I love Bombay (Mumbai if you are so inclined), call it what you might ,but the fact remains that I absolutely adore and admire that restless city of lights!
But wait, Konkan is so much more than just Mumbai...Its a land of swaying coconut trees, lush green paddy fields and silvery seas . Its a region that is comfortably nestled in the loving bosom of the western ghats.The Konkan, it is called,runs from Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka down to Malabar. Home to breathtaking views of blue skies and a coastlinestudded with green paddy fields, dramatic fortresses and pleasantly warm villagers dotting the entire length of this narrow coastal strip, konkan has made it to the favorite regions in the minds of the wanderlust club!
Needless to say, the Konkan cuisine has found a favorable palate in the well seasoned and well heeled gourmands! Incredible beach-side hideaways, where the only sounds are palm leaves and waves on the silver sands, add value to the delectable cuisine of this area. Serene and clear watered, the area boasts of the spiciest and most delicious Konkani food. .
Fish is considered as the ‘Fruit of the sea’ and fishing trawlers can be seen all along the coastline to collect the bounty of the Arabian Sea. The highlight of the cuisine of this region is the two basic masala pastes that form the base for most of the dishes. One is the Rasgoli mixture made from fresh coconut gratings with a variety of spices whereas the second is the Bhajana mixture made of stronger spices with roasted coconut and onion. The former is used for fish curries and the latter for meat or chicken curries. For this recipe, I used the Rasgoli masala.
The fish I chose was Pomfret, coz I happen to love it in every form..and also coz pomfrets are a little rare to find in Raipur, and I simply couldn't not buy it when I saw it!!
After giving it some thought, I decided on going the Konkan route and making a simple pomfret fry (pan fried) .. and since the ingredients are a basic staple in my pantry, I lost no time in getting cracking with this so that I could enjoy my dinner in peace, and surprise Daddylonglegs P with a delicious meal too!!
Bonus: Baby D Lovesssssss Fish!! :)
Strangely, as we cut into the perfectly crisped skin of the fish,the heady aroma of the fish, the lingering fragrance of curry leaves, the tang from the kokum, the strong flavor of coconut oil, it all took us back to our honeymooning days to God's own country Kerela. And we remembered, even though this fish is Konkani by birth, it had somehow married its neighboring Kerela pal and settled there! And bang!!
We were floating on a heady cloud of long lived romance, of evenings when oil lamps were enough for us coz we had no need to see anything...of times spent on the glorious backwaters trying to catch a fish(may be a mackerel!!) and of these incredibly delicious , totally "Bharatiya" pomfrets.
Divided by regions,united by taste,
- Pomfret – 2 whole.
Oil for frying.
- Onion, sliced
- Lime Wedges – 2
- Coriander Leaves – few, chopped
For the marinade:
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt as per taste
- Oil – 1/2 tsp
For the masala:
- Coconut – 1/4, grated
- Green Chillies – 2
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Ginger – 1/4 inch piece, peeled
- Green Cardamoms – 2
- Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Coriander Leaves – 2 tsp
- Kokum Extract – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
1. Combine all the marinade ingredients to a smooth paste.
2. Add the pomfrets and mix well until well coated.
3. Cover and keep the bowl in a fridge for 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Dry roast the first seven masala ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Remove and grind together with kokum extract to a fine paste, adding a little water if required.
6. Add salt and grind again. Keep aside.
7. Remove the marinated pomfrets and mix with the ground masala.
8. Cover and keep aside for another 15 minutes.
9. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan.
10. Fry the pomfrets till golden brown and crisp.
11. Remove and drain excess oil.
12. Transfer to a serving plate.
13. Garnish with onions, lime wedges and coriander leaves.