Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rice & Lentil Stew with Flaked Fish

This is the beginning of March with no end of winter in sight! It’s the perfect weather for this rice & lentil stew.

Khichuri, a Bengali one-pot-meal once considered comfort food for the poor, is now a delicacy served during the monsoon or rainy season when the weather turns considerably cooler. Core ingredients are rice and lentils but vegetables, eggs, poultry or meat are added according to taste. I decided to experiment by adding fish to the mix. It tastes wonderful!

Tilapia is commonly available in supermarkets around here and even though I prefer them cut into steaks, filleted tilapia generally makes it to the table because hubby prefers to eat fish without having to be bothered with the bones. Fillets are fine, except that the stomach half of a fillet is a useless waste of space in a gravy or curry. That end of the fish generally disintegrates completely because it's not firm enough to withstand simmering or stewing. So this part of the fish fillet can be blanched, flaked and used the same way packaged tuna is used. In this case, I have added it to this rice and lentil stew, which is just perfect for a winter's day.

Tilapia & Spinach in Ginger Sauce

Bengali Fish Florentine
This should be called Bengali Fish Florentine and is adapted from a recipe on Facebook. Mustard oil has become a staple in my kitchen only recently and now I cannot cook meat or fish without it. It is the preferred cooking medium in the state of Bengal in India. The flavour of mustard is further enhanced with the use of Coleman’s mustard powder, added at the end of the cooking process.

Burmese Stir-Fried Chayote Squash with Anchovies


This uses the same recipe as KHAYUN THEE NGA CHAUK CHET but replaced eggplant with bottle gourd or gurkha thee (chayote squash).