Grilled Sole in Lemon Butter Sauce

Savan is a difficult month for a Bengali in a Punjabi household. Tensions run high, the heat is almost unbearable. The best way to appease the bong bahu is to mark the end of the holy month with some fish. 

This is a recipe Sachin has been experimenting with for awhile and has finally perfected. 

Ingredients 

  • Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Refined Flour – 3tbsp
  • Sole Fish Fillet – 5 fillets
  • Salt – to taste (1 tsp)
  • Lemon – 1
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp 

Method 

  1. Rub salt and half pepper on the fillets. Rub some chopped garlic and 1/4 lemon on the fillets. Dust the fillets into the flour and keep aside.
  2. Heat up a pan and add oil.
  3. On medium heat place the fillets in the pan and heat for 4-5 mins w/o touching.
  4. Flip all the pieces and add remaining chopped garlic, butter, salt and pepper.
  5. In abt a min add 1/2 cup water and lemon juice and cook on higher flame for another 3-5 minutes (till the sauce thickens).

Plating 

  1. Pick the fillet pieces from the pan and place on one another horizontally and add the sauce on the top.
  2. Serve hot !!!

My Review

 The aroma of freshly crushed pepper with the garlic reminds you of all things divine before you even take that first bite.The fish is crispy on the out side and perfectly flaky on the inside. There is a slight tangyness due to the lemon which cuts through the fat nicely. 

Do try out the recipe and let us know how it turned out. 

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Mandarmani – A weekenders paradise

I love Beaches! I love the smell of the ocean. I love looking out into the endless horizon and for that moment feeling completely free. I love the smell of the water the sound of waves and the constant wind in my hair.

So when in Kolkata for a short duration (4 days to be exact) with my inlaws I made it a point to head to the beach. From Kolkata the closest possible options are Digha or the latest fad Mandarmani. We have been to Digha multiple times over the years therefore chose Mondarboni as the locals say.

It is a lovely fishing village considered to be the Brighton of the east with calm waters and the longest driveable beach there is out here.

We set off from Kolkata in the morning, stopping by one of the local dhabas called Sher Bengals (living in a punjabi household, Sher E Punjab doesn’t fascinate me anymore) to eat jhiri jhiri aloo bhaja, maach and bhaat (crispy fried potatoes, fish and rice). 

We reached Mandarmani in about 4.5 hours to arrive at our home for the next two days, Victoria Beach Resort. It is a very basic hotel with huge rooms, good pool and perfect location.

The Victoria Beach Hotel
View from our room

We headed out to the beach and it was truly divine. The clean and calm waters made swimming a delight. The beach is quite leveled out and the water shallow therefore safe. We spent an entire day in the water and even tried out the basic water sports which were very reasonable. (About INR800 for an entire banana boat).

Working up an appetite
Toward the horizon
Phuchka on the beach
Colours in the sky

We tried the local crab which was freshly made into a curry and was delicious. Would recommend having food in the stalls outside the hotel on the beach as they would cook the fresh catch of the morning. 
It was an amazing mini vacation where you can get away from it all have good local food and revive your self for the week ahead. 
 

Satisfying a Bong’s fish craving @ Kasturi

Now lets face it, when a Bong introduces themselves to you, isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind “mach bhat”? and maybe “ami tomake bhalo bashi” as an after thought?

Well post my Punjabi wedding, whenever I fly to Kolkata I swear I see all kind of fishes swimming in the ocean from the window. Therefore when the jamai visited Kolkata for the first time, Kasturi was where he had to be taken for the initiation.

Kasturi is this unassuming restaurant (now with many branches) on Marquis Street with a fish menu beyond comprehension. The other speciality of this place was how it seems to have done one-better than the illustrated menus and wax replicas displayed by many restaurants in Japan. The manager here will directly bring all the preparations to the table for you to see and directly pick which ones you want.

Oh the excitement and anticipation, then the pure joy one experiences when seeing the fish to be devoured. The best part is, no hassles with menus and vague discussions, directly see, smell and eat.

Although be warned that the first display is usually vegges and I must add the kochu pata chingri and lau chingri were delicious.

We quickly moved onto the fishes and had pretty much everything available. Iilish Bhapa (Baked Hilsa), Bhetki Fry, Bhetki Pathuri (Bhetki steamed in banana leaves with mustard paste), Chital Peti Kalia (A royal Bengal Fish Gravy), Sheele Bata Chingri (prawns pasted in mortal and pestel), Mangshor Jhol (mutton gravy), Chicken Kosha (similar to bhuna chicken) and Pomfret Sorse (Pomfret in mustard sauce).

Mind you we were only four of us, three bengali and one Punjabi and believe me when I say not a morsel was spared. The freshness of the fish, the games the mustard plays on your tongue on each bite, the sweet sting of the chilli, Dhakai Food at it’s very best.

We were quite satisfied with the day when we were informed that we havn’t even had dessert yet! So we ordered some payesh (rice kheer) which turned out to be the perfect finish to the meal. At this point we truly believed that this was the high point of the day, and then the bill arrived. INR 1600!!!

So, if you feel romance in the air everytime there is fish in the room like me (most people despise the smell of fish for some reason), this non pretensions little gem is a must on your next visit to Kolkata!!

Address: Plot No.7A, Marqius Street, New Market Area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700014

Phone: 097489 06025

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Kasturi Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Meeting Chef Vikas Khanna!

Being a food enthusiast of the extreme kind, chefs and food channel hosts are the celebrities you look up to. Recently we got the opportunity to meet one of the biggest celebrities of the cooking world, the only Michelin starred Indian Chef, Vikas Khanna.

Sachin being an aspiring chef, had participated in the Quaker Bring Your Tastiest Bowls challenges. Even though his recipes didn’t get selected we were invited to attend the grand finale at Taj Palace, Delhi by my business partner and good friend Faizan Patel.

The objective of the competition was to encourage the country to innovate and use Ek Muthi Quaker in any of their favourite dishes to kick up the nutritional value of the meal. The competition took place over a period of 6 months and  Food-lovers, homemakers and aspiring chefs from across the country emailed their renditions of the tastiest Quaker oats bowl via email and photos. Of 6000 entries, the recipes that earned the 14 finalists a place in the finale included:

  • Thai style Sticky Oats with Mango
  • Indo-Burmese Oats Chaat
  • Spicy Pep Pop Oats Chaat
  • Oats Mushroom Sukka
  • Healthy Quaker Oats Chaat with Nuts
  • Chocolaty Oats
  • Oats Carrot Dates Raisin Ice Pops
  • Konkani Jacfruit Oats Payasu
  • Hyderabadi Biryani
  • Quaker Oats Beet-Carrot Modak
  • Mango Oats Vegan Smoothie Bowl
  • Oats Paal Poli
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    The 14 finalists receive signed copies of Chef Vikas Khanna’s book.

     

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The Chef pushing and motivating the contestants along

Of the 14, Chef Vikas Khanna selected the top 3 dishes that took the contestants to the final round. Putting their culinary skills through a tougher test, he then gave the contestants some complex, must-use ingredients to prepare their final dish with in 60 minutes.

The Three finalists with their winning dishes!

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After the nail biting count down, the final decision we must say was quite predictable, Ritu won the challenge hands down taking home a whopping INR 50 Lakhs.

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Post the event, a few lucky bloggers got the chance to interact with the Chef himself and Deepika Warrier, Vice President – Nutrition Category, PepsiCo India and what an experience that was! The Chef gave us more insight into his association as the nutrition ambassador for Quaker Oats. We learnt a great deal about his childhood and where he started off, his journey and where he hopes to find himself in the future. Deepika also discussed how they are working on their next initiative of Feed A Child .img_20161023_153727289_hdr-copy

Vikas Khanna is one of the sweetest, humble, down to earth people I have come across with a great sense of humour and a contagious smile.

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The Punjabis discussing recipes

His passion for food and nutrition is unparalleled and the whole crowd walked away with a feeling of positivity and enthusiasm!