Tilapia Macher Jhal – Fish in Onion Gravy

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How long can a Bengali live without fish? Since I came here to Austin, I had been living on chicken and eggs. But, a meal without fish is almost like a no-meal. So, the search for fish began. My first choice was of course rohu or catla or something similar to that.

The search led me to Whole Foods. There was a big array of fishes there, the names of which I have never heard of excepting for salmon. I asked the guy there about rohu, his reply was something I never expected – “Is there any other name for the fish you are searching?” not much a fan of salmon or sardines I got a frozen packet of tilapia from Walmart and tried making it the Bong way.

The result was definitely good. Having macher jhol after so long was really a reward by itself. And, the tilapia jhal from Soma’s blog really influenced a lot for preparing this dish.

Tilapia Jhal

Indian, Side, Bengali fish curry, Tilapia spicy gravy
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 whole tilapia, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1cup water
  • 3 tablespoon of mustard oil
  • 2 sprigs of coriander, finely chopped
Directions
  • • Clean the fish well and mix with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt
  • • Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in a thick skillet and fry the fish till it turns golden brown in color
  • • Heat about a teaspoon of mustard oil in a wok and throw in the onions, fry till they turn translucent
  • • Add all the spices, season with salt and pour in water
  • • Cook covered till the gravy thickens
  • • Add in the fried fishes and cook for about 2-3 mins more
  • • Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves
  • • Serve with warm white rice

Hot Tips- You can use potatoes also in the gravy, chop the potatoes into wedges, fry a little and add to the wok just before adding the spices. Instead of mustard oil canola or other vegetable oil can also be used.

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Strawberry Lassi for the Spring Break

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While in Texas we are still having a nice sunless weather, am sure back in India people have started feeling the onset of summer. And, summer coolers are just the right thing to have after a daylong work outside.

A first look into Google this morning it showed a colourful doodle by Marimekko. Yes, it is the start of spring, and with spring the markets are getting flooded with berries – strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries – you name them and it’s there neatly arranged in the shelves for you to grab.

I love all sorts of berries, but of course strawberries are my favourite. So, as am busy setting up my new home in Austin, I started experimenting in the kitchen too. Lassi is my favourite summer drink and to mix it up with some strawberries – the combination can just never go wrong.

As the spring breaks are on, you can also ask your children to help you out with this preparation. Am sure they’ll enjoy making and having these tumble full of strawberry lassi.

Strawberry Lassi

Indian, Drink, Summer cooler, Spring break kids diy
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups of plain yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 5-6 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream (optional)
Directions
  • • Put everything except the cream in a food processor and pulse till the entire mixture turns a pale pink color
  • • Pour in large glasses and serve with a whipped cream topping and/or more ice cubes
  • • Serve instantly

Hot Tips – You can prepare the lassi without the strawberry or any other fruits of choice. If you don’t want it to be too thick then pour in 3 cups of plain yogurt with 1 cup of cold water.

This strawberry yogurt drink goes to Cooking Concepts # 9 – Spring Seasonal Food, Ramya’s ABC Series: FRUIT FIESTA and also to Beat the Heat event.

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