Making a coming back after almost a month ( again! )
The last time that happened, I bounced back with something sweet , but this time around it is fish! Special – because all this while the recipes in my blog have been vegetarian. I love fish ( and this should be a great beginning for my blog.)
This special post comes about as a part of a great initiative called Chefs Across Boundaries – an initiative started by a handful of food bloggers and food enthusiasts who have taken up the challenge to explore unique and traditional recipes with a motive to expand culinary knowledge as well as explore regional cuisines from across the globe.
Hetal Kamdar picked an absolutely wonderful theme for the month of Feb – Franco Tamil Fusion Cuisine of Pondicherry
Pondicherry cheers the heart of the romantic… and I am a hopeless romantic! My pick for the Franco-Tamil Cuisine had to echo that. My attempt to marry the traditional tamil favours(that I’m very familiar with) with the lovely French aesthetics. It was such fun doing this. And yay! I picked up a couple of french words along the way…Merci`!
So, Here’s presenting – Les Keerai Masaiyal Poisson en Papilotte avec Garlic Pomme Mousseline
Keerai Masaiyal is a traditional tambrahm dish which is basically mashed/mildly spiced greens. En Papilotte is classic french technique of cooking something inside/ in paper – like a sealed parcel. Fish ( poisson) and Pomme (Potatoes) have a special place in french cuisine…. as does mousse ( funny! I like the sound of that). Mousse not sweet but a savoury one, with a hint of garlic.
So, I decided to blend the three – voila` – I have my french-tamil fusion ❤
This post is also special for another reason- Tried some outdoor setup for the shoot! Something that I haven’t done before. A dear friend Vinay, was more than kind to let me use his gorgeous terrace for the shoot. Thanks to mom and her well-nurtured plants, I could create a set-up so gorgeously dreamy !!
Recipe (1) : Keerai Masaiyal
A super special mention for my lovely mother-in-law who volunteered to help me with the Keerai Masaiyal. She is a specialist in Tmbrahm cuisine, I could not have not taken her help!
- Spinach – 1-2 bunches ( might yield around 2 cups)
- Cumin seeds -1 tsp
- Rice flour/ wheat flour -1/2 tsp for thickening (optional)
- Mustard seeds -1 tsp
- Sundried Red Chillies ( more milagai / use Dried Red chillies) – 2 -3
- Asafoetida – 1 pinch
- Water – for the spinach to cook( less than half a cup )
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Chop the washed spinach. In a pressure cooker, add chopped spinach , a little salt and water
- Pressure cook in medium flame for not more than 1 whistle – Give it a few minutes for the pressure to go and open the cooker.
- Mash the spinach with a heavy bottom ladle / masher (don’t use the blender – it will kill the texture)
- Squeeze out the water from the mashed spinach, and keep aside.
- Take a pan, heat some oil and mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sundried chilies, asafoetida – wait for them to splutter. Add the spinach and the flour and blend well.
- Season it with salt & pepper.
- Take it off the heat and serve!
Recipe (2) – Keerai Masiyal Poisson en Papilotte ( Poisson = fish ) & ( en Papilotte = cooked in paper)
- Keerai Masaiyal
- Fish ( boneless fillet ) – 1 -2
- Parchment Paper ( You can use Aluminum foil too – in case you wish to bake in an OTG )
- Salt & pepper for seasoning
- Start with getting the parchment paper ready for the fish – cut parchment paper into heart shape – and fold it vertically from the center. Keep ready for use – Ensure that the size of the paper is larger than your fish fillet –
(Reference image courtesy – http://www.cooksmarts.com )
- Give the fish fillets a gentle rub of salt and pepper.
- Smear the keerai masaiyal on the fillets and place them at the center of the fold of parchment paper and seal the edges.
- You can follow any one of the following 2 cooking techniques –
- Using an Oven /OTG :
- Preheat the oven for 10 mins @ 200 degrees
- Place the sealed parcels on a baking tray and bake it for 10 minutes @ 180 degrees
- Using stove top – Steamer :
- Heat the water in the steamer – let it come to a boil
- Place the sealed parcels on a steamer tray and cook it for about 10 minutes
- Using an Oven /OTG :
- When ready – serve it with the sealed parcel !!
- Let the parcel be cut open only when you are ready to eat 🙂
Recipe (3) – Garlic Pomme Moussiline
- Potatoes – 2-3 large
- Butter – 2-3 tbsp
- Fresh cream – 200 ml
- Fresh/ mashed Garlic – 4-5 pods
- dried thyme & oregano
- Pepper and salt for seasoning
- Dried red chilli flakes (optional)
- Peel and boil the potatoes. Mash them when they are hot.
- Heat a pan – add butter, mashed garlic and the mashed potatoes
- To that add – fresh cream and whisk well.
- Add seasoning and the dried spices – to your liking
- Take it off the heat and put them in ramekins or bowls of your choice, let them set.
- You can them warm or chilled (preferably ) with steaks, grilled veggies , or as a dip ….or just by itself!