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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fish and Rice - Home Baked

Fish is widely used as a source of proteins particularly for those who do not eat red meat or chicken. We prepare this dish from Trout fish that I usually catch at lakes here in Southern California. Since the fish is fresh, we skip marination. We will describe the way we marinate our fish for those of you who are not as lucky and have to fish at your local grocery stores! This dish should be served fresh and hot at lunch or dinner time. Wine is optional. This dish is by no means the traditional and the national Iraqi dish of Masgouf! We will talk about this on another day.


· Trout fish
· Basmati rice
· Chopped Italian parsley, ½ cup
· Chopped garlic, one clove
· Chopped small onion and a few chopped green onion leaves (optional)
· Two chopped tomatoes
· One teaspoon of tomato paste
· One squeezed lemon juice
· Salt
· Black and red pepper
· Curry (optional)

Marination Materials (if needed):

· Water
· Vinegar
· A touch of nutmeg
· Salt


Since the majority of you do not catch your own fish, we recommend marinating the fish. This will eliminate the unwelcome odor of the fish, particularly during cooking (smells fishy!!!). You can cook your fish outdoors on the BBQ, thus keeping your spouse or daughter (as is the case in my household) off your back!
Clean the fish if you caught them by slicing the belly from the distal ventral orifice all the way to the gills. Detach the gills from the backbone and pull everything towards the tail. Usually this maneuver guts the fish. Cut through the back bone to display the fish flat. Wash with water and place in a deep container. Add a cup of vinegar and water until the fish is covered. Add some salt and nutmeg and cover for about an hour.

Prepare the toppings:

Chop the tomatoes, onions, and parsley into small pieces. You can use a food processor if you wish. I prefer hand cutting for best visual presentation. Mix with small amount of tomato paste and then add the salt, black and red peppers to your liking. Finally, add the lemon juice and mix. The toppings are now ready.

Baking the Fish:

Wash the fish after marination and drain. Place on foil in a flat pan. Apply the curry to the ventral sides of the fish, followed by the toppings to cover all white meat. Place in a preheated BBQ (350 degrees). Cover the fish with another piece of foil to seal. You can apply some Pam Oil spray on the foil to prevent the fish sticking to it. Leave the fish in place some 20-30 minutes. While waiting, prepare your Basmati rice and your green salad (optional). Serve the dish when ready! Enjoy!

Samir & Layla Johna

b. ramana adds:
Trout and mahseer are fish that are sought after by tourists to North India, in the cooler climes of the Himalayas. Read more about what you can get here. For an even more pristine place, where there would be fewer tourists, but also less developed tourist-friendly infrastructure, check out Arunachal Pradesh for fishing.

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