Rosy Basa Fillet

Rosy Basa Fillet

Late evening walk-in. Can’t even rush to the market or have the courage to order. How do you turn the famished soul into a delightful one ? Well, let me introduce you to another of my ingenuous go to recipe. Just half a beet pulled from my garden by my kiddo and a couple of basa fillet in the freezer will turn your famished and lethargic evening into pure bliss. The taste of the fillet is great and the color is so charming that it makes heads turn inadvertently infallibly every time it’s served around. It’s a G-man, MCMH Original recipe. Enjoy 🙂 …… and yes, there is no rose in this Rosy 😀 , just the color.

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3 famished to delighted seafood lovers
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes of slow grilling + 30 minutes of marinade.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Basa Fillet, 2 normal size : Pengasius or basa is a popular catfish with a sweet tasting, soft  meat with very little of no bones in big pieces of fillet. I wouldn’t say that it’s the top nutritious fish in the water but it is certainly a very easy and friendly one to serve.
  • Sea salt, to taste : I prefer sea salt in my sea food. Reason = It’s coarse, tastes authentic, is not processed and has all natural minerals originally intended.
  • Black Pepper, ground to powder, 4 – 5 corns : 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.
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon : Sour effect of the dish comes from here and bring along with it, the Vitamin C benefits to eyes, hair and skin.
  • Rosemary, dried will do, 1/2 teaspoon : Unfortunately, rosemary doesn’t grow well in Delhi so have to do with dried. Rosemary is a great antioxidant and anti inflammatory and is great for the nervous system too. Since it grows well in the hills, rosemary has a great woody pine fragrance. Still, I would any day choose freshly garden harvested rosemary.
  • Basil, dried powder, 1/2 teaspoon : It has practically all the properties of basil but drying reduces everything. I added dried basil here to give mass and temprate the flavor of dried rosemary and parsley.
  • Basil, sweet, fresh, broken, 1/2 teaspoon : 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, dried powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Again, not a priority in choice. I had to use dried parsley since it was mid summers. Parsley has a much low essence when dried. It is mildly bitter. It has beta carotene and vitamin c to fight cold and flu. I am sure it is the best breath freshener that you can grow in your garden.
  • Galangal, 1/2 inch : Again an antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal spice. It tastes earthy and citrus. I love galangal though it’s very tough to grow, unlike the cousin ginger. It is also very tough to chop or paste since it has strong fibers.
  • Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odor or in taste. Besides, olive oil is a great antioxidant, anti inflammatory, is good for heart and weight management.

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

  • Grate the beetroot finely. Grate the galangal too and mix them both.
  • Spoon the grated beet (+galangal) and mix the dried spices i.e. the black pepper, the dried basil, the dried parsley and the dried rosemary. Mildly grind them using your mortar & pestle.
  • Marinate the fillets with this mix and keep aside for 30 minutes. I generally poke the fillets with a fork to allow the marinate to get deep inside it.
  • Now set the temperature of your microwave at 425 degrees or just above medium heat  and place the marinated fillets inside.
  • Grill it for 20 minutes turning 3 to 4 times and checking the softness of the fillet.
  • Garnish with broken sweet basil and serve to devour 🙂

Storage : Please do not even think about it. Refrigerating will harden the texture and turn the color much less cheerful.

Missing Something ? : You may choose to season the fish with some dried oregano or fresh chopped parsley. I’ve said this in one more dish of mine, the pan fried red snapper too 😀 !

Veg Beetroot Chops

Beetroot Chops / Beetroot Cutlets

If there’s a delight for all seasons and for kids and adults equally, THIS IS IT ! Some call it railway style, some Bengali style, I would just like to call it the “MCMH-G-man” original style which is purely made of love (check out the shape of the heart). Breakfast, brunch or evening snack. With or without bread. With sauces, chutneys and ketchup these cutlets just rock the party. The berry red color just adds to the presentation looks. Do try and earn many happy compliments !!


…..need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 for sure
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 chops each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Beetroot grated 1/2 cup : High in fiber, Vitamin C and manganese to help in immunity, bones, liver, kidney etc. Beet gives a bright and cheerful color to these cutlets.
  • Onions chopped 1/2 cup : 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.
  • Carrots grated 1/2 cup : Carrots are high source of iron and anti oxidants and have sweet and earthy flavor.
  • Potatoes boiled mashed 1/2 cup : With virtually no sodium, no fats and no cholesterol and packed with potassium and Vitamin C  this fiber rich tuber veggie is undoubtedly one of the most famous ones across the globe.
  • Saunf (Fennel seeds) 1 teaspoon : Fennel is amazingly sweet perfumed and tastes so much like licorice that it is a widely used breath freshener in India. Fennel has amazing benefits like maintaining bone & skin health and aiding digestion.
  • Ginger paste 1 teaspoon : Probably the most famous Asian spice ginger is also famous in Oceania and Caribbean and brings out the woody and pungent aroma. Benefits of ginger accrue from relieving throat infections, pain and nausea.
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 teaspoon : One of the most popular musky and earthy spices, cumin also enhances respiration, immunity, diabetes control and has anti viral, anti bacterial properties.
  • Coriander seeds 1 teaspoon : Balances digestion. Another popular seasoning.
  • Green chilies ground to paste 1/2 teaspoon : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly.
  • Amchoor (dried raw mango powder) 1/2 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.
  • Black pepper powder 1/3rd teaspoon : Black pepper is another skin friendly antibacterial agent, antioxidant which brings in hot pungency in the dish.
  • Oil to pan fry : Use any non flavored light vegetable oil with no fragrance of it’s own.
  • Salt to taste : I used 1/3rd teaspoon here

….let’s cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Dry grind the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a mortar pestle. I avoid the mixer with a fear to loose the authentic essence.
  • Saute the onions in a pan for 2 minutes on medium flame till they turn golden brown.
  • Add ginger paste and green chilies paste to it and stir further for a minute.
  • To this add grated carrot and beetroot and stir further for 2 more minutes.
  • Now to this, add the earlier ground spice mix (fennel, cumin and coriander), salt to taste, amchoor powder and 1/4th cup of water. Mix well and cook well for 2 minutes on medium flame to allow the water to evaporate completely.
  • Take this off the flame now and allow to cool. Add potatoes and ground black pepper to this and mix the entire mixture well.
  • This can be then used to make raw chops/cutlets in shapes of your desire.
  • Now grease the same pan and heat for a minute. Cook these chops now for around 4 minutes till they are red brown.
  • Serve with chutneys, sauces, dips, ketchup and await the yum filled applause !!

Storage : Can keep refrigerated for 1 week (if you can manage to save them 🙂 )

Missing Something ? : Please do not iterate or you’ll miss the fun.

Eggplant / Brinjal Chops

Brinjal / Eggplant Chops

 Very light and delicious snacks that take a few minutes to prepare and is a delight to serve and relish. The most common of veggie with a simple and obvious dish that would make the kids eat what they would never otherwise 🙂 . They’ll use a lot of cherry tomato ketchup though !!

….we need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 adults or 3 kids
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving size : 1 brinjal each with 5 slices

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Brinjals (eggplants) 2 medium size :
  • 1 teaspoon oil :
  • Tomatoes chopped 1 medium :
  • Onions chopped 1 medium :
  • Rock salt 2 pinches :

….time to cook ‘n roll (cooking instruction)

  • Wash well and dry the brinjals well. Then slice them into half inches thick slices.
  • Now heat the oil in a pan such that it greases well but does not get absorbed in the slices while frying.
  • Now pan fry the slices of brinjals for 5 to 8 minutes on high flame but not getting them soggy. I like them crispier so I charred them a bit. Set aside.
  • Saute’ the chopped onion in the pan till golden brown. Add tomatoes to it and evaporate all water.
  • Take off when well done and dress the brinjal slices.
  • Sprinkle some rock salt or chaat masala to top it and serve proudly.

Storage : Surely not applicable 🙂

Missing Something ? : There’s hardly anything you need in this. What can you probably miss ??

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce

Fried Snapper in Tamarind Sauce

Introducing an amazing treat is a treat in itself. Do not be taken aback by the list of ingredients used, these are all readily available in any urban kitchen and certain tough ones can be supplemented too. Tamarind is a hit flavor and compliments the fish amazingly. Red snapper also cooks up a great flavor of mixed sweetness with cinnamon and sugar. All the time is worth it. Great evening snack. Go ahead, cook on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3.
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes of cooking + 3 hours of marinate .
  • Serving size : 1 fish each.

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Red snapper (small) 250 gms : Red snapper is high on omega 3 fatty acids and helps heart and blood pressure. It has a sweet and firm texture hence holds well during cooking.
  • Salt 1/3 rd tablespoon : Do not use more than required. It’ll make the dish edible. Little salt gives sufficient sodium, magnesium and hydration to the body.
  • Olive oil 8 teaspoons : Keep the oil light so as not to interfere with the flavor of your dish either in odour or in taste.
  • Garlic chopped clove 4 : Besides the medicinal benefits of being anti inflammatory, antipyretic etc., garlic brings in the required pungency in the dish.
  • Leek 1 handful chopped : Leek is a sweet onion family vegetable. I use it because it does not interfere with the garlic flavor in the dish and has high level of folic acid, calcium, potassium and Vitamin C, hence great nutritional value for kids. Also, it grows very easily in my kitchen garden.
  • Sugar 1 tablespoon : This balances the pungency and the chilli strength.
  • Oyster sauce 1/2 tablespoon : This has high sodium content and is sweet, salty and has a deep savory flavor.
  • Water 1/3rd cup : Used just to make the paste out of spices.
  • Tamarind 1 tablespoon : This is the real tangy flavor in the dish. It also has beneficial effects like easing stomach ache, helping in digestion, fever etc.
  • Turmeric 1/4th teaspoon : The healer in a pungent dish. Host of medicinal benefits here normalizes the other mixed flavor in this dish.
  • Paprika 1/2 teaspoon : Light and bitter with good amount of vitamin e and a strong antioxidant.
  • Lemon juice 1 teaspoon : Sour component in this dish also makes this dish easily digestible and fragrant.
  • Vinegar 1 tablespoon : Takes the sour deep inside the fish and makes it better digestible. Gives an amazing fragrance too. Regulates blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure etc.
  • Cinnamon 1/2 inch : This brings in the sweet sour blend in the dish also adding benefits like skin health, blood sugar and pressure control etc.
  • Cloves 2 in number : This is also a pungent, sweet, bitter spice with an astringent flavor with cures of toothache, inflammation and respiratory infections too.

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

  • Slit clean the snappers.
  • Rub salt, turmeric and lemon juice and keep aside for 2 hours. A good way to set aside it would be to cover and refrigerate.
  • Meanwhile grind the cloves and cinnamon coarsely.
  • Now normalize the fish and shallow fry the same for 5 minutes and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan. Saute the chopped leek in some oil (1 teaspoon would be good enough) till they turn golden brown.
  • Add chopped garlic and stir further for 2 minutes.
  • Add to this, oyster sauce, sugar, tamarind, paprika, vinegar, ground spices (cinnamon and cloves) and add 2 tablespoon water to it all. Cook this all for 3 to 4 minutes and then take it off the flame and cool off.
  • Take the fish and coat it inside out with this cooked blended spice paste and keep aside for further 1 hour.
  • Deep fry the fish now and serve immediately with saute’d vegetables like pak choi and broccoli florets.

Storage : Are you kidding 🙂

Missing Something ? : Can supplement cloves and cinnamon with all spice of the same quantity. Also paprika can be replaced with red pepper powder for similar results. Anything else, i don’t suggest that you change. How about making this a better served dish by sauteing some pak choi and some broccoli florets harvested right from your kitchen garden.

Beetroot Celery Mutton Soup

Beetroot Celery Mutton Soup

Any chef would tell you that mutton as a main component and galangal as a spice component are the hardiest ingredients to cook with. This mutton stock is absolutely different. It uses unique flavors and herbs and even comes out with a fascinating bold red color. This recipe uses almost half the ingredients otherwise used in a conventional mutton stock. An amazing evening appetizer with needless to announce the massive health benefits. An MCMH G-man original recipe. Cook on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 60 to 75 minutes

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Mutton cubes 100 to 150 gms : Healthiest broth is prepared with mutton. It builds bones and is abundant in calcium.
  • Beetroot cubes 1 cup : High in fibre, Vitamin C and manganese to help in immunity, bones, liver, kidney etc. Beet gives a bright and cheerful color to this stock.
  • Celery chopped 1 cup : One of the healthiest foliage & excellent antioxidant. It gives good bitter pungency to the stock.
  • Galangal chopped 1 teaspoon : Again an antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal spice. It tastes earthy and citrus.
  • Leek shoots chopped 1/2 cup : Onion fragrance without the strong pungency. Good source of fibre and antioxidants.
  • Garlic chives chopped 1 teaspoon : Milder than garlic but with full immunity building, disease fighting benefits.
  • Butter 1 tablespoon : Greasing agent in this soup. Probably the healthiest form of fat known.
  • Salt to taste : Ideally 3/4th teaspoon should be good

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

  • Heat the butter in a pressure cooker over medium flame till it fully melts. Will take 60 to 90 seconds max.
  • Add chopped leeks and stir saute’ for 3 to 4 minutes. By now the onions would be reddish-brown
  • Add the garlic chives and galangal and stir for further 4 to 5 minutes till they are soft and soggy. Galangal is very hardy, if it requires further cooking then do so.
  • Add salt and beetroot now and cook for further 5 to 8 minutes. Cook till the entire filler is soft and soggy and cuts with the side press of a spoon easily. Should look mushy and pulpy.
  • Add the mutton pieces to it. Mutton should always be added when at room temperature for proper cooking. Keep it under running tap to normalize if it’s been taken off the freezer. Cook for 25 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Add 5 cups of water and chopped celery in it. Mix well.
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on high flame for 10 to 12 minutes till it sounds 4 whistles.
  • Lower the flame to low and now cook for 6 whistles, whatever time it takes. Then switch off the gas flame and let the pressure normalize for 15 minutes before opening the lid of the cooker.
  • The mutton pieces should be well split, the spices should have dissolved and the celery marginalized by now.
  • Serve steaming and let the flavor float throughout the house. People will come asking for sure !!

Storage : 1 week refrigeration allowed in this.

Missing Something ? : You can replace chives for garlic cloves, galangal for ginger and leek shoots for green onion shoots. These would work though the flavors will deepen a bit.

Baby Corn Zimmer Kebabs

Baby Corn Zimmer Kebabs

If you have kids coming over or if you want to give an evening delight to your kid/s, this is an extremely quick and easy snack to prepare. The color would fascinate the kids. The ingredients are always available in your kitchen. Goes well with any sauce. It is oil free and a healthy tiffin for all ages. An MCMH G-man original recipe !!

….need to know (food details) 

  • Number of people served : 2
  • Preparation time : 25 minutes cooking + 1 hour of refrigeration
  • Serving size : 3 corns each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Baby corns (medium-sized) 6 in number : Baby corn is a great balancer of blood sugar and blood pressure. It’s good for digestion and gives a glow to the skin.
  • Beetroot 1 in count : I grow beetroot at home (check out my blog regarding growing beetroot at home in tubs), but they are an easy vegetable to lay hands at the local market. Beets will give a mild sweet taste to the kebab. Health-wise beetroot lowers blood pressure, boosts stamina, is a good detox and provides good roughage (fiber)
  • Paprika powder 1/4 teaspoon : Besides being an obvious Xing provider in the kebab, paprika is also excellent for eyes.
  • Oregano flakes 1/4 teaspoon : Oregano is quite like the carom in flavor and in usefulness too. Do check out the “ajwain ki chutney” blog to unravel its benefits.
  • Lemon 1/2 unit’s juice : Lemon has several skin and digestion benefits, but here its utility is to provide the sour effect in the kebab.
  • Salt to taste : As always 🙂

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

  • Wash and pat dry the corns well. There should be no moisture on it apart from its inner natural wetness.
  • Grind the beetroot into a fine paste. Do not add any water in the paste. The beet will shed its own water and that would be enough
  • Add paprika, oregano and salt to the paste and mix well.
  • Marinate the baby corns with this paste and keep aside for 1 hour. A great way to marinate would be to keep them in an airtight container and refrigerate for 60 minutes.
  • Now put them over skewers and grill in the microwave for 17 to 20 minutes. You can check after 12 minutes to gauge the cooking of the kebab. If they seem crispy and slightly brittle, though not completely dry and hard, bring them out even if they have spent less than 15 minutes inside your oven.
  • Squeeze a few drops of lemon and serve with mustard sauce while hot.

Storage : Do not attempt to store. They’ll get soggy. If unsure, then prepare less units.

Missing Something ? : You can replace the paprika with dried chilli flakes or ground red pepper. Will give similar results.