Summer is here upon us, all with its 90F+ temperature and I am lovin' it. As usual summer gets me extremely hyper. With first signs of warmth I start planning outdoor weekend trips which eventually leads to fun weekends but very very tired weekdays.
A couple weeks back we took BigSis and Little Sis to the Philadelphia Zoo. This was LS's first zoo visit and she was very excited. BS's school had a class trip to the same zoo later in the month but we were not sending her there so she was excited to visit the zoo before any of her class friends. The trip was really nice if you can overlook LS's throwing up in the car, there not being enough backup for the incidence which actually happens too often and us stopping at a Wal-Mart off the road to buy clothes, tissue, wipe etc. for LS. An hour long drive took us 3 hour with all the fiasco and the fact that every other parent in the tri-state area had decided to visit the zoo over the same weekend.
Though LS had fun running and jumping around I don't think she was awed by all those animals except the Peacock which kept crossing our path. Oh, and the tiger did scare her.
Over the long memorial day weekend we went to a music event organized by a major Indian publishing group. The arrangement was unprofessional, the seating deplorable and choice of venue very inappropriate.The Food as promised on the website was nowhere in real site.Fortunately the music was very good.
There was a three hour concert by Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Cahurasia. I am not much of a music connoisseur and I have never heard them live. It was a wonderful experience to say the least, would be better with more peace and quiet around. Next up was Shaan and he wooed the crowd as expected. BigSis enjoyed the entire show including the Santoor recital and is now a huge fan of Shaan. LS fortunately slept through the classical rendition and was ok for most part of the later until Dad took her home.
Now few weeks back we were visiting our friend in a neighboring state and food connoisseurs that they are, they treated us to a lovely dinner at a Mexican place. This was not your usual run of the mill Mexican chains that dot the map of USA but was more of an authentic Mexican place. We had a Chicken Mole, my first mole time and I didn't really care for it much. Then came the salmon with cilantro. It was beautiful with high notes of fresh coriander, jalapenos and lime. We were in love with that salmon.
Now usually if I love something in the restaurant I don't try to cook it same way at home, instead I just go back to the restaurant to eat it. In this case though it would mean a 3 hour drive each way.So since the meal we had 3 weeks back, I have been trying to re-create it in my kitchen almost every week.
I am not totally successful. It is close and tastes very good but never perfect like the dish we had. I do not have their recipe and this is totally my creation with huge inputs from D of course. Also since Mexico is a hop, skip and jump from India (no ?), I have used some Indian spices in the recipe. If you make this dish leave your inputs and idea to make it better. I will <3 you for that.
I am cool or what, I used my first ever heart sign so very casually. And here I did not know what "xoxo" meant until BigSis explained it all. Sigh.
Salmon with Cilantro
Salmon - 4-6 , 3x 2 salmon pieces
In a blender add
1/2 cup of chopped fresh corriander leaves
1/2 of a good quality juicy tomato
5 cloves of garlic
2 green chili(optional)
and make a paste with very little water added
Marinate the salmon with half of the above marinade for an hour. Add salt to salmon during the last 15 mins.
Heat White Oil in a Frying Pan
Temper the Oil with 12-15 Methi/fenugreek seeds. When you get the fragrance add the remaining marinade and fry till you see the paste coming together and oil separating from the edges.
Add one jalapeno chopped in thin rounds and saute for a minute
Next add 2 heaped tbsp of Tomato Paste. Add little salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar and fry with a sprinkle of water till the raw smell of tomato paste is no longer there.
Note: Adding tomato paste gives the required color and thickness which is not achieved if I use raw tomatoes.
Add the fish pieces along with the marinade and toss the pieces in the masala till the fish stars flaking a wee bit.
Add about 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch for color
Add water (maybe a cup), scraping the sides of the pan to mix all the masala. Add salt and sugar to taste. If you don't like the sourness of tomatoes adjust for sugar.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves and let the fish cook in low heat. Once the fish is flaky and done, add two thinly sliced lemon rinds and cover.Do not let the lemon rind soak in the gravy for too long, it will make it bitter.
Serve warm in the next 15 mins.