Thursday, December 27, 2007

Machli ka Salan and much more!

Last week, we were hankering for a desi cookout - well, that's pretty normal except this time we decided to try out a fish recipe.

Being relatively new to eating fish, I often end up going for simple flavors that easily showcase the fish - marinades followed by grilling or broiling. But this time, we wanted obvious desi flavors, so we attempted this salan recipe from Art of Indian Cuisine by Rocky Mohan. BTW, I'm digging this book more by the recipe - it distinctly lacks cooking times, but makes up for it by showcasing really flavorful and often different dishes.

Once we picked our fish recipe, the next step was finding the right sides - after a little deliberation, we decided to skip rice and went with Aloo Kurma and collard green rotis - another greens fix :)

Madison Market has become a pretty good destination for reliable fish - the folks behind the counter totally know what they're talking about and are pretty amiable about picking the right size of fillets - especially since I'm not a fan of thick slabs of fish that don't cook through easily. The recipe just called for white fish, we we went with true cod. And we ended up skipping the mint that the recipe asked for and just used dry spices along with ginger and garlic for the marinade.

Machli ka Salan
Fish Fillet Treats

Servings: 3

1 lb true cod fillets


1 T red chilli powder
4-5 garlic cloves
1" ginger

1 t turmeric powder

1 T coriander powder (freshly roasted and ground works best)

1 T butter

1 large white onion - finely chopped

salt to taste

Rub the fish fillets with the marinade and set aside for 45-50 minutes.
Heat the clarified butter in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions.

Sauté until light brown in colour.

Add the marinated fish fillets.
Reduce the heat and add 1/2 a cup of warm water and salt.
Simmer, stirring carefully, taking care the fish pieces do not break.

Cook until the fish is tender and the gravy is thick.

What did we think?

Perfect. Seriously. One of the best fish dishes we've ever made.

Alu Kurma

Yay! Potatoes!

Serves: 3-4

1 lb fingerling potatoes - sliced into chunks
1 cup of thick yogurt


Dry roast and grind to a paste with a little water

2 T almond - blanched, peeled and sliced
1 T grated coconut

1 T poppy seeds

1 T coriander seeds

1 T red chilli powder

1 T olive oil

1/3 cup finely chopped onions

1 t grated ginger
3 cloves garlic - smashed

Salt to taste

Whisk the yogurt with the roasted spice paste and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok, saute the onions+ginger+garlic till golden brown.
Add the potatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add 2-3 T of water, stir and cook covered for 4-6 minutes.

Add the yogurt mixture and salt and stir.
Cook for 5 minutes and add 3/4 cup of warm water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook the potatoes are tender and the gravy is thick.

At this point, we ended up tossing the potatoes+gravy into a baking pan and baking it covered for about 15 minutes at 300 F.

What did we think?

Daria thought it tasted perfect, but we think the poppy seeds was a bit much - we'll probably scale back on that next time, but otherwise, the potatoes were perfectly cooked and absorbed the masala flavours really well.

Collard Greens Rotis

Go Grrreeeennnnnn :)

Servings: many many rotis

3 cups of whole wheat flour

6-7 leaves of collard greens - cleaned and shredded into small pieces

1 t salt
1 T cayenne powder

1 t cumin seeds
1/2 cup warm milk
warm water for kneading

1 T sesame oil

Cook the collard greens in about 1 cup of water till softened - this took about 5 minutes.

Knead the dough with the greens, salt, spices and milk, adding water as needed.

Once well mixed, add the oil and knead for another 5-7 minutes.
Cover the dough with a wet towel for about 20 minutes before rolling out rotis.

These were *good*! Think we'll make parathas with them next time around and maybe just stuff them with a spiced collard mix, that sounds a lot more exciting :)

Wine Pairings:
All french - a Chateauneuf du Pape (which was fabulous, thanks Daria!), a Gigondas that was quite yummy and one more that I've forgotten the name of!

The meal was fabulous, but the pictures were subpar. Oh well!


Nags said...

Machli ka salan! wow!! that's a different one. love the way it looks :) dont worry about the pics!

Shella said...

Never heard of this girl, but it looks super-duper good.

Rajitha said...

the collard green rotis is such a great idea..never even thought of it..wish you and ur family a great new year :)

Laavanya said...

Alu Kurma looks nice and creamy and that's a nice way to use collard greens.