Anchovy Fillet in Basil & Tamarind Sauce

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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Surmai / Kingfish in Tangy Masala

Kingfish in Tangy Masala / Surmai South meets West fillet

Nearing the end of FIFA World Cup 2018 and welcoming the monsoons in Delhi, it’s a wash time literally. The plants get washed, the city gets washed, the toxicity in the sir gets washed and most so, the heat gets washed. So much washing pulls me to my favorite pass time, experimenting with seafood.

Seafood is so easily gobbled since it’s light, nutritious, filling and amazingly tasty. I have tried here to blend the two essences of southern and western coastal Indian cuisines so as not to make a mess of each, rather to create a nice new flavor. Am sure you can chip in with your variations and suggestions. Read on !! 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4
  • Preparation time : 15 minutes
  • Serving Size : 2 to 3 pieces each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Kingfish fillet, 2 – further cut into 10 pieces total. Will be around 500 gms  : Kingfish is popularly known in Indian markets as Surmai. This is a pinkish fish with firm texture and high fat content. Its popular and easy for kids to eat since it has very less bones. It is also caled king mackerel and is found in South & Central India. High in protiens,this would be slightly expensive than the regular carp in the market.
  • Coriander seeds, 2 teaspoon, roasted : With a warm, nutty and orange essence the coriander seeds are great for eyes, digestion, joints, skin and abdomen. 
  • Curry leaves, 10, broken : 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.
  • Turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
  • Tamarind, 3 teaspoon : Tamarind fights cancer and helps in digestion. It is a good source of Vitamin C and anti oxidants. It brings the basic sour and tangy flavor to the gravy of the dish.
  • Coconut oil, sufficient for pan frying, should be around 3 tablespoons in a 10 inch pan : Keep the pan frying with cocnut oil at a low to medium heat only, else it evaporates quickly. It does not leave any flavor or color on the dish and is great for cholesterol control.
  • Garlic cloves, 10 – 12 : Pungent, spicy and sweet flavor is accompanied with benefits of combating cold and reducing blood pressure. Clearly my pungent king 🙂
  • Green chilies, 2 long ones : The pinching tougue biter, the green chilies are great for skin, hair and eyes due to their high Vitamin C & E content. I grow at least 3 varieties in my garden much to the kitchen’s delight.
  • Ginger 2 teaspoons : Ginger is consumed by us dried, fresh and chopped, ground dried or as a paste. It can be stored for very long and is extremely easy to grow in your garden It relieves nausea and is a pain killer. It has a warn, sweet and woody.
  • Onion/Leek greens, 1 cup chopped : I grow leek in my garden. It grows super easily in any garden and requires minimum taking care. They are milder and more flavored than an onion. It is also very healthy for blood vessels, bones, heart, digestion, vision etc. I am always inclined to use leek for the sweetness instead of red onions and also the leaves of these leeks. 
  • Coriander, for garnish : The reasons for garnishing with coriander would be so as to compliment the coriander seeds ground and added in the marinate for the dish.
  • Salt to taste : 😀  Use sea salt to make the flavor more authentic.

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

  • Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic, chilies and coriander seeds in a mortar and a pestle. Be coarse for a grounded feel.
  • Add salt, turmeric and tamarind to it and mix well.
  • Coat the fillet pieces with the spice paste and keep aside for 10 minutes, while you do the next steps. It will be great if you poke the fish with a fork lightly but densely. This would take the flavor deep inside but not enough to disintegrate the fillet.
  • Now heat the coconut oil in a non stick pan.
  • To this add the onion or leek greens and saute well for 2 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add curry leaves and saute further for 2 minutes.
  • Now place the fillet pieces in the pan gently and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 cup water and cook well for 8 minutes till the water dries off completely.
  • Take off flame, garnish with coriander and serve.

Storage : Make small portions, they are an easy cook. I don’t suggest refrigerating this.

Missing Something ? : You can skip garnishing and may replace regular salt with some coarse sea salt for more authentic essence.