Friday 11 May 2012

Sweet n Sour

The long weekend that just went by(thank you Bank holiday) was long indeed. Two back to back dinners, going out for the third & planning for the fourth, the trip to Lord's one day & to Oxford the next, writing about the yatra, watching Dennis the Menace & The Spy Next Door, inviting friends over tonight, TGIF!- doesn't quite leave you breathless :) 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     What adds more tadka to life are the tongue-in-cheek Fb status updates. The best one lately that made me smile was Vinayak's. A suave Sales Exec with IHCL, our man operates out of the Pink City. Late March this year he found a common link among Shahid, Bips & himself. All three were looking for a new home! Whether they found theirs, I am still to be updated but that's Vinayak for you.Witty, upbeat, smart. And if you see his pics, you'll know this is one dashing dude the chain has on its rolls. Someone who enjoys a car rally as much as a literature festival & has the eye to spot peacocks trotting on a high wall, this earnest request to one and all on FB could only come from someone like him: people please, for heaven’s sake stop updating your status with news of losses and other depressing, nonsensical and whining messages. After an entire day of going through life's challenges, that is the last thing anyone wants to see or read. Sympathies to all in pain and all troubled, but really your updates will not erase them or remove your troubles. God bless !!!

The heartfelt God bless at the end of the message settles matters once & for all. Nobody is whining any more, not in public, at least! Taposi is another such inspiration. This child-woman declares her fortieth birthday with pride, looks ageless after sixteen years of marriage & two darling daughters, has retained her charming smile that so many of us lose down the line & wears the contentment of The Blessed. The same quiet spunky girl who had staged a walkout at the university exams when questions were out of syllabus, is now a seasoned wife, mother, teacher & home-maker. What better dish to cook for the two Kolkata-bashi than Sweet & Sour Maach. Fish, considered shubh, is a must-make on birthdays & other auspicious occasions in Bengal. 
                                                                                                      This fish dish is a slight variation from the traditional doi maach. This does use doi, curd, but the treatment of the same gives it a different flavour & taste. Try this yum recipe with plain rice. The easy cooking time makes the sweet sour machchli even more tempting! 
1. 5-6 medium/large fish pieces
2. 1 medium onion- grated
3. 1 tbsp grated/paste ginger
4. 1/2 cup curd
5. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
6. 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
7. Red chilli powder as preferred
8. 1 tsp turmeric
9. 1- 2 tsp sugar
10. Salt to taste
11. Mustard/Refined oil to cook
12. 1 cup water for gravy
1. Marinate fish with turmeric & salt and leave aside for 10 mins.
2. Allow cumin & fenugreek seeds to crackle in hot oil and fry the onion & ginger paste.
3. When oil leaves the pan, add curd, sugar & red chilly powder and fry well.    
4. Wash the fish pieces(to remove the turmeric/salt coating) and saute them gently in the onion curd paste for 5 mins. 
5. Add water & salt and let fish cook in the gravy till done.

Decide on the water for yourself. Some families like thin gravy while others like it thicker.

And as young men take up the cudgels to make it a positive world & young women cross the fence with pride, let us give them our moral support and wish them well with festive fish.
                                                                                              Cheers, Vinayak! Happy Birthday, Taposi!                                                 

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