It's 'o-fish-al'!

It's 'o-fish-al'!

As long as I can remember, I never wanted to become a doctor or an engineer. So when I had to make a choice, I took the help of a self-help book which gave me 1001 job options. I found the culinary world interesting and that's how I joined this industry.

My forte is Indian and progressive Indian cuisine. I was inspired to make today's recipe, 'Char-grilled silver pomfret and kaffir moilee infusion with coconut matta rice' as many people that Indian food cannot look pleasing to the eye.

During my initial days in the hotel industry, I remember working at a hotel where I was in charge of the buffet spread.

I would watch many diners walk past the various, delicious curries we prepared and not show any interest in tasting it because it wasn't pleasing to the eye. I felt bad because some of them were my dishes too!

That's why creating progressive Indian dishes is very important to me. I wanted to present Indian food in a beautiful manner so that people will want to eat it.

This particular dish is not too difficult to make at home either.

Each item compliments each other and perfect for the health conscious. The 'moilee' is inspired by the Kerala dish but when a bit of kaffir lime is infused in it, it gives the 'moilee' a smooth and velvety texture to it.

The 'matta rice' is the red rice of Kerala which is very good for your health. Overall, all three items are just what you need to make food look good and enjoy a hearty meal.


Char-grilled silver pomfret and kaffir moilee infusion with coconut matta rice


* Pomfret dish, 1 piece, washed and cleaned (make gashes on both sides of the skin)
* Onion, 1 small
* Garlic cloves, 6 to 7
* Green chilli, 1
* Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
* Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
* Coriander powder, 1/2 tsp
* Garam masala, 1/2 tsp
* Lemon juice, 1 tsp
* Chaat masala, 1/4 tsp
* Curry leaves, a few
* Gingers, very small portion
* Salt to taste
* Cooking oil for frying


* In a grinder, make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli, lemon juice, salt and all the spices, along with fried and crushed curry leaves.
* Coat the washed and cleaned pomfret fish nicely on both sides and also into the cuts with the masala prepared.
* Keep in refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
* Heat oil in a non-stick pan and place the marinated pomfret fish.
* Cover the pan and let it cook for 7 to 8 minutes on low flame.
* Flip the fish, cover the pan and cook the other side.
* Cook for another two to three minutes and it's done!

NOTE: While making the paste add very little water only if required. Don't make the paste thin.


For the sauce

* Coconut oil, 1 tbsp
* Garlic cloves, 8 minced
* Ginger, 20 gm finely grated
* Green chillies, 2, deseeded and finely chopped
* Curry leaves, 10
* Onion, 200 gm, finely sliced
* Ground turmeric, 1 tsp
* Few kaffir lime leaves
* Lemon juice, 2 tsp
* Coconut milk, 300 ml


* To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves, then stir until the leaves begin to crackle.
* Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for about five minutes until translucent. Add the ground turmeric and lemon juice, then stir for a minute. Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes. Add finely shredded kaffir lime leaves bring o boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Season and set aside.
* Once cooled blend the sauce with a hand blender and strain. Heat slightly at the time of service.

For Coconut Matta Rice

* Cooked rice, 3 to 4 cups (Kerala Matta Rice)
* Coconut oil, 1 1/2 tbsp
* Curry leaves, 6 to 7
* Raw cashews, 15 to 20
* Ginger, 1 tsp chopped
* Green chilli, 1 to 2, finely chopped
* Mustard seeds, ½ tsp
* Urad dal, 2 tsp, soaked for 15 minutes
* Chana dal, 2 tsp, soaked
* Coconut, ¾ cup freshly grated
* Hing, a pinch (optional)
* Salt, to taste


* Soak the urad and chana dal for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

* Heat oil in a wok/pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds let it crackle.

* Add ginger and green chilli and cook until ginger starts changing it's colour to golden brown. You may also add a pinch of hing at this point.

* Then add the cashews, urad dal, chana dal and cook till they turn golden brown.

* Add the curry leaves and mix.

* Add the freshly grated coconut and mix. Cook the coconut for a minute or two.

* Finally, add the cooked rice, also add the salt and mix everything together and remove the pan from heat.

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