Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Sweet & Sour Notes

Saturday evening, we finally watched 'Ek Tha Tiger' which seems to have crossed the 200 crore mark at the box office.  Definitely not the kind of movie I would ever watch, but since my brother had worked on the background scores we decided to go watch. 

It was the usual romantic thriller with cross border romance and with cross border it had to be lovers torn between India and Pakistan .  Well let's face it, would you ever be interested in watching an Indian and Sri Lankan romancing on the screen or  a love story of an Indian girl with a Nepalese lad.  There is really no element of  'playing with fire' or taking a risk, so it definitely is a doomed formula for a memorable love story.  To make this romance even more thrilling, this time the lovers were part of the Intelligence services of their respective countries. 

Well I have no interest in dissecting this movie in this space but have to admit both Salman and Katrina looked great and were a treat to watch.  They share a good on-screen chemistry and the film promises like every Bollywood masala, pure entertainment for the masses.

Sunday felt like some South asian cuisine so prepared sweet & sour grilled fish with fried rice. It was a quick and easy preparation (scroll down for recipe).  

The afternoon was spent watching a beautiful Iranian movie on DVD titled 'The Song of Sparrows' .  A film on a simple honest man working on an ostrich farm in a village where he lives with his wife and kids, poor yet content.  On losing his job he finds himself in the big city where his dealings with people and material goods change his personality, transforming  him into a selfish person and coming close to  losing the values of honesty he cherished.   

The film is shot beautifully and the personality traits of the main character unfold and change in a very subtle manner.  It is so true that surroundings do influence us and although everything around us will always change it is important to retain our inner true selves and the hold on to things we believe in. 

Sweet & Sour Fish
(adapted from 500 Hot & Spicy Recipes by Beverley Jollands)

1 large or 2 medium fish (king fish/surmai, snapper or mullet) - head removed
4 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp vegetable  oil
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1tbsp fresh chopped ginger
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp red chilli sauce
1tbsp fish sauce
3/4 cup water
salt & ground black pepper
shredded spring onions to garnish

Rinse & dry the fish and score diagonally on both sides.  Rub with salt, pepper and lime juice and leave aside for an hour.  Drizzle a tbsp of oil and grill in a hot oven at 200C for 20-25 mins. Alternatively you may shallow fry the fish in a pan with some oil over medium heat for 6-7 minutes on each side. The skin should turn crisp but the flesh should be moist & juicy. Keep the fish aside once done.

For the sweet & sour sauce, heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan.  Add garlic, ginger and onions and fry until golden.

Stir in the vinegar, sugar, tomato ketchup, red chilli sauce and fish sauce.  Simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes.  Taste and adjust the seasonings.

In a bowl mix the cornflour with the water and stir into the sauce.  Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens.

Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish with shredded spring onions.  Serve with fried rice or steamed rice.

Fried Rice with Mushrooms & Peppers

2 cups cooked rice
8-10 button mushrooms, quartered
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt & white pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a wok and add the chopped ginger,  Once golden add the  mushrooms, red and yellow peppers.  Stir fry on high heat for a couple of minutes then add in the cooked rice and mix well. 

Add the soy sauce, salt and pepper, combine and the fried rice is ready.

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