My husband, V, and I used to live in another city before we moved to where we are now. Right before we moved, a few friends invited us over for dinner at their home. As always, we had a lovely evening of conversation and laughter. As someone who is mildly obsessed with food, I still remember what we ate: mustard-marinated salmon cooked on a grill. I had never seen mustard used as a marinade before, but I loved it immediately! I found out that using mustard as a marinade for fish and meat is part of classic French cuisine. Fast forward a few years later, to when I learned that mustard fish curry (shorshe maach) is a popular Bengali dish; I knew I had to try it myself!
Mustard is one of the main ingredients in Bengali cooking--whether in seed, paste, or oil form. Traditional recipes for shorshe maach use both mustard paste and mustard oil. Here is the thing: mustard oil is really hard to find in American grocery stores because it is not approved for human consumption by the FDA. I tried the Indian store, but could only find it in one liter amounts! I don't have use for that much mustard oil, and I assume most of you don't either. Not wanting to make myself or any of you purchase mustard oil, I have decided this recipe is Bengali "inspired." There are many authentic recipes for this dish that use mustard oil-and you can find them easily on the Internet. While this recipe isn't necessarily authentic, it is delicious!
Today's post is a guest post from Heena over at The Indus Tijori! Her blog is about South Asian women's lifestyle, including fashion, travel, and food. If you have not checked out her blog yet, you should. I especially love her fashion tips!
Oh, Indian food, how I love thee. Soft and airy dhoklas sprinkled with fresh shredded coconut and whole green chilies; crispy dosas served with hot sambhar that warms your soul; cold spicy pani poori on those hot summer afternoons; jhaal moori with extra mustard oil that goes straight to your nose; creamy koftas with very garlicky naan fresh from the tandoor; the ultimate comfort dish of khichdi after a long journey; and just simple garam garam rotis with my favorite subzi -- what would life be without these dishes? It would be a dark and dreary world indeed.
As much as I love Indian food, it does come with a lot of baggage – meaning gadgetry, equipment, and ingredients needed to make a dish. My first kitchen was in a teeny tiny apartment in New York City. I quickly realized that I could only keep basic essentials. But what essentials did I need? This is where my absolutely fabulous Mummy came to the rescue. And this is where we will begin a three-part series of the essentials of the Indian kitchen.
Exploring Indian cuisine and trying to learn the recipes of my family. I hope to help and inspire others along the way.