Little Sis aka LS is not a gourmand. She might be a connoisseur of food. I am not exactly sure.
Any time I sit down to feed her, she asks with utter contempt in her voice "Eta ki ?" (What is this ?). That question makes me extremely nervous. I have a feeling that she expects me to say "Lobster Thermidor" or some such thing. I cannot get myself to say it is just plain old "Khichuri" so I try to distract and in most times end up popping a Purple Dinosaur in the age old VCR.
LS loves "Chickun" though and a "Chickun Jhol" makes her eat at least a quarter of the meal with no request for complicated recipes and fine French food.
A month or so back, me being the Bong Mom and all that introduced Fish to her. I mean Fish as food and not "Oh Fishy Fishy". Only I felt very guilty telling her that it was Fish because kids seem to have this love for rainbow colored "fishies" and I thought I will tell her the truth when she is able to beat up buster next door.
So we still tell her it is "Chickun" but I know she has her doubts because she keeps asking "Eta ki" repeatedly and taking pieces out of her mouth and scrutinizing them with a microscope.
Last week I made this fish curry for her. Big Sis aka BS totally loved it and the love continues this week. About LS I am never sure.
This Dudh Maach or Fish Cooked in Milk is a great fish curry that works with most kinds of fish and every age. I mean age of the person eating it. This is my Ma's recipe and we love it so much that it gets made very often at our home. That it is quick is a huge help. The light gravy has a subtle mustardy taste but amazingly there is no mustard in the recipe whatsoever.
You know how some people will strain their mustard paste and use only the mustard water to make their gravy, well this gravy tastes almost like that, only with zero amount of prep work.
And if you are feeling queasy and creamy about milk and fish, be calm, this is no where near creamy. I use 1% Milk and the gravy is very very light.
We have done this with Rohu (Rui Maach), Ilish (Hilsa) and Tilapia Fillet. The taste is great with all. If using the Tilapia fillet you can either shallow fry or bake in the oven. Enjoy this with fluffy white rice and you will never regret it.
Dudh Maach - Fish in a Milky CurryNote: Instead of Mustard oil I use Olive Oil or Canola for the kids who are yet to get used to Mustard and the taste is compromised only a little. So if you don't have Mustard Oil use your regular cooking oil. If you can get hold of Mustard Oil, well the taste then takes on a new dimension.
If you are using steak pieces of fish clean the fish pieces and smear with turmeric and salt. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
If you are using Tilapia Filet rub the fillet with little turmeric, salt and few drops of Oil.
Heat Oil(Mustard Oil preferred) in a Kadhai or Frying Pan. Fry the pieces of fish till golden on both sides.
If using Tilapia Filet you can shallow fry them or bake for 20 mins @350F and then broil for last 5 mins. This is my Toaster Oven setting. If using salmon fillet, rub the pieces with salt, turmeric powder, olive oil and then bake at 275F for 25 minutes
Heat 3 tsp of fresh Mustard Oil in a Pan. Temper the Oil with 1/4 tsp of Kalonji/Nigella seeds and 4-5 green chili (slit the chili if you like the heat).There will be a lot of spluttering so it is wise to cover the pan with a splatter screen.
Meanwhile in 1 cup of Milk add 1/4-1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder and mix till you get a nice daffodil yellow.
Add the milk to the pan and let it simmer till it comes to a boil. Be careful it might just froth and spill.
Now add 1 more cup of water and salt to taste, let the jhol simmer at medium heat. Once you see it bubbling add the fish pieces and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
Switch off heat and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.Let the gravy soak up its flavor. Drizzle a few drops of mustard oil to jazz up if you wish.Serve with white or brown rice.