It might sound insane, but it is a serendipitous truth that when my cook-maid sometimes takes a leave I feel like conquering back my kitchen again. The persistent theory that the cook-maids in India swear before joining the kitchen is - Too much Oil and Spices make a dish perfect and tasty. Not to lie, it really tastes heaven and delicious, at the same time it opens the gate to hell if every day the spicy foods are served and the health disapproves the food to digest. For me it has become a mandatory routine to utter every day the six words to my cook maid- Use less oil, less spice please. The verity of India stay, mainly if you are staying in Bengal, is the luxury of indulging the budget on maids (Of course how much money you spend on them, you can't snip their attitudes and demands). On one hand it feels like a restful bliss, on the other hand the lazy part slowly curb the body and mind to coddle to this epicurean opulence and makes one a perfect lazy boon when it comes to C2- cooking & cleaning.
After I stepped in India, I have become an occasional cook in the kitchen. I only enter there in need. Sometimes I feel like I am getting detached from one of the creative parts of me what I enjoyed thoroughly last 6 years. But too much dependency on the maids makes the life easier and at the same time obligates to use the spare time some other way. As my cook has taken leave for a day I felt happy. This kind of furor excitement works well in me. I wanted to make something less oily, less spicy, something grilled and no curry, rice/ or flat wheat bread/roti at all. So to make the opportunity satiated, I rush to the market grab some frozen Basa fish fillet, mushroom and an Italian Cheese Bread loaf. During my USA stay I tried different kinds of fish/ sea foods et al, but never tasted Basa fish. After coming to India I first tasted it. I grabbed it from the frozen fish section and cooked it. And I am really impressed with the taste and the soft texture of the fish that dilutes in no time in the mouth.
“The basa fish, Pangasius bocourti, is a type of catfish in the family Pangasiidae. Basa are native to the Mekong River Delta in Vietnamand Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. These fish are important food fish with an international market. They are often labeled in North America and Australia as "basa fish" or "bocourti". In the UK, the species is known mainly as "river cobbler", with "basa" also being used on occasion. In Europe, these fish are commonly marketed as "pangasius" or "panga". Other related shark catfish may occasionally be falsely labeled as basa fish, including Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (iridescent shark) and Pangasius pangasius(yellowtail catfish).”- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basa_fish
Here is the recipe how I cooked it:
Marinating the Fish:
Basa Fillet: Cut into 3 pieces (5"/5")
Hoisin Sauce: 1 tbl spoon
Plum Sauce: 1 tbl spoon
Red chili Sauce: 1 tbl spoon
White pepper Powder: 1/2 tea spoon
Oregano Seasoning: 1/2 tea spoon
Tarragon seasoning: 1/4 tea spoon
Salt: According to taste.
For the Cream Sauce:
Cream: I used Amul's 200gm tetra pack.
Garlic: Chopped 1 tbl spoon full
Mushroom: 1 cup sliced
Green Peas: 1 cup
Salt & Sugar: According to taste
Lemon Grass seasoning: a pinch (optional)
1. Marinate for 15mnts the fish fillets with all the ingredients listed under the marinating head. Then lay the fillets on a grill pan and grill it for 10mnts then turn the fillets and again grill for 8mnts more. Take it out and put it aside.
2. Heat a pan and then add oil. Put the garlic when the oil is hot enough. Fry until the garlic turns light brown. Add the mushroom and the peas. Sauté for couple of minutes then add all the other ingredients except the cream. When the vegetables get semi tender then add the cream. Cook on low flame until the cream thickens enough. Take the sauce off the flame. Put the fish on a serving dish, top it with the Cream mushroom and green peas sauce and enjoy it with some flavoured bread loaf.
You can also find me on Facebook: Click HERE.