On each visit, I saw my dad, inquiring the price of one variety more than a couple of times, smirking, looking at him and then quickly pointing to some other variety in few minutes,repeating the process with all the seafood infornt of him. After good fifteen minutes or so of this (almost) wordless conversation, just looking at each other, soft smiles and the owner came out with his best offer. In less than ten minutes, we were headed back home, walking hand in hand, thinking about fish meals later in the day.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1 lb fish, cleaned( I use Tilapia, I asked my butcher to cut in into 4 thick pieces. Or use ready to use thick fish fillets)
- scant pinch turmeric powder
- 3 garlic cloves, roughy chopped
- 2 inch fresh ginger shoot, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Thai green chillies (adjust to tolerance)
- 1.5 tablespoon oil (grapeseed or canola)
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard (or use bottled kasundi sauce)
- 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tablespoon chaat masala (homemade or store bought)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1.5 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1.5 or 2 tablespoon rice flour (or as needed)
- salt to taste
- Mustard Oil ( or grapeseed/canola oil)to cook
- chopped cilantro, lime wedges to serve
- If you do have chaat masala, add 3/4 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika to the marinade.
Pat the fish completely dry using paper towel or kitchen towels.Sprinkle with turmeric and set aside.
Meanwhile, using your mortar and pestle, smash the garlic, ginger and green chillies to a coarse paste.
In a medium bowl, add this paste along with all of the ingredients listed except the rice flour to form a marinade.Rub the fish with this marinade. Let sit refrigerated for atleast 30 minutes or not more than 1 hour.
When ready to cook, set the fish out of the refrigerator.
In a heavy bottomed, wide pan (I use my cast iron) , heat up 1-2 tablespoon of oil on medium. Mix the rice flour 1/2 tablespoon at a time with the fish. The liquid in the marinade and from the fish should be enough to moisten the rice flour. We are not looking for any batter or flour dredging here. The flour will scantly stick on the fish here and there. If you feel that you have added too much flour, use 1-2 tablespoon of water. If you feel that the marinade is still runny (this will depend on the variety and water content of the fish), add more rice flour.
Pan fry the fish on medium low heat in a single layer, flipping midway to brown on both sides. It took me about 3 minutes per sides. (If your fish cut is thicker, it will be more time to cook and vice versa).
Sprinkle with some chaat masala and red chili flakes as soon as the fish is cooked, if you would like (depending on how tangy or hot you like)
Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top. Serve immediately with lime wedges, steamed broccoli or choice of steamed vegetables, rice pilaf or lentils.