FISH....the word gives goosebumps to me....or rather to the Bengalis. In my current city , variety of fish is available but they are all sea fish. Bengal is a state surrounded by rivers and ponds. Hence, our taste buds are more accustomed to freshwater fish. Here fresh water fish are mostly available in frozen form. With kids at home we cannot always take the liberty to eat frozen things. So in a foreign land, our choice of fish gets limited. Given our love for fish, we will find some way or the other to satisfy our taste buds. I finally felt it is wiser to adapt to the changed circumstances at least to some extent.
From the various blogs by the experts, I learnt that any smelly fish , if marinated in vinegar for at least 1 hour and then washed and cooked, does not smell anymore. With all my tried and tasted recipes on fish, I have seen if we use onion and garlic , curry made with smelly fish can taste good.
Yes, you are right, with availability of fresh water fish in abundance , Bengalis do not use much onion and garlic in fish curries except for in few dishes.
This FISH IN BLACK PEPPER SAUCE is a favourite with my men. They love it either as an appetiser or as a non vegetarian side. I prepare such dishes mainly on Friday evenings with my refrigerator almost vacant preparing to welcome fresh stuffs next morning. This dish is prepared with minimal ingredients. You can however use all types of bell peppers. The day I prepared this, I had only red bell pepper and green chillies available in my pantry.... yet the end product was tasty.
Boneless Fish Fillets ( Tilapia, Sutchi or Grouper ) : 500 gm.
Minced Garlic : 1 table spoon
Minced Ginger : 1 tsp
Onion : 2 medium
Red Bell Pepper : 1 ( you can use yellow and green bell pepper along with it.)
Green Chillies : 4 - 5
Soya Sauce ( light ) : 1 table spoon
Black Pepper Sauce : 2 tsp.
Salt : very little as both the sauces have salt in it.
Vinegar : 2 table spoon
Corn flour : 3 table spoon
Oil : 4 table spoon.
Wash the fish fillets thoroughly , cut into small squares, marinate with vinegar and keep aside for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cut the onions , red bell peppers, into small cubes. Slit the green chillies. Get ready with the minced garlic and chillies.
In a bowl put in the corn flour . After 1 hour drain the vinegar from the fish. Wash again and pat dry. Add very little salt.
Heat oil in a wok. Coat the fish pieces very well in the corn flour. Fry them in batches. Please do not over fry them. Fry in batches, the wok should not be overcrowded.
Put the fish pieces in a tissue paper to drain the excess oil.Now pour the excess oil in the wok keeping only 1 tsp in it. Only that much is required. Once the oil is hot , put in the minced garlic and ginger,sauté till you get the fragrance. Put in the onion pieces. Sauté till translucent. Put in the bell peppers and slitted green chillies.
Increase the heat. Sauté for 3 minutes. Pour in the soya sauce. Stir for 1 minute. Now put in the fish pieces. Mix well carefully so that they do not break.
Now pour in the black pepper sauce. Stir in high heat for 1 minute . It's done. In the process sprinkle salt if only it's required.
Transfer to a bowl and serve hot as an appetiser or as a side with steamed Jasmine rice or with noodles.