Do you know how certain foods and smells have a way of transporting you back in time? This recipe did the same for my husband, Lakshman. A wave of nostalgia hit him reminding him of time spent with friends in cheap, seedy food joints in Bombay, living it up with finger lickin' good food and "quarter" bottle alcohol shared amongst best buddies... :)
2 whole Pomfrets - cleaned (a type of fish popular in India - You can find it in the Asian markets/fish stores in Chicago)
Haldi or Turmeric - 1 tsp
Red chilli poweder - 1.5 tsp
Salt to season
Oil - 1 tbs
For Green Chutney, you need -
1 bunch Cilantro
A couple of sprigs of Mint
1 green chilli - serrano or Thai (you can add more if you like it spicy)
Juice of half a lime
Hing/Asafoetida - Optional
I got the fish cleaned and prepped at the fish store like in the following picture Make sure there are multiple slits on the body.
Marinate the fish with salt, haldi, red chilli pwd for about 30 minutes.
Make the Green chutney by grinding cilantro, mint, green chilli , salt, lime juice and hing to a thick paste in a blender. Add very little water only if necessary during the grinding process.
After the fish has marinated for 30 minutes, generously spread the green chutney into the slits and body of fish. Let marinate for an additional 5 minutes.
In a skillet, add some oil (I used EVOO). As soon as the oil gets hot, add the fish (one at a time)and let it cook/brown for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Pomfret is a very bony fish with very little flesh - so cooking time is usually quick.
Serve with more fresh green chutney on top, and a side salad. I served mine with some quinoa salad.