Rock Lobster in Garlic Sauce

Rock Lobster in Garlic Butter Sauce

I am self-confessed seafood fanatic. Based out of a location in India which may be one of the furthest points in the country away from sea, this can be sometimes challenging. So when ever I decide to conjure up a seafood dish, I make sure it counts. Seafood cooking doesn’t take much time, what is expended is the process of cooking and the right flavors for it. This dish is downright spectacular in taste and you’ll find forks scooping out every bit of it and scaling off the platter in minutes after you serve it ! So cook on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 2 to 3
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes

…..and we need (ingredients)

  • Rock lobster 1 (about 500 to 750 grams) : The rock lobster is a very light food and hence good to help weight loss. It is also readily available around the year in the local fish market.
  • Lemon juice of 1 lemon : Besides the Vitamin C benefits to the hair and skin the lemon juice takes away the brackish smell off the seafood.
  • Olive oil 4 tablespoon : Light, odourless, this is the best drizzle oil for most sea and tropical foods. Believe me it’s not so light in benefits. Olive oil is a great antioxidant, helps the heart and is anti inflammatory too.
  • Kosher salt or Sea salt 1/3rd teaspoon : Away from the table salt, these salts are good with meats and bring out the flavors best.
  • Garlic chopped cloves 5 to 6 : Very few of my dishes skip garlic 1. due to its amazing health benefits & 2. because it provides the right amount of pungency with almost every veggie and meat. All hail the ‘King Pungent’ !
  • Black pepper crushed 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.
  • Butter 6 to 7 tablespoons : Butter is the best grease for a grill. While some oils also do the trick but nothing separates the meat from the bones like butter.
  • Chopped parsley and tomatoes 4 tablespoon : Parsley is the best mouth freshener and tomato is the right natural condiment with seafood.

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

  • Every step in this dish is a chef’s delight. Starting with the buying of a lobster and preparing it for cooking.
  • When you have a lobster at hand, start with splitting open the lobster through its head to its tail and scooping out the tomally (i.e. the greenish-yellow stuff inside). I have a full blog on how to cut and prepare a lobster for cooking. That blog will tell you the specifics on splitting and preparing a lobster.
  • Now place the lobster open side up on a platter and sprinkle sea salt and ground pepper on it. Drizzle olive oil over it and place inside a preheated microwave oven.
  • Move the lobster in the grill (microwave) for 2 minutes only and then take out the platter.
  • Now dress the lobster with butter and garlic and place the platter back in the grill.
  • Move the lobster in the grill for 7 to 10 minutes more. By then the butter would be well melted and greased within the lobster.
  • Take out now and dress with tomatoes and parsley and serve hot.

Storage : Naaaaaah !!

Missing Something ? : You can’t miss anything here. There are just 3-4 primary ingredients. 1 iteration that can be done is that during the final minute of grilling you can dress and garnish the platter with tomatoes and parsley to make them mildly cooked.

tasty stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes / Bharve Tamatar

A most visually thrilling dish with amazing tummy fill and an undeniable taste. Rich and healthy and unbelievably easy to prepare it gives a strange satisfaction to the cook as well. “Youngsters of all ages” will be hooked on to the platter till the last tomato disappears. Since I pluck the tomatoes from my garden, I can choose the size, the firmness and the color to max the delight of my patrons 🙂 !! You’ll enjoy serving this and be queerly amused to watch them disappear within minutes..

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 3 to 4
  • Preparation time : 45 minutes total
  • Serving size : 2 to 3 each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Tomatoes (medium to large) 8 :
  • Onion chopped 2 :
  • Garlic chopped 5 to 6 cloves :
  • Potatoes boiled and mashed 4 :
    • Ginger chopped 2 inches :
  • Coriander chopped 2 to 3 tablespoons :
  • Garam masala 1 teaspoon :
  • Cumin 1 & 1/2 teaspoon :
  • Oil vegetable 2 tablespoon : Preferably a light one so as not to interfere in taste and fragrance and just provide the greasing required.

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

  • Slice off the tops of the tomatoes in a cap form and remove the pulp from inside. Keep all three derivatives i.e. pulp, main shell and the cap separately to be used later in the dish.
  • Heat the oil in a pan till it smokes a bit. Add the chopped onions and the garlic till the onions turn golden brown. All on medium flame. Add ginger and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Now add the mashed potatoes, the tomato pulp, garam masala and salt and mix properly. It should cook well for 6 to 7 minutes again on medium flame only. Raising the flame level will burn the veggies.
  • Take this stuffing off the flame and allow to cool only enough for you to handle with fingers but not enough to douse the flavors.
  • Fill this stuffing in the tomatoes evenly and top the shell with the earlier removed caps. Use a toothpick to secure the caps to the filled shells properly.
  • Now heat oil again in the same pan. After 30 seconds on high reduce the flame to medium and add the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds crackle and sputter and then add the stuffed tomatoes in the pan.
  • Turn the tomatoes and let them roll over. They are well secured with the toothpick. Now cover the pan and let them cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
  • Now take them off and platter them hot with coriander garnish. Watch the delights around !!

Storage : 1 week refrigeration allowed easily.

Missing Something ? : You can green chillies to the mashed potatoes if you want to increase the Xing quotient. Many folks also add boiled peas to the potatoes too. Both iterations allowed 🙂

Best Bengali Fish Recipe

Bhapa Ilish / Steamed Hilsa Fish Curry

One thing absolutely fascinates me about bengali food is to prepare a delicacy out of simplest of things and by the simplest of means. This steamed hilsa fish recipe is legendary. Hilsa or Ilish as it is popular in bengal and bangladesh is a herring specie. In fact it is the national fish of Bangladesh and rampantly flourishes in the Ganga delta called the Sundarbans. Ilish has hard and tough bones and is oily in texture. It is a great weekend lunch or a slowly cherished dinner delicacy best enjoyed with steamed rice which being bland further enhances the flavor of the fish. 

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4 (with rice)
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes cooking + 2 hours marinate
  • Serving size : 2 – 3 pieces each

….and we need (ingredient)

  • Hilsa Fish or Ilish Maach (Bengali cut) 750 grams : Your vendor will do the bengali cut for you. Hilsa is oily, rich in omega 3 fatty acids. You need to savour it yourself to understand why it is a bengali obsession.
  • Mustard seeds 2 teaspoon (1 teaspoon yellow + 1 teaspoon black i.e. rai) : The sputtering of mustard seeds adds an aroma of mild roast to the dish.
  • Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon (1/2 for marinade + 1/2 for cooking) : Turmeric blends best in most Indian fish cuisine. It is a great compliment to mustard and fish and helps in detoxification too.
  • Green Chillies 2 to 3 : What’s a pungent fish without the heat and the Vitamin E of green chillies !
  • Ginger 1 inch cut piece : This brings the natural hot zest flavor to the dish. It is also a muscle relaxant and prevents nausea and inflammation.
  • Mustard Oil 2 1/2 tablespoon : Mustard oil is a natural choice for pungent cooking. This is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Salt to taste : I use moderate salt to not overpower the pungency of mustard which is most critical.

….time to cook ‘n roll cooking instructions)

  • Marinate the fish with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and salt. Keep aside for 2 hours.
  • Grind the mustard seeds (both black and yellow), chillies and ginger coarsely.
  • Now boil 3 cups water in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Place the fish in it and cook on medium flame till water reduces to half.
  • Now add the ground paste to it and mix well such that all of it goes deep and well into the fish. Now cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add mustard oil and turmeric to this now and steam covered for 20 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes check whether the fish is cooked well or not. If done then take off and serve hot with rice.

Storage : Can be refrigerated for 1 week easily but do not re-heat more than 1 to 2 time since the fish itself has lots of oils in it which will get spoiled and the fish will loose its texture.

Missing Something ? : Nothing can be changed in this, there are just too few ingredients to rethink. Only iteration allowed is probably using just yellow mustard instead of both yellow and black.