TANDOORI POMFRET… the dish for someone who loves tandoori food. Indian tandoori dishes are extremely popular. You will almost never find a good North Indian restaurant not boasting of atleast one tandoori dish in its menu. Tandoori fish and tandoori chicken are one of the most sought-after Indian dishes in my culinary classes as well, and tandoori pomfret gets a fair share of the attention. But some of my students do not have grill or an oven: Hong Kong home kitchens are quite small and thus, many don’t prefer buying too many gadgets because of the dearth of space! Ideally, I would prefer all my tandoori dishes to be cooked on a grill, but when one of the participants in my classes requested me to do Tandoori Pomfret on gas-stove, I decided to go ahead with the idea.
This time, I used a special non-stick pan for this. I used Risoli die cast aluminium pan (click here to see how it looks like), which worked wonderfully. I used very little butter and the grilling was even. The fish was succulent from inside and crisp from outside. And the best part of this dish is that the cooking is complete in just 15 minutes! Back in my home in Mumbai in 2004, when I just got married and didn’t own an oven, I had grilled some of my favourite tandoori dishes in a plain iron tava and it never disappointed me either!
Before sharing the recipe with you, I would like to thank all those bloggers who have awarded Cosmopolitan Currymania with The Versatile Blogger Award in the past few weeks! Thank you Skinny Simple Recipes, Blessings from my Kitchen and The Lady 8 Home. These three blogs are truly amazing and have a treasure trove of recipes. Please do visit their blogs, these ladies are wonderful cooks and bakers and you’ll absolutely love their recipes!
Tandoori Pomfret on a Stove Top
[Select medium-sized, plump and fresh pomfrets for this recipe. The oven method is also provided at the end. Chat masala is available in any Indian provisional store. If not available, make your own Tandoori Khatta Masala by mixing 1 tbsp of rock salt, 1 tbsp of dried raw mango powder (aamchur) and 1 tsp of ground black pepper.]
- Whole pomfrets: 2
- Ginger paste: 2.5 tsp
- Garlic paste: 2 tsp
- Onion paste: 2 tsp
- Black pepper (freshly and finely ground): 1 tsp
- Cumin roasted and ground: 1 tsp
- Carom seeds (ajwain): ½ tsp
- Yogurt: ¾ cup
- Egg: 1
- Lemon juice: 2.5 tbsp
- Garam masala powder: ½ tsp
- Gram flour (besan): 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
- Melted butter: 1.5 tsp
- Food colour (orange): a few drops
- Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Chat masala to taste
Remove the fins and gills from the fish. Make incisions and deodourize the fish using salt and lemon juice all over. Set aside for twenty minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Mix together the onion-ginger-garlic paste, carom seeds, yogurt, egg, gram flour, roasted cumin powder, black pepper powder, red chilli powder, food colour, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Rub this tandoori marinade over the fish and marinate for about one hour.
Heat the pan. Add half the butter and spread it all over. When butter is hot, slowly slide the fish into the pan. After 5 min, turn the fish and add the rest of the butter along the side of the fish.
After 5 min, all the butter would be absorbed/dried up. Grill for 5 min on the pan, or till the fish gets slightly burnt on the both sides. (While flipping the fish, extra care should be taken to prevent the tear or sticking of the fish skin to the pan. For this, use a flat spoon and slowly loosen the fish from the pan by inserting it under the fish and loosening the fish from all directions.)
Serve hot with lemon wedges and onion rings and sprinkle chat masala. Serve with coriander-mint chutney.
Instead of using the pan, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Oil and wipe the skewers. Thread the fish onto skewers and grill in the preheated oven for about 5 min. Brush with butter and cook for another 5 min.