Friday, April 1, 2016

Tandoori spiced grilled whole fish...

Bhetki is a popular fish in Bengal, which is commonly known worldwide as barramundi or Asian sea bass. The white flaky flavorful fish is cooked in many different ways in a Bengali kitchen. Sorse bhetki (bhetki fish cooked in mustard gravy), kalia (spicy fish curry), bhetki with cauliflower are few common dishes conjured up in Bengali households. Special dishes like Bengali style fish fry, paturi (fish cooked in mustard paste wrapped in banana leaf) are very popular and frequently served in specialty restaurants and during special occasions.

I have few bhetki recipes on my blog:

We cook fishes mostly with their bones in and I prefer bhetki as it has very few bones. I'm lucky to stay in Kolkata, where I get fresh bhetki in my local fish market. And the fish seller cleans the fishes according to your directions and they are so skillful at this. If you are staying outside India and looking for bhetki fish, try to find perch or Asian sea bass in Asian stores. Red snapper, tilapia are few other fishes that can be cooked this way.

This time I used a whole bhetki fish and marinated it with tandoori masala. Before marinating the fish I made diagonal slices about half an inch deep on the both side of the fish. This helps the marination to flavor the meat of the fish. I used homemade tandoori masala, store bought one can also be used.
To know how to make tandoori masala at home go to this link Tandoori chicken recipe.

 I grilled the marinated fish on a pan. It can also be cooked in an oven or grilled over a charcoal grill. This recipe can be done with fish fillets, but in that case cooking time will be less.

Things needed to make tandoori spiced grill fish:

(Serves 2)

  • Whole bhetki fish scaled, gutted, fins and gills removed: 1
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1and 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper powder: 1 tsp
  • Ginger paste: 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste: 2 tsp
  • Tandoori masala: 2 tbsp
  • Greek yogurt or hung curd: 3 tbsp
  • Butter (melted): 2 tbsp
  • To garnish and serve: sliced tomato, onion, wedges of lime, chopped coriander

Steps of making tandoori spiced grill fish:

1. Wash the fish. Pat dry with kitchen towel. Make 3-4 diagonal slices 1/2 inch deep on both side of the fish. Marinate the fish with lime juice, salt and black pepper powder. Make sure to put lime juice in the slices on the fish.

2. In a bowl mix yogurt, tandoori masala, butter. Apply the marination on the fish. Marinate the fish for 30-45 min. If you are planning for a big batch of fishes you can marinate the fishes over night and keep them in a ziplock bag overnight.

3. To cook on pan: Heat a heavy bottom non stick pan. Rub a teaspoon of butter on the pan. Cook the fish over medium heat for 10 min each sides. Increase the flame and cook for 2-3 min more to get a nice color on the fish.

4. To cook in oven: Preheat oven at 180C or 375F. Arrange tomato and onion slices on a baking dish large enough to fit the whole fish. Place the marinated fish on the onion and tomato layer, bake for 20-25 min. Turn on the broiler for 3-4  min. Baste the fish with melted butter during half way of cooking.

Serve hot with sliced tomato, onion and lime wedges. Chat masala can be sprinkles over before serving.

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