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