Monday, February 25, 2013

Turmeric fried Salmon and Red Lentils with Bottle-gourd

Today was gloomy and sunny, in patches. One minute the sun's peeking out, the next its hiding behind thick layer of clouds. Usually in Bangladesh, with weather like this, people eat khichuri with egg and pickle. But since we had khichuri last night for dinner, I decide to make dal and fried fish.


Atlantic salmon fillet- 1.5 lbs
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Garlic powder- 1tsp
Black pepper powder- 1tsp
Salt- 2 tsp
Oil for frying

This sounds really bad but I can't eat most bangladeshi fishes. Most of them have a lot of bones in them (tiny ones) and here they are found in frozen blocks that date two years back. I like eating fishes local to a particular area or country. When I am in Oman, I eat fishes that are local there. Obviously, when I am in Bangladesh I eat the local fish there (the ones with one central bone). Usually in Bangladeshi culture, we cut fish into small to medium sized pieces and coat them in turmeric, salt (and sometimes other spices) and fry them. Sometimes we leave them like that or prepare a separate sauce with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, etc. and toss the fishes in them.

To begin, wash the fillet and cut into desired number of pieces. Sprinkle pepper and salt evenly on both sides.

Sprinkle turmeric powder on all the pieces evenly on both sides.
Sprinkle a dash of garlic powder on both sides (skimp on garlic powder as too much can cause the oil to burn quickly)

Let the fish sit for 1-2 hours.
Fry in a pan, starting with skin-side up for 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness.
Turn and fry on other side for 5 minutes.

The skin is so crispy and delicious and the fish itself is flaky and buttery.  Serve with some plain basmati rice.

Quick tip: While frying fish, if it sticks to the bottom of the pan, fry an egg prior and your fish won't stick to the pan.


Red lentil (masoor dal)- 2 cups
Bottle-gourd (lau)- 1 medium chopped
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic- 3 cloves
Onion- 1 medium chopped
Dried red chillies- 3
Oil for tempering

I forgot to take initial pics, but basically all you do is rinse the red lentils under running water 3-4 times to get rid of any grit or sand. Then with twice the amount of water, boil the lentils with salt.
After about 20 minutes, add the chopped bottle-gourd.and turmeric and chilli powders. Let it boil for another 10 minutes.

While the lentils are boiling away, prepare the tempering. In a small pan, add oil and dried red chillies.

Add the chopped onion and brown.
Add chopped garlic. I know it got browner than required, but for tempering, its ok. It imparts a nice roasted flavor to the dal.

   Quickly add the tempering to the dal.

Boil the dal for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate and turn the stove off.

Tastes so good with some plain basmati rice. 

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