Thursday, November 27, 2014

Grilled Trout and vegetables- Recipe with spices

Every home has their version of traditions. So, when I ask about or start imagining thanks giving traditions, every kitchen, every home and all the people associated with it, will have different stories to tell. And these stories makes memories, with these memories, traditions are passed on to next generations. If you are celebrating these thanks-giving traditions – then wish you and yours a Happy thank-giving and even if you are not, don’t stop yourselves from being thankful to God. Please count on the blessings, he has bestowed upon you, me and all of us.
Ours is also a family with many such stories. Take this story part out, and what you get here is a plain recipe post. I am sure when you visit a food blog; you always try to find something. And that “something” can be “anything” for most of you- a recipe, clearing any doubts, checking the ingredients list or method etc or may be sometimes a mention which makes you think, oh! Yes that’s how it has been made by us, or is happening with us, or we also have been there and done that. Or may be a completely new recipe, where you haven’t even heard of those exotic ingredients or a new recipe.Or may be a story which you can co-relate to.

Nevertheless, bottom line is everyone is looking for “something” and that something can be “anything”, just like all the traditions you have inherited or will create, it can lead to something or may be possibly anything.

Well, we do not follow thanks giving traditions in our home; it’s a completely new concept or a cultural euphoria for us. But yes, we do respect food and God. And with this, I would say we are thankful to God for providing us a shelter, food and water and the people who love and care for us.
Although, traditionally, turkey is made on thanks giving day, but I think we create our own traditions or memories as well. 
I have a grilled fish recipe for this occasion. I have used rainbow trout fish- a sweet fresh-water fish, for this recipe, but other fish like sea-bream or mackerel or may be sea bass can also be used for this recipe. Although in Mediterranean cuisine, they do like to grill fish with bare minimum things- like with olive oil,lemon juice,salt and some herbs, but, since we do need to satisfy our Indian taste bud. We have made a dry spice mix, which can be used as a great rubbing spice mix for the fish.
You may even add in other vegetables for grilling- like potatoes, cauliflowers, onions, sweet potato and bell peppers. The red ones are sweet and juicy. Or may some grilled asparagus as your sides. Fish are generally healthy options. Here is how we made grilled fish with spices.

 There we created our own tradition on thanks-giving and it’s known you can not separate fish from a Bengali.

Grilled Rainbow Trout with vegetables and spices
Recipe requirements
1 whole Rainbow trout fish
2-3 medium size potatoes
Cauliwer florets
1 lemon cut into half
3-4 fat cloves of garlic
For the dry rub spice mix
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder( optional) 
1 tsp of red pepper powder
1 tsp of garlic powder
¼ tsp of ginger powder (sonth)
1 tsp of coriander powder
½ tsp of cumin powder
½ tsp of cinnamon powder
½ tsp of cardamom powder
½ tsp of Kashmiri red powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of dried herb of your choice or mixed herbs like thyme/parsley/ kasoori methi etc

Clean the fish in running tap water. I have not used  the fish head; if you want you can include that as well. With the help of potato peeler, using the serrated sides of the peeler, de-scale the fish or use any other knife, stroking on the opposite direction to de-scale the fish.Make some marks with knife on the fish surface, just tearing the fish skin and some flesh underneath.

Now we will rub the dry spice mixture evenly on the surface of fish. Mix all the ingredients listed under dry rub spice mix- red pepper, cumin+coriander, garlic+ginger, cinnamon+cardamom powder etc. If you do not get dry powders for garlic and ginger, you can use fresh as well. Just grate them roughly and pat all over the fish surface. In place of cinnamon+cardamom powder, you may even use garam masala powder. There are even options of using garlic salt as well. You may use that also if it’s available to you.

Now after rubbing the dry rub spice mix, cover the fish with a aluminium foil, and keep it refrigerated.I have done a 24 hrs marination.The day I bought the fish, I rubbed the spice mix well and then kept it in the deep fridge .Then on next day, I took it out for grilling at least 3-4 hrs earlier to thaw the fish properly.
Now sprinkle about a tsp of lemon juice all over.

Now cut potatoes, and other vegetables of your choice. If you wish to use cauliflowers, potatoes, bell pepper, garlic, sweet potato etc then add in now. After cutting them in thick and chunky pieces, rub the spice mix powder on them also if you have some left-over, otherwise, simply use red pepper powder + any dried herb+salt. 
Set the oven at 190 deg C at grill mode/ in US it is broil mode.Or use stove-top skillet grill or cast-iron grill.But then spray some oil over the grill before you start grilling the fish.This gives a lovely charred look as well.
Now, prepare a baking tray, line up with foil, and put the fish in the middle rack.Generally this is what I like to do, otherwise you can put that on the top rack as well,if you want a lovely charred look then use a grilling tray for that matter.

If you want to add oil, then add in oil when you prepare the dry rub spice mix or half way through , flipping the sides of the grilled fish, just basting it with little oil.
Put the baking tray in the middle shelf, and grill the fish for 35-40 mints at 190 Deg C. Put a tray at the lower rack, in case there is some dripping.Half way through take the fish out, carefully flip the side and put it back into the oven.
Take out and let it rest for a while.
You can prepare any cold salad with it as well. How about a cole-slaw or a fresh corn mango salsa  for a change

And thanks for visiting here, all these past years.Happy Thanks-Giving friends.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Peyaj Posto - Onions cooked with white poppy seed paste

Now that I have written about our travel in my earlier post...I would like to take off my traveling boots as of now and change into the home-slippers, and perhaps start cooking food for us.
Posto or white poppy seed paste is an integral part of traditional Bengali cooking.This can be included in many stir/fry vegetable recipes and fish recipes as well.There is this chicken recipe – posto bata diye murgi , and also a notey shaak with posto bata..........
Today it’s peyaj posto for you all. The recipe is simple with white poppy seeds to make posto bata/poppy seed paste, well almost and of course onion. I would say please use purple onions not the white ones. As they do give nice sweetish taste to the over-all dish.

After, I thought of putting up this recipe, I gave Google a turn, yeah I always do, so that I can recommend some other recipes .Most of the recipes that are written in the net about peyaj posto, do not talk about tempering/phoron part of this stir/fry. I am amazed and puzzled, as a general rule one always does the phoron/tadka/tempering and then add vegetables in a stir/fry recipe. I called back my Ma just to confirm my doubt and asked if I am doing it any wrong way these past years. So, she told me tempering should be done either by adding Panch-phoron or Kalo jeerey as this is what she always had been doing in past. I sighed that I am not the only person who believes in tempering and phoron for this stir/fry recipe.
But likewise, any recipe is totally dependent on the cook, even after many attempts one can not reproduce a delicious and simple stir/fry recipe again and again, what ever they might have eaten somewhere, and sometimes all it takes is a single attempt, and it hits the “Bulls eye”….Bang there!!

Peyaj posto ( Onions with white poppy seed paste)
Recipe requirements
3-4 medium size onions
3-4 green chilies
1 tsp of nigella seeds/kalo jeerey/kalaunji
¾ tsp of salt or as per taste
3-4  heaped tbs of white poppy seeds or 50 gms of white poppy seeds.
2-3 whole cashews
4-5 tbs of mustard oil
¼ tsp of turmeric powder (optional)
½ tsp of red pepper powder
Soak white poppy seeds and cashews in water for about 2-3 hrs roughly. Now wet grind those in grinder with water and green chilies.Add in salt as per taste also. Add water in batches, just enough to rotate the grinder blades. We will adjust water later on while stir/frying the onions.
Now heat up a saucepan, add in cooking oil. Now add in nigella seeds/kalaunji/kalo jeerey.
Add in chopped onion juliennes. Add in salt as per taste. Onions shrink while frying so; keep an eye on the content of salt. Start from adding less salt and then taste, if required add more. And also the poppy seed paste already has salt in it. Keep on stir/fry the onions for 5-7 mints or till they shrink in size.
Now add in posto bata/poppy seed paste to the above stir/fried onions. If required splash little bit of water. Keep on stir/fry this paste with onions, till the paste starts to dry up and starts sticking to the onions. It will take little patience to do stir/fry at medium heat, but it’s worth it.

Take it off from the heat; posto peyaj is ready to be served. Now have it with warm cooked rice.

Happy Cooking Friends