Fish fry anyone?

This is a long awaited post and I am so happy that finally I am posting it; I can very well say that this is a continuation of my previous post. Fish fry is a favorite in my household. I am not a fan of it but I love to cook it for my hubby dear and family. I dislike the smelly part but out of my little experience I have seen that if the fish is fresh, then, it doesn't smell as much and its tolerable. My brother-in-law bought some fresh sea food. It was really fresh because it didn't smell bad and i was asked to try a bite and i found it tasty too. I learnt the below recipe from my sister's mother-in-law and she makes the best fish curry and fry. She had visited us few years back and hubby got some fresh fish and she made the best fish fry and curry for him and he was so happy that he said he never such good fish fry and curry in a long time. I believe the asafoetida and coriander powder in the marinade mixture makes the fish tasty and yummy. Also, marinading and letting it set overnight makes it suck in all that spice mixture and it will definitely not go wrong. As you can see in the picture, there are few Shrimp pieces too. We used the same spice marinade for shrimp and fried the same way as Fish.



Recipe follows

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh fish, tilapia or croakers cut into steaks(about 5 pieces roughly)

For marinade:

2 to 3 tsp red chilli powder(adjust accordingly)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste
1tsp tamarind paste or lemon juice

For frying:

Corn meal or semolina(suji) for breading
Oil for frying

Method:

1. In a bowl prepare the marinade - add salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, tamarind paste, asafoetida and few drops of warm water, make a thick paste and set aside.

2. Cut the fish into steak like pieces(as shown in picture) and clean thoroughly using salt(cleaning with salt helps remove the smell).

3. Add the cleaned fish pieces into the marinade and mix well until the spice mixture coats the fish. Set aside overnight. Before frying, check the salt and spice mixture and adjust it again if you think it needs more of it.

4. Heat a griddle and add few tsps of oil and coat the pan evenly. Bread the fish pieces with corn meal and lay on the pan. Drizzle few tsps of oil on the fish pieces and cook on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes or until evenly cooked. Carefully, flip the fish and cook the other side again for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a flat spoon and serve as you please.

Impromptu Shrimp Curry

Shrimp marinated in spices and then cooked along with browned onions, garlic and tomato makes a delightful curry. My brother -in-law brought some fresh sea food when he visited us last week. These suckers were fresh and originally they were intended to be shallow fried so my hubby marinaded all of it, but fried only few of them(a batch) because, they were too full after enjoying a big feast with fish fry and later, decided to use them in a curry and thus, this recipe. I was originally planning to make a simple shrimp fry with onions but since both my hubby and brother-in-law are not too fond of dry curries, i thought of adding some tomato puree and it made a tasty and delicious curry. The overnight marinade made the shrimps to suck in all the spices and tasted very good.




Ingredients:


1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined(about 25)


For marinade:


1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice

For curry:

2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 to 4 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
3 garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste


Method:

1. In a wide bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and shrimp, mix well and set aside at least for 5 to 6 hours. Overnight works best. (You can add few drops of water to make the marinade, but not much).

2. Heat oil in a pan, when hot add mustard seeds, when it starts to sputter add curry leaves. Add the thinly sliced onion, little salt and sautee until brown on a medium flame. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes, but browning the onions makes the curry gives a nice taste so worth it.

3. Add all the powders, turmeric, red chilli and garam masala and fry for a minute. Be careful not to burn.

4. Add the marinated shrimp and fry until you see the shrimp getting cooked. Add the tomato puree, and little water(1/2 cup), then, cover and let it cook for some time. About 5 minutes or so. Check the salt and spice level.

5. Serve hot with rice.

Paan Polo/Rice crepes

Paan polo is a thin crepe made with rice and tad bit of coconut. Some people totally skip coconut. This dosa does not need to be fermented and can be made instantly by simply soaking the rice for an hour or 2 at the most. Paan polo is a famous breakfast staple from South Kanara region. 'Paan' in konkani means 'leaf' and 'polo' means Dosa/crepe and, since we fold the Dosa to leaf like looking, it is known as Paan polo. It is known as Neer dosa in Tulu speaking community. Neer in Tulu means water, and since the batter is watery and runny in texture it is called Neer dosa, again this is only my interpretation. Actual meaning might be different.

This is a favorite breakfast in our household. We usually served this with chutney, sometimes ravo(a thick syrup made from jaggery, cardamom and pepper corns), mango pickle or any spicy curry. My mom made spicy vegetable pickle and we enjoyed paan polo with pickle. I will post the recipe for Pickle soon.



Below is the recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup fresh coconut
salt to taste
1/4 tsp jaggery

Method:

1. Wash the rice in 2 to 3 changes of water, and soak for about 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

2. Then, in a blender, add the drained rice, coconut and grind to a smooth batter using enough water.

3. Transfer the batter in a vessel and add enough water salt, jaggery and mix well. The batter should be thin and runny.

4. Heat a griddle/tava, spray oil and sprinkle the dosa batter Or you can pour a ladleful of batter and tilt/turn the griddle so the batter is coated evenly. Cover with a lid and cook for a minute or until the top of the dosa is cooked through. Then, using a flat spatula, remove the dosas by folding into half and then fold again to form a triangle.

5. Serve hot with your choice of side dish.

Ambe Upkari/Mango Curry

Ambe upkari is a sweet Konkani dish made using ripe mangoes. The sweetness from the ripe mangoes and the tamarind juice extract along with some jaggery/brown sugar, green chillies makes it a very delectable dish. I loved this dish as a kid and still do. We had a lot of mango trees and in summer this dish was made every single day until the mango season was over. We had varieties of mangoes in our farm and I remember my grandmom carefully picking the small varieties to prepare this dish. I never really made this dish all these years, but now since my mom is here she makes all my favorite food. In the below recipe, she used just 1 mango. The mango used was appus from Indian store. You can use any variety but make sure it is ripened completely. You can add more mangoes and double the recipe easily.



Ingredients:

1 large ripe mango
2 tsp all purpose flour/corn flour
4 green chillies, slit
1/2 cup brown sugar or jaggery, grated(adjust the sweetness according to your taste)
1 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste

For tempering:

4 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
4 to 5 fresh curry leaves
1 or 2 dried red chillies

Method:

1. Peel the mango and chop the pulp into bite size pieces, and reserve all the juice along with the seed and add it in a saucepan.

2. Heat this by adding about a cup of water and add the the brown sugar/jaggery, green chillies and tamarind paste. Let it cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. The color of the mangoes will change when its cooked and will look pale.

3. In a small bowl, add the all purpose flour and some water and make a smooth paste without any lumps in it. Add this mixture into the mango curry and mix well. At tis point, you can add some water if its too thick and adjust the consistency.

4. Take a small pan and heat oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds, when they start sputtering, add the curry leaves and red chillies and fry for a minute or two. Add this to the mango curry and turn off the heat.

5. Serve hot or cold as a side dish or as a dessert!

Enjoy!!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Fresh tomatoes sauteed along with onions and garlic to perfection and then, pureed with basil which is then simmered in butter and cream cannot go wrong. This vibrant and hearty soup can be made with fresh or canned tomatoes. It's so hearty with the richness of tomatoes and the basil imparts nice flavor, freshness and makes it so fragrant. It can be served with a sandwich and will make a perfect meal.
I found this recipe online and have made this 2 times back to back now using our home-grown tomatoes. This soup recipe is definitely a keeper. It tastes so good! I can say its almost a replica of Panera's Creamy Tomato soup. I don't know how Panera makes theirs but this soup recipe is definitely healthy. I used up a lot of my garden fresh tomatoes and basil to make mine. Below is the recipe.



Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive oil(i used light Olive oil)
1 tbsp butter
1 medium finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
15 to 20 good size finely chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%, but the original recipe had 1 cup whipping cream - I am sure adding cream will make it more rich and tasty)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste
a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity of tomatoes
1 tsp crushed/powdered black pepper

Method:

1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, and add olive oil. When hot, add the chopped onions and tomatoes and cook until for about 5 minutes.

2. Now throw in the minced garlic and cook for an additional 25 to 30 minutes on a medium heat until the tomatoes are melted and cooked all the way. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.

3. Take a hand blender or a regular blender and pour the tomato mixture, basil leaves and puree it until desired consistency. I like mine smooth.

4. In the same pot, add the butter and pour the blended tomato puree. Add the milk or cream, crushed pepper, salt and continue cooking for about 5 to 10 minutes on a medium-low heat until the soup has reached a desired temperature(about 5 to 8 minutes). Do not boil it for too long.

5. Serve in a bowl with croutons.(I did not have croutons, so I served it with fresh basil chiffonade).



P.S: You can make this soup with part fresh tomatoes and a can of crushed tomatoes and I am sure it will taste great, but in my opinion fresh tomatoes that too from ones own garden tastes the best.