I have always been a little hesitant to experiment with fish. Typically get the help to make it the traditional way. Rarely do I make fish when I am entertaining. If at all then it is the good old " sorshe mach(mustard fish)" or a variation of it called " Bhanga Besara( this one is boneless and a traditional Odiya dish, originates from Puri).
Also people are typically fussy about the kind of fish they will eat, many struggle with the bones and prefer having it either fillet cut or like it made into chops and cutlets. I am also scared that the fish being so tender might break midway through the cooking unless it has been fried as a first step in the cooking process.
But my family loves fish and it is a lot healthier than the other non-vegetarian options. We typically have it as patla jhola, sorshe mach or dahi macha. All three are quick to prepare and great to taste( more on those some other time).
With experience( and age) I have got brave and recently tried a new fish dish( after a lot of prodding from my older son who felt I needed to know a few continental fish preparations which I could serve with a soup, salad and sandwich meal). I tried an " oven fried" one- yes, there is a contradiction in the name. Let me explain, this is a baked dish which tastes quite like the fried variation. So a Low calorie fish dish. I served the dish with a dab of herbed butter which helped enhance the taste( though it did increase the calorie content :-) ) .
Oven Fried Fish
6/8 pieces of fish( I use Rohu, typically we buy a large Rohu weighing about 3.5 kgs, the fish has less bones which makes it easier to eat)
Lime juice: 1 tbsp
Garlic: 4/5 large pods crushed
Salt to taste
Pepper: 1 tsp, freshly ground
Egg: 1( I use the whole egg but you can make the dish healthier by using only the egg white)
Bread crumbs: 3/4 tbsps( to coat the fish).
Marinate the fish in lime juice, salt and crushed garlic for 3/4 hours in the refrigerator(If you are in a hurry then 30 minutes should also suffice).
Beat the egg with some salt and pepper. Dip individual pieces of fish into the egg and then roll it over the breadcrumbs to coat the fish evenly. Arrange on a greased tray.
Bake for about 15 minutes( with both the upper and lower coils on) or till done. The outer layer is crisp and the inside is soft.
Top the dish with a dollop of herbed butter.
Butter: 2 tbsps
Garlic: 1 tsp, finely chopped
Corriander: 1 tsp finely chopped
Chilli flakes: 1/2 tsp
Lime juice: a few drops
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Whisk the butter with some finely chopped garlic, chilli flakes, finely chopped corriander, lime juice and salt.
Put a dollop over the oven fried fish while it is still hot.
Herbed butter goes well with regular bread too. Spices up an otherwise boring breakfast meal.
Yan promises to try more fishy dishes.