13 June 2007

Amritsari Fish Fry

Having lived in Mumbai all my life until three years ago, traveling in and around Mumbai was a breeze. All short distances were covered on foot. For longer distances there were autos, cabs, BEST buses and of course the local trains. Life then was commandeered by local train timings. One had to be ready by 8.45a.m., dash out of the house by 8.48, reach the station by 8.58 to catch the local at 9.02. Everything was clock-work. Road travel meant luxury, the rare taxi ride a treat! My family never felt the need to own a car; there were plenty of auto rickshaws to take you anywhere. Staying in the UAE has however, changed my perspective of “travel”. Here travel is by car or cabs. My recent vacation to Mumbai gave me a real feel of the city – again.

The taxi from the airport to home was a good (?) old fiat which offered no leg space for short people like me. Wonder how tall guys fit in…The luggage is tied to the cab – literally – since the CNG cylinders take up most of the boot space. My entire vacation was punctuated with plenty of travel through my dear old city and the traffic was a marvel. Very talented drivers skillfully maneuver around potholes, whiz from the left and exit from the right without warning. Motorists are unaware of lanes, seatbelts are unheard of (unless a policeman is watching at the highway), indicators are never used and side mirrors are for show only. I doubt if they watch rear view mirrors either. Traffic signals are amazing places – you can buy fresh bunch of roses, newspapers, peanuts, dusters and so on or get bullied by beggars, eunuchs and the like. It is alright if two wheelers and auto-rickshaws bump softly into cars - at the slow speeds they crawl, the bump is barely felt. Motorists can honk anywhere, anytime; overtake from the left or right as they please without as much an indication. A one-way road can fit in atleast six vehicles across its diameter, by-passers not withstanding. Maximum space utilization, you see. Animal lovers may sight a cow seated right in the middle of the road, blissfully unmindful of the traffic passing by or barking stray dogs running after your rickshaw. Pavements are hollow cavities with mud piled up on either side. Freshly tarred roads are as good as roads with potholes. Autos by far were the most amazing means of transport. They squeeze into the tiniest of spaces, drive effortlessly through oncoming traffic, graze against buses and yet don’t throw you out or topple over. Everyone who has traveled with me in an auto laughs at the way I hold on to it in fright. Travel by train is another story altogether. How I managed to find an edge and hold onto to something before the train pulled away is a mystery. To be honest, the Mumbai traffic is far better behaved than in other places. It's weird - I spent 20 odd years of my life traveling in Mumbai without a care, and within a short span of staying away I find that traffic crazy! I do love Mumbai – it's the city I grew up in, the place where my loved ones live and the place I'll return to – hopefully someday soon….

Well, I am trying to pour out my homesickness, nostalgia, depression and all crazy thoughts of being lonely after a wonderful vacation surrounded by family, catching up with friends and being pampered silly when I was unwell. It took some effort to write this post - phew it's finally out. And now, some spicy fish fry to elevate my spirits!

You need :

1 kg pomfret – cleaned
Juice of 4 limes
4 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tbsp red chilli paste
1 cup besan/chickpea flour
1 tsp pepper powder
1 ½ tsp chat masala
A pinch of orange colour (optional)
1 big onion sliced
Oil for frying


Mix the lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli paste, pepper powder, chat masala and colour to form a smooth paste. Make slits on the fish. Apply the marinade on the fish nicely and leave it in the fridge for 2 hours. Pan fry the fish for about 3 mins a side till the fish is cooked. I prefer it crisp outside and moist inside. Add some salt to the sliced onions and serve along with the fish.


Bharathy said...

The fish fries are easy to make,yummy and nutritious,right??Reminds me of the fries mom used to make in Kerala,where we get the most fresh ones right from the back waters..the recipe is Almost the same except for that chat powder not included in hers..Love fish,any dish :)

trupti said...

Welcome back....I have yet to visit Mumbai and bask in its glory.....hope to make it there sometime soon!


Shilpa said...

welcome back dear... i can totally relate to the homesickness. it definitely kills the appetite and the mood for cooking, doesn't it? took me a few weeks to get back into the kitchen, too.. :(

The fish fry looks awesome! i was about to make something else amritsari soon (amritsari dal), but need to go shopping! :) cheers!

Sia said...

yayyyyyyyyyyy.... u r back:) welcome bk jyo... LOL @ ur description of taxi ride;) was chuckling thinking abt my taxi ride in mumbai n even today whenever i think abt that my heart starts beating faster;)

Asha said...

Welcome back J! What a nostalgia.You do love love that city! Well.. after all that ,I don't blame you for feeling down but life goes on and we are here!:))
Fish fry looks great.Enjoy.Hugs.

Mandira said...

welcome back jyothsna. It does feel lonely after a vaccation, but hey, you can start planning the next one! the fish looks delicious.

Mishmash ! said...

hmm....the traffic scenario looks quite strange when I go back home too, but that feeling is there for only 1-2 days, after that I 'belong' there :) and I blame it on the too disciplined traffic here :P Never tried fish fry with besan and chaat masala...


Linda said...

Hi Jyothsna, thanks for the visit to my blog. I loved reading this post -- never having been to India, you made Mumbai come alive in my mind. Hope you get back there as you wish :) You have some really nice recipes here; I'll have to come back to read more :)

KitchenFairy said...

Welcome back dear!This dish looks so delicious.I never been in Mumbai,U description makes a clear picture .Expecting more more dishes like this soon...U made changes in the site??Nice colour..

Sharmi said...

so welcome back dear. I can feel how nostalgic you are from your write up. that was a good one to read. you must have had a great time.

Jyothsna said...

Thanks ladies!! Does feel good to be back! :)

Bharathy - This is a fish fry with a Punjabi touch :)

Trupti - Good to see you here :) If you are not a Mumbaiite, you mayn't like the place;)

Shilpa - Very true, very true... I'm waiting for that dal...!!

Supriya - Yay!! If you see me in a Mumbai autorickshaw, you'll be laughing at my reactions :)))!!!!

Asha - Thanks for the hugs, they worked!! :) Ya, I do love that city, but as you say life goes on!

Mandira - Thanks! Yep, I'm already planning the next one!! :)

Shn - Yeah, blame the disciplined traffic here!! What I haven't mentioned is the traffic is bad here too... Barring the traffic, I totally belong there :)

This fish fry has a Punjabi touch, so there's some besan and chat masala for crispiness and tang :)

Linda - Thankyou! Do hop in here more often!

KF - Dear, did I put you off with my complaints??? Ok, next post I'll put up some nice pics and do my bit for tourism :))

Sharmi - Thanks dear! I did have a great vacation.

swapna susarla said...

welcome back jyothsna.

Prema Sundar said...

Hi and welcome back.. I know how it would be after having a good time there in India.. Fish fry looks great.

Pravs said...

i can relate to the mumbai traffic you talked about..though i have lived in mumbai for a brief time... it was really scary to travel there.
Fish fry looks really yummy..a diff recipe to try for me.

bee said...

jyotshna, could you pleae contact indira of mahanandi and get on food blog desam? that way one can track your new posts easily. i love your blog, and would like to visit it more often. food blog desam makes that easier.

Jyothsna said...

Swapna - Thanks, its good to be back!

Prema - Thanks dear!

Pravs - Oh yeas, when you move from disciplined traffic to Mumbai, thats how you feel, ain't it?

Bee - Hey, let me welcome you back!! :) I am on food blog desam, I saw this post there too. :)

Sandeepa said...

I have had this at a restaurant and it was great. Shall soon try this

Kajal said...

Nice photo of Mumbai and writing is excellent....Your dish looks delicious.:)

Sig said...

Welcome back jyo... lol I can totally relate to your experience... Blore is not not as crowded as mumbai... i used to love that city and now I am too scared to sit in cabs... for that matter even in peaceful Kerala, as soon as I get in the car I put the seatbelt on, and get dust marks all over my clothes, since nobody has used the seatbelts ever! :D

BTW fish fry looks yummalicious!!!

Susan said...

I LOVE fish fries and rely on them more and more since I stopped eating red meat. A great idea to use besan instead of crumbs or wheat flour.

By the way, after reading your story, I will never complain of New York City traffic again. : )

Jyothsna said...

Sandeepa - Thanks, do try it.

Kajal - Thankyou!

Sig - Merci beaucoup! I have some company, thats good! Dusty seatbelt...hahahaha!!

Susan - Welcome to Currybazaar! I've heard of the NY traffic from my uncle who lives there :) Thankyou for visiting!

Mallugirl said...

is this white or black pomfret? welcome back..homesickness will go away soon, don't worry. just get busy.

Jyothi said...

Hi! welcome back Jyothsna, BTW yours fish fry looks great and yummy. Thanks for sharing such a simple and nutritious recipe. Keep it up buddy...

Jyothsna said...

Mallugirl -Its white pomfret.

Jyothi - Thanks!

mathew said...

Compared to the traffic in mumbai..trivandrum sounds like heaven!! i have once been on a taxi ride in Mumbai and very understand how it feels like!!

I would say its sheer miracle that our system works inspite of all the hassles!