Grilled Fish with Walnuts, Raisins and Red Chillies

The plan was to make @samar11‘s Old Monk Pork Chops because weekend means alcohol and I needed to get my cooking mojo back. The past two months were either a butt load of eating out and getting drunk or usual, every day cooking: the occasional chicken shwarma or shrimp curry.

That needed to be fixed. Old Monk Pork Chops sounded just about the thing that would do the needful. Subject to the availability of pork chops. Super market. No pork chops. Mutton – only curry cuts. No chops there either! Game plan changed.

I walked over to the seafood section and as I waited for my token-number to be called out, while decided what I could make for dinner, somebody unloaded a hill full of white pomfret right before me. Fresh, decently sized white pomfret. Done! That and some squid.

I was so excited with all the ideas swimming through my head, that I forgot to pick up beers on the way. Or Old Monk, for that matter. I wasn’t going to cook my fish with Old Monk anyway.

And I found a recipe for the Old Monk Pork Chops on his column, just in case the paltry numbers of readers I have don’t own the book already and need a reference.

I came home, thinking of a Recheado Fish recipe that @kurtbento had once given to me.

So, I decided to make my own sweet and spicy fish – some of the Old Monk Pork Chops recipe and some recheado fish and I hoped it’d turn out alright. It did.

That book makes you want to cook, man! And do a good job of it! It does!

Ingredients:
For the fish:
2 whole pomfret, cleaned, with slits made in the body to aid marination
Salt, to taste
Turmeric powder
Juice of a lemon

For the marinade:
4 walnuts
2 red chillies, roughly broken up
15-20 raisins, soaked in warm water
1 medium sized onion, roughly chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
A little bit of sugar
Some vinegar
olive oil, to cook
salt, to taste

Method:
1. Marinate the fish in lemon, turmeric and salt for a couple of hours.
2. Roast the walnut and red chillies for a few minutes, until the fragrances begin to release. Dump this mixture into a blender and set aside.
3. Heat some oil (I used the same pan), and add the onions and the ginger to it. Saute until they begin to sweat. Add a dash of vinegar and a pinch of sugar to caramelize the onions and to add that sweet touch to the paste. Let it cool down for a few minutes and add this to the blender as well.
4. Add the raisins to the blender now and mix everything to a smooth paste. Add some of the water used to soak the raisins, to give the paste some consistency.
5. Coat the fish evenly with this paste, letting it seep into the slits in the fish. Let this sit around for another half an hour to forty five minutes.
6. Bake the fish at 170 degrees celsius for 5 minutes on each side. Serve as is, or like I did, with some soba noodles.

Notes:
1. The fish turned out amazing. I was pretty proud.
2. I also made some soba noodles with it, tossed them in some olive oil, basil and garlic. And then placed the fish on them for a picture. Stupid move. Who eat a WHOLE fish (with bones) by placing it ON another food? Well, I’m fairly good (and meticulous) when it comes to eating fish-with-bones, so I did a good job, nevertheless. But that doesn’t take away the fact that it was a stupid move.

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