Crisp Fried Bombay Duck – Bombil Fry

Now, Bombay Duck is not a duck from Bombay, okay. Rather, it’s a fish. Lizard Fish, to be scientifically precise. Weird, no. So is its unusual, slimy appearance. But the history, I tell you, is a lot more amusing… dates back to the British times. You have to Google it 🙂
Commonly known as Bombil, this peculiar fish has made Maharastrian kitchens its home.
And, this is one fish in particular that has intimidated me all these years. I somehow, couldn’t muster courage even to touch it. Bombil is wobbly, slippery and doesn’t have a taste of its own. It needs to be flavored with a really nice marinade and believe me, it’ll love you right back 🙂
Posting a link that shows how to clean and cut the fish. I followed it too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D53lpR_GJ2g

Ingredients:
8-10 medium size Bombay Ducks
8 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
2 green chilies
4 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of 1 lemon / 2 tbsp tamarind extract
1 cup rice flour (if you don’t have the flour, blitz the rice in the mixer to a really fine powder)
4 tbsp semolina
Sal as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Slit and pat dry the fish as per the link above and place them in a bowl.
2. Grind together ginger, garlic, green chilies, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and lemon juice to a smooth paste.
3. Apply the marinade and 1 tsp of rice flour to the fish. Leave it aside for 30 minutes.
I believe in marinating a little longer. I have it in my head that more the marinating time, the more flavored the fish will be.
4. Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
5. Mix the balance rice flour and semolina together.
6. Now dip the marinated fish in the flour+semolina mixture so it’s coated well on both sides. Dust off the extra bits and shallow fry till crisp and golden brown on both the sides.
7. Drain the excess oil on absorbent paper.
8. Serve with steaming hot rice and curry or just like that with green chutney or ketchup.

P.S.:
1. Oil has to be really hot for the fish to fry properly and turn crisp. Reduce the flame if you feel the crumbs are burning.
2. There’s one central bone or thorn in the fish that is soft and tender. And it cooks well while frying the fish. So don’t bother to chuck it out while slitting the fish. I too didn’t.
3. It’s best to fry the fish when you are ready to serve. That’s when you really enjoy the crispness. Keep it for long and it wears off and turns flat.
May be you can try warming it up in the OTG. I’m yet to try it.

I believe in my heart, whatever dish you cook with all your love and care, it will be the most celebrated dish ever…

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Matki Chi Usal – Moth Beans Curry

Sprouted moth beans curry or “Matki Chi Usal” in Marathi, is well-known in every nook and corner of Maharashtra – in homes and restaurants alike. Sprouts pack a protein punch. Rich in antioxidants and fiber, there’s whole lot of nutrition on the plate.
You can play with the level of spiciness too. I like it spicy. The fiery red color is enough to get my tummy rumbling 🙂
This one’s a heavily simplified yet delectable version of my tradition. Its fun to be shamelessly simple sometimes 🙂
Matki Usal 1
Preparation Time: 20 minutes (only if you have the sprouts ready)
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 – 5

Ingredients:
1. 2 1/2 cups sprouted Makti or Moth beans
You can sprout them at home or just grab the ready ones from the market. I do it at home. Love to see those long gorgeous sprouts developing right in front of me.
2. 2 medium onions, finely chopped
3. 1 medium potato, cubed
4. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
5. 2 tsps kashmiri chili powder
6. 2 tsps goda masala (use garam masala as an alternative)
7. 2 tbsps ginger-garlic paste
8. 1 tsp mustard seeds
9. 1 tsp cumin seeds
10. 6-7 curry leaves
11. Oil for frying
12. Salt to taste
13. 1 tbsp lemon juice
13. Chopped coriander for garnishing

Method:
1. Pressure cook the matki and potato cubes with a cup of water and turmeric. (Remember not to overcook).
2. Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them spatter.
3. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves and stir.
4. Add chopped onions and fry till soft and translucent
5. Add ginger-garlic paste and fry till fragrant
6. Add the spice powders and fry till the oil starts separating at the corners
7. Now tumble in the cooked beans and potato cubes. (If you want a thicker gravy, mash a small amount of cooked beans before adding)
8. Sprinkle salt as per taste
9. Mix well and let it simmer on medium for about 5 minutes.
10. Add more water if you don’t want it too dry.
10. Lastly add lemon juice and stir.
11. While plating, garnish with chopped onions and coriander
12. Serve hot with chapatis or any Indian bread. Goes well with steamed rice too.

P.S.: After cooling completely, can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for 3 – 4 days.

Thalipeeth – Maharashtrian Pancake

The traditional Thalipeeth  or the Maharashtrian Pancake, brings back those beautiful sepia memories of my childhood, every time I cook it even today. My mum used to make this as a tea-time snack. I remember queuing up alongside my little bro and sis, waiting for her to toss it into my plate. I always loved those slightly burnt edges and used to save them for the end.
Now, it is my best friend for those lazy afternoons when lunch just doesn’t wish to happen.
Whoever says fast food is unhealthy, this one humbly begs to differ.
Thalipeeth
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Serving: Makes 6 – 8 medium size pancakes

Ingredients:

100 gms Besan (Bengal gram flour)
100 gms whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and add water enough to make a thick batter.
  2. Drizzle teeny bit of oil in a fry pan, preferably a non-stick one.
  3. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it to form a pancake of around 2 mm thickness.
  4. When the top side starts to  blister, flip it over and cook the other side.
  5. Cook both sides till golden brown.
  6. Drizzle more oil from sides of the pancake (only if needed).
  7. Repeat the process for rest of the batter.
  8. Serve hot with a dollop of butter.

P.S.: Best enjoyed with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. I relish it with my Maggie hot n sweet sauce. Sometimes even with sweetened curds. I know that sounds crazy 🙂