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zaterdag 2 juni 2012

Cod tandoori with saffron pilav

I made a huge mistake yesterday. Instead of doing groceries properly and bringing meat for tonight, I took a large portion of cod out of the freezer. I never thought my mum bought it for making something special. She was a bit angry when she found out I reserved it for tonight (and she couldn't cook tonight because of work). Now, she told me to make something with it anyway. 

What to do then? I am a great fan of the Indian kitchen, so I looked in one of my great Indian cook books. Nowhere a recipe to be found with cod. A lot of chicken and lamb, but nearly no fish at all ... 

I've tried chicken tandoori in the past, my idea now was to try making cod the same way. So I did. I made the marinade and put the fish soaking in it in the fridge. It's looking really odd, pink in colour and all!

Ingredients for the cod:
- 4 slices of cod 
- 250 grams yoghurt (it's supposed to be Greek yoghurt, but I only had 0% so I used that)
- 1/2 teaspoon tandoori food colouring
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 ground cardemom pods
- 3 ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- chilli powder to taste (I used none today because my sister hates hot spicy food, unfortunately!)

How to prepare the cod:
Mix all the ingredients apart from the cod together so that you get a pink/reddish sauce. That's your marinade. Now put the pieces of cod in it and turn them around so that they get coloured all over.
Put it all away in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven grill up to 230°C. 
Take the pieces of cod out of the marinade and put them in an oven tray that you put about 15 centimetres from the grill in the oven (quite high).
Grill the fish for about 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Turn it around from time to time so that the fish colours on all sides.

I did the fish, now it was time to think about what to serve with it. As you see, I'm not really a planner in these sorts of things. I take it from where I am at the moment.

I turned the pages of the Indian cook book and saw a lot of tasty looking rice dishes. Tandoori isn't saucy, so I wished to make something that was tasteful by itself. I decided to make saffron pilav (kesar bhat). It's described as a dish widely served in the more Muslim parts of India and the ingredients looked really good from the start. On top of all that, it has the most amazing colour: bright yellow, from the saffron. Quite luxurious, isn't it?

Ingredients for saffron pilav:
- a handful raisins
- 250 grams basmati rice
- 1 gram saffron powder or 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (soaked in the water)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cardemom pods
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 small onion, sliced into small pieces
- little oil for the pan

How to prepare the saffron pilav:
Soak the basmati rice for about half an hour in some cold water.
Heat the oil in a pan on a heavy fire. Put the onion in and let it colour for a while. Then add the cinnamon, cloves and the cardemom  pods all at once. Stir it all around. 
Drain the rice and add it with the raisins, the saffron and about 500 ml to the rest of the ingredients. Now turn the fire on so that it starts to cook. Once it all cooks, you turn the fire a little lower so that it can slowly simmer for about 5 minutes. After that, turn the fire on the lowest heat and put the lid on the pan. Let it all be for another 5-6 minutes. You'll see that all the water has been absorbed by the rice and the raisins by now. 
Take the pan off the fire and let it rest for another 5 minutes with the lid on the pan. The rice will dry out more and the water will steam away.

For some more colour and the vegetables, I served the fish andthe rice with some cherry tomatoes. If I had some fresh coriander, I would scatter them over the plate for an even more colourful plate.

My parents and I approved, my sister - a special case when it comes to food - wasn't convinced. Fish is not her favourite, and the rice was too spicy ... What can I do about that?

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