January 13, 2015

Fish Masala Bake


This is a much loved and widely made recipe in our households. It's not only a great looking dish but can be made ahead of time and warmed up in the oven before it's ready to serve. Although not a traditional recipe, its a very old one. My mother made it for her finals at her Home Science school and it won first prize. We daughters always remember that story whenever we make it. And it's still a winner at our dinner parties!

Ingredients:

Mild but firm Fish like Mahi Mahi or Cod - 2 lbs
Red Onions - 2 large
Tomatoes - 3 medium
Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
Green Chillies - 1 or 2 depending on spice level desired
Worcestershire sauce - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
Grated Parmesan cheese - 1 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup

Method:

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Cut the fish into 2"x1" pieces. Marinate the pieces in 1 tsp of the ginger-garlic paste and 1 tbsp of soy sauce for about 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the masala. Slice the onions. Chop or coarsely purée the tomatoes. Heat a flat large pan, add oil and the green chilles. Then add the onions. Once browned, add chopped tomatoes. When the oil start to leave the mixture, add the two sauces and salt. Mix well and take it off the fire.

Put half the masala in a flat baking dish. Put the other half in a bowl. Return pan to the stove, add a little more oil. When the oil is hot, gently place the fish in the pan in a single layer. Keep the flame high. Fry for 1 minute and flip them over gently and fry for another minute. Turn off the fire and arrange the slightly seared fish on the baking dish.

Top evenly with rest of the masala. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly all over. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The fish is cooked when it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with warm French bread.

NOTE: To add some nuance to the masala, puree / chop 3-4 strips of roasted bell pepper along with the tomatoes.