Fishy Saturday Lunch - Grilled betki with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes

I welcomed the weekend in by reading Simon Majumdar's riveting 'Eat my Globe' late into Friday night.

Ham sandwich and cheese, lemon tarts on the house and a stiff coffee at Candies was the perfect start for the weekend.

I called Pushpa up and booked my fish. Picked up some excellent ilish or hilsa, a kilo of lovely rui from a seven kilo whopper, pomfret and betki (not rawas) fillet. Her mom gave me close to Rs 150 off on the quoted price without my asking. That's why I love them so much.

Betki is what is used in Calcutta for continental and Chinese cooking.

I came home and hit the pans and made grille betki in mushroom sauce with mash.

My friend N is very upset with me because I was shopping and cooking despite a recent back ache. She shouldn't worry though. I was quite well accessorised and have mastered the art of delegation.

I got my driver to get the shopping bags home.

And 'cooking' entailed:

  • Putting the betki fillet slices in the micro and grilling for 12 min (betki or its West Indian cousin, rawas, is very delicate and breaks easily and you have to handle it carefully)

  • Opening a pack of mushroom sauce which I bought from Switzerland, cooking blind as I couldn't understand the instructions, boiling it with water, adding a bit of chopped mushrooms and capsicums, pouring the sauce on the fish on a plate

  • In case you don't have the time to go to Bern then you can make the world's simplest white sauce - saute a few chopped garlic pieces in olive oil or butter or margarine in a pan, add a cup on milk with a spoon of corn flour dissolved in it to the pan, add a bit of salt, bring to boil, then let it simmer and thicken, and, if feeling indulgent add a slice or two of cheese, and zazz it up with oregano, paprika which you would probably have from your last order home of pizzas

  • And getting my maid and sous chef, Banu, who washed the fish earlier, to boil and skin four potatoes and take out the mixer grinder. I put the potatoes and in the grinder, added half a cup of milk, a tea spoon of margarine, half a tea spoon of garlic paste, salt, pepper and paprika. Gave it a nice whip. Got Banu to take out the mash into a bowl while I plated our oil free, low cholesterol, exceptionallt tasty lunch

So don't worry N the dish sounded a lot more exotic and tedious than it actually was :)

Is this a good time to say that I'll make Sardinia, my original sardine pasta recipe in a few minutes? Honestly cooking distracts me and most of my recipes are low effort ones. And these fishy treats would be good belated birthday gifts for my dad's birthday which was yesterday, 6th November. He had high cholesterol too. And a huge culinary reputation for me to live up to


Supernova said…
Nice photos... the dish looks tempting even tho' am not much of a fish eater.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Supernova. I am not much of fish eater too. But quite loved the end result
Anonymous said…
hmmm... love the concept... have a similar recipe of mine which I do but mine is more oriental than contiinental...
And well I wasn't just worried about your back but amused at the almost undeniable bongness :)
While you say most of your dishes are low effort, some of them are still quite elaborate...
While cooking is really therapeutic for me I do not have the patience for long drawn elaborate dishes and always look for short cuts.. unlike my other foodie cook friend Mac ( remember him?) who would cook a three course meal when in the mood even if its midnite and would make pasta sauce from scratch instead of using stuff outta bottle or packet:)
And I am just feeling too lazy to cook and have diverted the party venue to someone else's house and hence no cooking. will try that may be tomorrow night when I would be in dire need of cheering up after going through the first disaster track ppt:)
enjoy your sunday.
Anonymous said…
Also don't even try to live up to your dad... they always are way ahead of us... but know what am sure your dad must be really proud the way you've turned out :) have a great sunday
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Somoo, you always make me feel so good :)

N (anon) thanks so much specially for your second comment. I was just commenting on a discussion on Sandip Ray where I said it is better for stalwart's children to try something else than what their dad did. Look at poor Rohan Gavaskar, A B jr or Mimoh Chakraborty.

Can you imagine me as an orthopaedic surgeon?

Actually most of my dishes are low effort jobs as I map them in my mind before I start and follow my instincts... and don't forget that hard work and me don't go together. Have a great week ahead.