Thursday, April 23, 2009

The All Purpose Masala Paste & Fish Fry


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Today is Day 4 of The 7 Day Challenge, it has been good so far. I am not missing my grains any more, I have become paranoid about going grain free and am eating better in both quality and quantity.

The problem is both me & D are true foodies and cannot live on just salad & soup even if it only for a week so we both have to do a lot of work every day cooking interesting stuff and prepping. Only if I was able to transmogrify into a bovine creature chomping greens in a spring meadow, life would be easier.

I will analyze the pros and cons at the end of 7 days, but believe me even if you don't lose an inch this challenge is worth every salad because of the self-restraint you will acquire by the end of it


Now to The All Purpose Masala Paste which is an efficient homemade packaged solution for busy moms.

If I had any business acumen I would market it and put it on not Patel's but Whole Food's Freezer aisle. But before that I would have to pay hefty royalty fees to Vee and then Coffee, the original creators of this idea. This masala saves me on most weekdays and if you are not already making it, I urge you to refrain and wait till my product is out there.
I promise I will have a fun, family ad out with it too with a jingle that says "Taste mein Best, Mummy aur Mummy Ka Paste"


Read more...








Till then you can make it on your own by following these steps

Chop a large red onion roughly

Chop a medium plump red tomato in rough chunks. I keep saying rough because you don't need to spend time and cut in small equal sizes

Peel two to three cloves of garlic and chop in 2-3 pieces

Peel and chop about an inch of ginger, again roughly

Heat little oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic, follow by tossing in onions and then ginger

Fry till the onion is soft and translucent. Toss in the tomatoes and saute till tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

At this point you can get imaginative and add some generic spice powders if you wish, like say Garam Masala or maybe Kasoori Methi. I usually skip this step.

Cool the above and make a paste in your food processor, make a smooth paste not one of those chunky ones.

Cool this paste, pour it in a ice cube tray and freeze

Once frozen, take the frozen cubes out and store in a ziploc bag. I usually make enough to last me a week for impromptu weekday cooking

On a busy week night when all you want to do is just pull a blanket over your head, take some of this cubes out and make a quick gravy in minutes.



Depending on your taste you can vary the proportions and add green chillis to the above


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I made a Fish on Day 3 of the challenge using this paste. I had some Tilapia Fillet which I marinated with this paste (I made with Kasoori methi added this time), salt and some red chilli powder for 24 hours. However 30 mins to an hour should be enough. I usually bake this fish drizzled with Olive Oil but then I saw this recipe at Shilpa's and wanted to try this instead.

So for 30 mins before cooking I marinated the already marinated fish with some more garlic paste, red chilli powder and lime juice. For one of the fillets I added tamarind paste instead of Lime Juice.

However I am a Bong who always fries her fish except for maybe Ilish(Hilsa) so I was not sure how just poaching the fish would taste like. I therefore smeared my frying pan with a little olive oil, maybe 1/2 tsp. Added some curry leaves to it and then placed the fish fillet on the pan. Slowly added enough water so that the fish were just submerged in water. Let it cook till all the water has evaporated.

The fish tasted definitely good but I feel this method is best if the fish was more fresh. We had it with some salad and oven baked masala potato fries.



92 comments:

  1. I liked the name and seems to be a good idea to cube them...After reading this I have a strong urge to make fish ;)

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  2. Anything with the tag all-purpose gets my attention immediately! This is surely a helpful recipe!

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  3. That's a smart idea indeed! I remember Rooma's post on that. Market it soon, San! You have a customer in me :)

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  4. freezing the paste sounds like a very good idea. Anything with seafood involved gets my interest.Good Luck with your challenge.

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  5. Hi Sandeepa,
    The all purpose masala paste seems an interesting one and ofcourse a great time saver :) thanks for the tip on freezing it. Hmm..the fish fry my my shilpa's version is damn good thanks for the link :) liked ur version too.
    Happy Weekend
    TC

    LOL...on ur packaging ,advertising and the punch line...Taste mein best... gud one LLLLLLLOL it's so cute ;)

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  6. I like seafood in any form even plainly steamed! The masala sounds handy!
    R u allowed to eat potato? interesting!

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  7. Yeah mee to hooked to Shilpa's poaching fish. Ned to wait to try this over the weekend where we can get fresh fish in the corner-of-the-street fish market. This plate looks inviting and the masala is interesting. Your gingle is so very nice!

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  8. Wow freezing masala paste is such a good idea and not to mention time saver too, lot of luck for your challenge :)

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  9. lovely fisy recipe...helpful paste

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  10. Your platter makes me want to skip my carb grains too :)

    I am eager to hear how the fast goes. Any plans of doing this on a regular basis, like a day in a week kind of thing.

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  11. I don't think soup and salad every day is not anybody's cup of tea unless they enjoy being anorexic! Did you see one of the Miss America girl? I think she is on liquid diet forever! ;D

    I do the same for gravy most of time but do not make in bulk to store. This is a great idea, saves a lot of time. I saute onion first and then g and g paste and then Tomato and masala.

    Fish fry looks tasty!:)

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  12. Thanks Everyone Freezing the paste is indeed a good idea. Before this I would make separate onion paste, ginger paste and garlic paste and store
    But now this saves me a lot of time on weekdays. Since it is already fried you don't have to fry forlong again

    Cham
    No one said anything about potatoes ;-) A samll portion doesn't do any harm I guess :)

    Indo

    The fast starts today evening. Since I will be sleeping off 8-9 hrs of it, it should be fine. And anyway I am going to drink, water/juice/tea

    Asha

    I always add chopped garlic first and as soon as I get the flavor add the onions. While using ginger/garlic paste though I follow your order

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  13. All purpose malasa sounds great. I usually do prep work with my tamarind paste and veggies. I use very lil masala in my cooking will try this time.

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  14. who is reading calvin and hobbes? it is tough to just eat salads and soups.
    i remember this puree in cubes from coffee's ol post and i do use it. it is a genuine time saver.

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  15. That looks really good... amar kintu erokom maach khete ichey korchay:-D

    I never make paste like this.. like pre frying & then making a paste. Have to try this way.. aajkal shudhu pyaj bhejei.. jhol/jhal kore di:-) got really lazy.

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  16. i already have planned to try out the 7 day challenge taken by Mandira once I get back to my normal routine. your challenge would be the next one in my list.besides I also make this all purpose masala mostly before having big parties at home. now with the little one guess will have to make this often :-)

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  17. I can live on salad, not soup. And it's too hot here to even think of soup, unless we're sitting in one of those permanently cold restaurants and the only thing you can think of is soup.

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  18. What a great idea! As usual, I have try it out :)

    I love the tagline (taste mein...) :)

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  19. hi
    i recently came accross your blog and like your blog. i have also started a foodblog recently.keep up your good work and i wish u a very success.

    cheers
    swethaskitchen.com

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  20. No potatoes :D acc ot the original post!

    Sorry for being a pest. Anyway, the jingle is great :D and the masala paste shall be made. Freezing them is a great great idea

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  21. Aiyyooooooo N (coz I know this is not A) you HAD to do this to me :)

    Ok hadn't checked the orginal rules at all !!! But the deed has been done, also had some honey with my greek yogurt for b'fast on 2 days

    Man am I glad this thing end tomorrow

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  22. Goofy grin @ your tagline. :)

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  23. You're a brave soul ,Sandeepa, to attempt this challenge...I didn't even think of trying :-)

    I sometimes make my masala in the same way too, but never made in bulk to freeze...that's a great idea :-)

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  24. Kudos to your commitment to sticking to the 7 day plan.. keep it up! I also have been making and freezing this paste I saw from Vee or Coffe's blog many many month (or years?) ago. The fish recipe looks awesome - I end up using the paste mainly for veg dishes. WIll certainly try your fish sometime if I get fresh fish.

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  25. this sounds like a tough challenge Sandeepa and you are doing really well. Can't wait to read your review on Day 7.

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  26. I just started doing this 2 weeks back because I now have the li'l one's tiffin box as an addition to our lunch boxes plus getting her ready an hour earlier than before. so less time in the morning and hence the 'ready to go" bhuna masala.

    Using it with fish must have been great!

    Kudos for sticking to the plan :)

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  27. fish looks yum,..andthe all purpose masala paste is always handy,..

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  29. hello friend excellent advices about The All Purpose Masala Paste & Fish Fry thanks for sharing!!

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  30. oh my, can't believe I chanced upon this post today! Maggi has done it - I got these awesome pouches of Maggi Bhuna Masala from India this time, to try out and they worked perfect for the quick weeknight meals. I couldn't believe the desi stores here aren't stocking it - I only brought two! But why didn't I think of doing the effort of homemade/freezing, I don't know! Will definitely have to do this until Maggi's version starts becoming available here....

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  31. Sue

    Check if Maggi uses MSG. Most all purpose seasoning mixes in a bottle has that. In that case it is best to make your own. MSG is no good for daily use

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  32. Nope, no msg - in fact I think the package even advertises that. This isn't a powder of spices, its actually onion-tomato-ginger-garlic paste fried in 1tbsp oil, that's all. As you can tell, they have me for a fan :)

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  33. Sue

    That is good to know.

    I raised the topic, 'coz am a bit skeptical.Though Maggi claims no MSG in noodles(http://www.nestle.in/pdf/maggi_mail_statement.pdf), their Tastemaker does have that. The ingredients clearly say Monosodium Glutamate. I think they should be more transparent about it.

    That said I like Maggi and it is often our Fri dinner. I try to use only a quarter of the tastemaker though and add my own seasonings.

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