"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Monday, 12 November 2012

Baked Rohu fish with toasted veggies in fish sauce

Rohu or Rohi is a fish that belongs to the carp family Cyprinidae commonly found in rivers and freshwater lakes in and around South East Asia and South Asia. It is also commonly used in Northern India, Pakistan and Iraq. This fish was introduced to me once I was on a special diet using ayurvedic medication which allow use of freshwater fish in the diet. However the recipe is an original as I wanted to explore how best to use this fish besides the traditional keralite preparation and also because we  do not use much coconut in our diet these days. I am certain that if you are a fish lover that you would definitely enjoy this preparation. I have to admit that while I was a bit skeptical that Anup would not enjoy this make, he and my little one definitely loved this preparation to bits.

Baked Rohu with Toasted Veggies in Fish Sauce

You need:

  • 1.5 kg Rohu fish, cleaned and cut into fish steak sizes (you can leave some of the skin on and remove it later before serving)
  • 3-4 carrots, diced finely lengthwise
  • 1-2 bunches of green spinach, chopped finely
  • 12 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced
  • 2" ginger, sliced finely
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tsp of worcestershire sauce(optional)
  • 1-2 tsp of chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp of paprika powder or you can use Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1-2 tsp of pepper powder (optional)
  • 3-4 green chilis chopped finely (I used the less spicy version - little fatter than Kerala green chilies but less fatter than the ones you get for making bajiyyas). Each green chili can bediced into 3-4 thin slices
  • 2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 tbsp of Olive oil or EVOO
  • Rock Salt to taste
  • Aluminium foil as required
The make:

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes | Serves 6 adults

  1. Marinate the fish steaks with salt, paprika powder, pepper (optional) and ginger garlic paste and set aside. The longer you leave it, the better as experienced.
  2. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes on a high about 210ºC
  3. Take a baking dish of a size enough to spread the fish steaks without overlapping and add 1/4 full of filtered water. 

Baking tray with 1/4 full water

4. Carefully line the baking tray with foil without tearing. It helps not to have long nails while doing this and tuck the sides in carefully to the baking tray. Ensure there is no water spillage on the foil, if not start again.
5. Drizzle some olive oil on the foil and do not bother to evenly spread as you may tear the foil and nevertheless, this fish usually returns some good fats/oil in the cooking process. I would always suggest getting a 1.5 kg of Rohu fish as it has good oil residue and also the meat is more tender than its lesser weighted partners.
6. Place the marinated fish steaks on the foil and drizzle the soya sauce, worcestershire sauce, chili flakes on all the pieces. Add the ginger and garlic over all the fish steaks.

Marinated Rohu steaks with ginger, garlic and chili flakes on top
7. Next top the fish steaks with spinach and  carrot sticks and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a dash of salt (taking care not to add too much as the fish juice would return with some salt as well). Top with slit green chilies.

Topped with spinach leaves

Rohu fish steaks topped with carrot sticks

8. Cover with foil without tucking in the sides. This will ensure that the fish cook evenly without drying and will allow for some steam to release moderately.

Cover with foil
9. Lower the heat of the oven to 200ºC (medium heat) and carefully place the baking tray to avoid the water from seeping or spilling from below the foil or  through the sides.

10. Bake for about 25 minutes and you can lower the heat and take of the top foil to check on the fish and turn over if you like. I did not as my oven has heat both on the top and below of the oven. It is especially not required since you have covered the fish with the foil. Return the foil back to the top and turn the flame back to 200ºC and cook for another 20 minutes. Once cooked, allow it to rest in the oven for at least 5-10 minutes. Check if cooked or if you need any additional minutes. 40 minutes should suffice in my opinion.

Baked Rohu ready

10. Take the fish steaks out carefully with a flat spatula on to the serving dish with the veggies on top. You will find a nice clear fish stock at the bottom, you can take the sauce onto a gravy bowl and serve separately.

Serve hot with hot rolls or rice!

Baked Rohu with Veggies in Fish Sauce and  Rice

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