an excellent digestive, pain reliever, antiseptic and cure of common cold. Practically every part of the carom plant is edible. I even use the soft stems for making Ajwain ki Chutney which is my ever popular condiment.
  • Salt, normal table salt, 1/2 teaspoon : You may use normal table salt here, reason being, that we are looking the flavor of carom leaves to pout and nothing else to interfere.
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/3rd teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the pickle here. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Gram flour/ Besan, 1/2 cup : This is a very popular marinade. Ground from raw or roasted chick peas, besan has a very nutty and rustic flavor besides being good for heart, controlling diabetes and lowering cholesterol.
  • Oil, vegetable or seed oil, for deep frying : Try to use a light vegetable oil.
  • Butter, melted, 1 tablespoon : The cheesy butter absorbs the basil’s herb flavor very well. Regular table butter is a good source of fats soluble vitamins and saturated fats. They are better in taste and health than margarine. 

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

  • Pluck the carom leaves off it’s stems. You will note that the stems are soft and crunchy enough to fry them. You may as well do so or may use them in the Ajwain leaves Chutney which I often do.
  • Wash all well in a strainer and then keep aside to dry  well.
  • Take the gram flour and mix well with salt, turmeric and melted butter.
  • Now add water to it gradually while flicking the batter so as not to form dry puffs within.
  • When your paste is made, dip your carom leaves in it.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and bring to vapors.
  • Now take the batter covered carom leaves and deep fry them within the skillet. Do not over-brown and do not allow them to stick together. There is a trick to doing this properly. Always take 3 to 4 batter coated leaves and make a soft sandwich of sorts before frying them. This will enhance the original flavor of carom and it will not tend to get lost in deep frying.
  • Now pull them out and wipe them off extra oil with a tissues and place them on a plate to serve hot. You will note, the butter in the batter will make the pakoras puff out very beautifully and the original heart shaped leaves will make an almost compulsive pick among all your snacks 🙂

Storage : You can refrigerate for a couple of days easy. May also fill in your kids tiffins.

Missing Something ? : You may add some ground Kashmiri chilies also known as degi mirch to spice up the flavor and brighten in color, I didn’t use it since I have younger guests on board 😀

Mutton Stock in Celary Garlic

Mutton Stock in Celery and Garlic

Monsoons are confusing for the kids. Parents want them to be cozy and covered while they are all sweaty and sultry. They need more showers in the day of humidity while the parents want them to be quick and covered so as to avoid them from catching cold.

This soup really helps in the monsoons. Super tasty and energy giving, it maintains the body temperature and avoids the unwanted shivers in the rainy weather. Takes not much of an effort but we have here a winning concoction. Try it and have a sumptuous and confident evening 🙂

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 for the party
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Celery stalks, 4, chopped : I grow celery for around 5 months in a year and they grow well in tubs, bags and small planters. They have one of the healthiest foliage & excellent antioxidant. It gives good bitter pungency to the stock.
  • Garlic cloves, 3 – 4 : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Vegetable oil, 3 teaspoon : Sunflower seed or groundnut oil would be good. We are looking for an average greasing here.
  • Mutton Stock, 4 cups : Healthiest broth is prepared with mutton. It builds bones and is abundant in calcium.
  • Soya Sauce, 2 tablespoon :  It is the most popular umami fixture I guess.
  • Lemon grass, chopped, 1 teaspoon : I learnt that lemongrass is a mild astringent and helps controlling fever, cough, digestion, blood pressure etc. besides adding a wonderful citrus zest to the dish. Now I have sufficient lemongrass in my garden throughout the year.
  • Black pepper, 2 pinches : Good proportion of salt and pepper are great anti oxidants too.
  • Table salt, 1/2 teaspoon : Regular table salt would o good
  • Coriander, chopped, for garnish : This comes straight from my garden. Gives a orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.

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

  • Preparing the mutton stock is a pre-recipe exercise here. A simple mutton stock that I make is by pressure cooking 3 pieces of mutton with a teaspoon of garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon salt. We can also add a bay leaf , 1 small black cardamom and 1/2 inch of cinnamon to enhance.
  • Now heat oil in a pan. When it steams, add the chopped celery and chopped garlic and stir saute’ for 3 minutes on low medium flame.
  • Add half the stock in it and cook for 5 minutes..
  • To this add the soya sauce, lemongrass, salt and pepper and stir cook for 2 minutes to mix well.
  • Now add the remaining stock and boil cook for 10 minutes on low medium flame.
  • This should reduce the stock to about 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups.
  • Serve in hot bowls garnishing with roughly chopped coriander. Enjoy 🙂

Storage : You can refrigerate for a week, no sweat in the monsoons with that 🙂

Missing Something ? : You may add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika to increase your heat quotient but do not add any spice which overwhelms your basic flavors of celery and garlic !!

Snapper Grilled in Basil and Lemon Zest

Snapper Grilled in Basil and Lemon Zest

Being a seafood lover, it’s always a pleasure experimenting with mild spices and churning out indigenous recipes. When they are appreciated across the table, it is truly an inventor’s pleasure. So it was a Eureka Eureka moment for me when I picked up anything that I could lay my hands upon this weekend morning and converted two leathery snapper fishes (they were red, I recall) and grilled some fruits alongwith to have a delightful feast. If there’s your favorite sport on TV, enjoy the loud cheering since this feast will cheer you up sufficiently enough 🙂

Remember, snappers are have leathery skin and hardy bones. While the bones are easy to get rid off, the texture needs a good soaking followed by a diligent cooking.

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 for the party today 😀
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 fish each and no less would satisfy

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Red Snappers, 2, small to medium size, cleaned well :Red snapper is a very good looking elegant fish. It looks amazingly good lying whole on a platter. It is extremely tasty too but due to high levels of mercury in it, I do not offer them to the kids. Once a month, sinning make no difference 🙂 . 
  • Fruits, cut and peeled : Lovely yummy sides !
  • Basil, handful broken : In this I used lime 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. Besides the regular peppery flavor, the lime basil has sweet and citrus essence too. Since I wanted to enhance the tanginess, I used this basil.
  • Vinegar, 1 tablespoon : Vinegar preserves the flavors in my dishes very well, so I don’t mind frequenting it. Prime reason for it’s preservative qualities are the amounts of acetic acid and anti bacterial present in it. And yes of course, the sour essence is brought out very well with vinegar. It is an amazing preservative.
  • Lemon juice, 2 tablespoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Black Pepper, 1/4th teaspoon : Hot and mildly pungent, black pepper is good for digestion, skin, respiration and is a good antioxidant too. On tables across the world salt n pepper are partners in relation.
  • Garlic cloves, chopped, 4 : The king pungent as I call it, garlic provides the base flavor of this dish. Garlic is highly nutritious. It combats sickness, heals sore throat and regulates blood pressure as well.
  • Paprika, 1/2 teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Coriander, 2 teaspoon, chopped : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives a orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Parsley, 1 teaspoon, chopped : I grow moss green, long leafed, Italian varieties of parsley till late April. It is mildly bitter but an amazing garnish. It cures bad breath, diabetes and boosts our immunity. One can much the sweeter varieties fresh & raw from a harvest.
  • Oil to cook : Use something with a low heating point. A good one would be coconut oil due to it’s odorless, tasteless quality.
  • Salt to taste : As always, I would suggest coarse sea salt with seafood to enhance the authenticity.

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

  • Wash the fish well and make deep slits in a criss cross pattern on each side. This is very important for the proper and flavorful cooking of the leathery fish.
  • Using a mortar and pestle grind together black pepper, paprika, coriander, garlic, basil, lemon juice, vinegar and salt.
  • Apply this coarse paste all over the fish using your fingers to insert the marinate well inside the fish. Now cover it and set it inside a refrigerator for two hours.
  • Meanwhile, with just 20 minutes from the completion of 2 hours of marinade, you may grill your peeled fruits and yummy sides. The best fruits would be bananas, papaya and apples. Sprinkle them with sea salt. Grilling of fruits would take not more than 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Now set your fish in the grill and set the timer for 15 minutes. Turn the fish a few times during it’s grilling process. You may increase your time if the fish is not flaky enough but do not give your fish a funeral 😀
  • Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve hot with grilled fruits as sides. Party on !

Storage : This fish has an already firm texture. Refrigerating may not be the smartest thing. Cook as much as you want to eat.

Missing Something ? : This was my adventure. You can do all your fun at the kitchen table too !!

Mahi Mahi in Basil Butter

Mahi Mahi in Basil Butter

It’s been a while since I have been online. Missed all the action dearly but was thinking of all friends honestly 🙂 !

Didn’t quit cooking though 😀 . Delicacies were dished out every time I managed. This one is the amazing mahi mahi which is a native of Hawaiian pacific. Absolutely cherish this whenever I can. Since the fish is delicate, we use less number of strong spices here and blend in the perfect texture and flavor. Super easy to make, go ahead, read on and enjoy !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 appreciative connoisseur
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : Couple of forkfulls should excite the soul 🙂

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mahi Mahi Fillet, 1 : This fish has a nice mild pinkish sweet and firm meat. I always go for fillets in Mahi Mahi since the fish has such a thick skin. The thick skin actually helps it endure the harsh west pacific waters. Mahi Mahi is also a source of all amino acids that our body needs.
  • Table Butter, 2 tablespoons : The cheesy butter absorbs the basil’s herb flavor very well. Regular table butter is a good source of fats soluble vitamins and saturated fats. They are better in taste and health than margarine. 
  • Salt, coarse sea salt : Best and most authentic for this dish.
  • Ginger Garlic paste (coarse), 1 tablespoon : An amazing herb mix to cure all sickness, pains etc. and providing the pungency and earthiness to the dish.
  •  Basil broke, 1 bowl fresh : Anti aging, anti cancer, anti bacterial herb is a great garnish due to it’s sweet and mixed spice aroma. Here a harvested a handful of sweet basil from my garden. As always, break their leaves and avoid chopping them. This retains their essence best.
  • Parsley, 1 tablespoon : Parsley grows great in my tubs. They fight diseases, cancer, inflammation and most of all bad breath 😉 since they are a great breath freshener.
  • Some sauteed veggies, 1 tablespoon : I used some chopped carrots and a couple of beans resting in my fridge for long.

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

  • Wash and slit the fillet softly. Mahi Mahi is a soft and sweet fish. Let’s keep it that way.
  • Using a  mortar & pestle crush the ginger garlic with a pinch of salt to make a coarse ginger garlic paste. It will be fresher and stronger then the pre made one.
  • In the same mortar and pestle, mildly crush the basil leaves. Too much force here will lead to loss in flavor, use light hands here.
  • Now heat a pan on medium heat. Melt the butter on it.
  • When the butter melts add required amount of salt and add basil now. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Soon the basil will discolor and the flavor will transfer in the butter.
  • To this, add the ginger garlic paste and mix well. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes more. Do not get tempted to add water.
  • Now place the fish fillet in the pan. Cook well on medium heat for 10 minutes turning twice. By now the butter would have thickened considerably.
  • Serve your delicacy hot after garnishing with chopped parsley and some steaming veggies for the works.

Storage : No way jose’ !

Missing Something ? : Keep It Simple Sir 🙂