Pomfret Recheado ( The Truly Goan 'Chakna' )
P: A place lined with endless pristine beaches buffeted by the enigmatic blue green waters that stretch as far as one can see.
N: Sigh, that's interesting. Did you miss anything ?
P: How about some heritage buildings to bring on that old world charm !
N: Good doing. Anything else you want to add to that list ?
P: Ummm. Maybe a hidden cove or two to up the mystery quotient.
N: Ahh. Now you getting better. How about capping it up with something to cater to those baser instincts ?
P: Yesss. How could I forget ? I wish for dozens of beach-side shacks serving seafood to the tune of some exotic music ( Bollywood, gimme a break ),
N: That's my girl ! Now you are getting almost as good as me ! You have almost seduced me into believing that Nirvana is within arm's length. I could spend my entire life listening to the music made by the waves while lying in one of those seaside shacks. Goa, here I come !!!
Snap. Snap. But just as I am about to slip into the throes of this fantastic daydream, I remind myself that the blog post needs to be up before the terminator arises from his afternoon siesta. (Focus, focus, focus.) Still wondering about that conversation ? That's just me ( P aka Poor little pedestrian me who is happy to make do with whatever life throws at me ) and my doppelganger ( N aka Narcissist me who is always striving to break free and reach for the stars ) making those noises in my head. :)
Back to the beaches of Goa. Given the reputation of being a drunk's paradise, it is hardly surprising that Goan food includes some delectable 'chaknas' or those finger foods that go wonderfully well with alcohol. Spicy and tangy, and often marinated in some kind of toddy (local brew), they add punch to the beers and the fenis that are part of the Goan charm. One such dish is the fish Recheado. While it can be made with other varieties, I picked up a nice and juicy Pomfret for mine.
And since my family tree is very much restricted to the eastern parts of the country, I had to refer to this wonderful recipe by Chef Sainora ( Marriott resort, Miramar). Tweaked it a bit as per my preferences and it turned out to be amazing !! I served it with white rice, yellow dal and a salad.
Read on -
Preparation Time - 1 hour 15 mins ( includes 1 hour marination time)
- 1 Pomfret fish ( 250 gm )
- 4 dry red chili
- 2 inch cinnamon
- 3-4 cloves
- 2 green cardamom
- 10-12 garlic flakes (fat ones)
- 1 inch ginger
- a thumb nail sized piece of tamarind
- a pinch of cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 small onion(finely chopped)
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
- 2-3 tsp vinegar( toddy vinegar preferably )
- lemon wedges for garnishing
- onion rings for garnishing
Preparation - Soak the dry spices and the ginger and garlic in vinegar . Grind into a smooth paste along with the tamarind.
Cooking - Brown the onions using about 1 tsp oil. Add the spice paste to the same wok. Fry for 2 mins. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Clean the fish,make a slit and remove everything from the belly. Also remove the soft mass from the head. Make 2-3 slits on each side. Stuff the masala inside the fish and also rub it all over the sides.
Sprinkle lemon juice and salt over the fish. Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the fish and fry on each side for 7-8 mins.
Remove from skillet and garnish with lemon wedges and onion rings.