By Rinku Battacharya @wchestermasala
There is an old adage, “Be careful of what you ask for, as you might get it!” There are many examples of this adage, but most recently for me, with my children’s lunchbox requests at the beginning of this school year. If you’re wondering what I mean, let me explain. One of the few things my husband and I agreed on when it came to parenting, was the food equation. I set the tone on the no junk and no processed food equation, with my healthy husband happily joining in. Hey, it was much harder for me, as I was the one who had to give up her potato chips – that too, almost cold turkey!
All worked well, until we progressed to kindergarten. My daughter took one look at the school menu and declared she loved the idea of school lunches. It was her idea of taking a walk on the wild side. With some minor protests, I was fine with it. However, after a few years (yes, she is still in elementary school!) on the wild side, and more exposure to home food, this year, she came to me and said she wanted home lunches…Indian home lunches…at least a couple of times a week. A mixed victory for me; Indian home lunches translated to a half hour (at least!) of reduced sleep time, but yes, my Indian food immersion, in moderate doses, was working.
There are many recipes that work with the lunch box saga, and one of them is this recipe for Tandoori salmon kebabs that I have named Colours of India Fish Kebabs. This recipe works well in summer on an outdoor grill, and in the colder months on a well heated grill pan.
It is great by itself, perfect with salad, and of course, if you are like me, you will enjoy them with a light rice dish, such as this one that I often cobble together. Here’s hoping that by the time you get to making this, the weather is warmer.
This recipe, with some hues of orange and green, remind me of the colours of the Indian flag.
Prep Time: 2 hours (mostly to marinate the fish)
Cook Time: 15 minutes on a grill or grill pan
Serves 6 to 8
For the marinade:
½ cup yogurt
2 tablespoons tandoori masala (any commercial brand works)
3 pods of garlic
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup fresh mint leaves
Salt to taste
For the kebabs:
1 1/2 pounds of thick cut wild salmon fillet
1 red bell pepper (medium sized)
1 green bell pepper (medium sized)
2 medium sized red onions
Oil for brushing and basting
Extra black pepper to finish
Method of Preparation
1. Place the yogurt, tandoori masala, garlic, ginger and mint leaves with the salt in a blender and blend to a smooth puree.
2. Cut the fish into 1 1/2 inch cubes and place in the marinade for 1 hours.
3. If using bamboo skewers like me, place the skewers in water to soak.
4. Cut the bell peppers into half, remove the seeds and membranes, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
5. Peel and cut the onions into eighths and separate the layers.
6. Thread the fish and the peppers and onions onto the skewers, adding at least an onion and bell pepper piece between the fish. Add the colours in alternating sequence to ensure a pretty pattern.
7. Turn on the grill, brush the fish well with oil, and grill for about four minutes on each side. The fish should be cooked through and delicately crisped at spots, but do not overcook.
8. If you do not wish to use the grill, you can broil the fish on low to achieve a close effect.
9. Serve with pita and hummus or rice and raita.
About the author
Rinku Bhattacharya is the author of the blog, Cooking in Westchester, where she shares her life experiences, original recipes that combine Indian spices with produce from her backyard and local farmers markets. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past six years. Her award-winning cookbook the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, highlights and offers many simple recipes from Eastern India. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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