Monday, November 28, 2011

Bhapa Ilish - Steamed Hilsa in Microwave




Returned late at night yesterday from our trip to Yercaud. All the muscles of my body are in pain. Throughout the morning today I felt feverish and tossed about my bed in sheer uneasiness. Yesterday afternoon, we climbed around 300 steps down to reach Kilijuri Falls, a must visit tourist point of Yercaud. Not habituated to exercise, my body gave in to the sudden exertion of muscles and by the time we reached the base of the waterfall, my legs were shaking like a leaf. The overwhelming beauty of the falls cascading down in ripples lifted my spirit up and I forgot all about pain for a while. The way back to the car park when again we had to climb the same number of stairs up was pretty strenuous and owing to my high heels, I was huffing and puffing all the way up. I realized one thing through this journey that exercise on daily basis is a must to keep agility and stamina of your body.
In a groggy state tonight I entered the kitchen to cook something for dinner. With mind and body still recovering from fatigue and exhaustion, I was looking for some easy preparation. There was Hilsa in the fridge and without wasting any minute on thought, I set about preparing steamed Hilsa alias Bhapa Ilish in microwave.
The tradition of this dish requires preparing it in a tightly closed tiffin box carefully placed in the middle of a large wok or kadai with water boiling around. But preparing the same in microwave involves very minimal effort with a turn out exactly similar in taste.
Ingredients:                                      Cooking time:15 minutes
ü  6 pieces of Hilsa
ü  2 tbs of yellow mustard seeds
ü  6-7 green chillies
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  salt to taste
ü  Mustard oil for cooking
(Note:  Mustard oil is crucial to this preparation as the pungent smell of mustards lends the dish an exotic flavour.)
Method:
1) Make a paste of mustard seeds and 4 green chillies. In a microwave proof bowl mix in the mustard paste with mustard oil, turmeric powder and salt.
2) Wrap the fish pieces carefully in this mixture. For garnish slit the remaining green chillies and arrange them on top.
3) Now place this bowl in a steamer. I put my idli steamer to work. Pour one glass of water in the steamer and place the bowl safely in it. Put the lid on and cook on micro mode for 10 minutes. Drizzle 1 tbs of oil on top before serving.
4) Serve hot with rice. Yummy!!

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