Herb and garlic fish

My mum has been so caught up with renovations around the house that Saturday night is either dining out or Chef Doh. We had a packet of some Kerala Curry Paste that needed to be used up, so that was a third of the menu for the evening right there. The other third is usually Daddy Doh’s department, when he opens the bar and gets to work. And the third third, we decided baked/grilled fish.

Last minute plans. @kurtbento to the rescue. I remember how his Recheado recipe was a complete hit.

Ingredients:
1. 1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
2. 5-6 green chillies
3. as many cloves of garlic as the quantity of the chopped onion (let’s say about 12-15 cloves)
4. a handful of coriander leaves
5. a handful of mint leaves
6. salt, to taste
7. a teaspoon (or so) of cinnamon
8. a couple of teaspoons (or so) of pepper
9. a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil
10. A whole fish, of your choice – cleaned and with slits cut into the body of the fish (about four or five on each side) – I used Black Pomfret.

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions (or as @kurtbento said “Sweat the onions first…”) till they’re golden brown.
2. In a grinder, add the onions, green chillies, mint, coriander, garlic, salt, pepper and cinnamon (yes, that’s all the ingredients the recipe calls for, except the fish, of course!) and grind to a paste.
3. Taste the paste. (Whee, poetry!)
4. Add more chillies/mint/salt per taste.
5. Spread the paste on both sides of the fish, thoroughly. Ensure that the paste goes into the cuts on the body of the fish.
6. Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes on each side.

The paste is just about enough for a fish about eight inches long, six inches wide and an inch and a half thick. I feel the need to specify because my portions for the ingredients were not in terms of tablespoons and lacked general accuracy of measure.

Like I mentioned earlier, I used halwa/black pomfret. But a small Kingfish would do great too. Or the regular (white) pomfret of about the same size as my black one. Or 3-4 smaller pomfrets. Really, it’s up to you.

If you run out of paste, make some more for the other fish. Or cook those fish in another kind of paste. Variety. Spice of life and all that. Or if you’re using a ginormous fish and you *still* run out of paste, you’re just going to have to make some more. And curse me, if you like. I guess that’s reasonable on your part.

And if you have excess paste, just pack it up and store it to use again. I think it should be good for 3 or 4 days.

A wonderfully easy recipe. I think Kurt is my go-to man for quick recipes. Quick, tasty recipes.

I used only 3 green chillies, but that’s because my dad claims he cannot handle too much spice. Mum and I figured, over fishy postmortem that the fish could have done with that added heat from the green chillies. That apart, it was fantastic! Go! Bake!

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