(image source Wikipedia)
Guntur Mirchi(Hot pepper)
Andhra Pradesh(in South India) is home to one of the hottest chillies called Guntur Mirchi.Its hard to miss the red luscious bed of chillies drying in summer sun in while traveling to Guntur. Guntur is one the largest exporters of red chilly next only to Mexico! Andhra cuisine blossoms red with the flavor of these Chillies.Married to a Guntur Abbae(boy),I've acquainted myself with many andhra recipes.Chepala pesulu in Telugu translates to the Fish in Tamarind Tomato sauce is one such authentic Andhra favorites.This recipe brings out the best flavors of fish while preserving its nutritive value and tastes best when cooked in red hot peppers!
A secret of good memory ,eye sight and cardiovascular health is to include fish as part of your diet at least twice a week.Choosing the right kind of fish and cooking method is the key to get the most of its nutritive value.
Healthiest Fish are the oily fish(rich in Omega 3s) like wild Salmon,rainbow trout,pacific halibut and pacific cod.check out this page for an eco-friendly guide of selecting the right kind of fish.Important read ,Wild Vs Farm-raised fish.
Best Cooking Methods for Fish
Steaming,Cooking fish over simmering water until tender,good for salads or cutlets.
Poaching,gently cooking in simmering water or broth ,with vegetables for more flavor.
Stove Top Searing ,Cooking in a non-stick pan with some healthy oil (Olive oil)until crust is lightly crisp but not burnt.
Broil or Bake between temperature 350-375F ,requires less oil and cooks faster.
Recipe Chepala Pulusu(Fish in Tamarind Tomato sauce)
1 pound Fish Rainbow trout or Tilapia or any eco-friendly fish,fillets or slices with bones.
2 big Red Plum tomatoes,finely chopped
1 small onion,finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste or use freshly grated
1/2 cup tamarind\imli juice, soak tamarind in water and strain the pulp or use a teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 teaspoon Rasam or sambhar powder(available in Asian grocers) or use 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin(zeera) and coriander(dhania) powder.
1 teaspoon chilly powder
1 teaspoon turmeric\haldi
1 teaspoon salt
1 sprig curry leaves
3 tablespoon Olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro\Coriander\Kothmir
Marinate the cleaned fish with 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric,chilly powder and ginger garlic paste.
Prepare the sauce
In a sauce pan, add the chopped onions and curry leaves,saute until lightly brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste, sauce until aromatic and lightly brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and the spices. Cover and cook until tomatoes are tender. Add the tamarind juice and another 1/2 a cup of water and simmer.
Bake or Sear the fish.
To bake: Preheat oven to 350F and drizzle 2 tablespoon of olive oil evenly over the marinated fish and bake about 15-20 minutes until cooled through
To Sear: Heat Olive oil in a non stick pan and add the marinated fish. Let cook about 10 minutes each side. Remove and set aside. Add any pan juices in to the prepared sauce.
Simmer in the sauce.
Add the baked or seared fish in to the simmering sauce. Do not stir the tender fish,Cook for another 10 minutes until flavors infuse, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve on a bed of warm Rice.
Health Benefits of Chilly listed in this post.
Chepala Pulusu is off to SWC Andhra Pradesh event,hosted by Hari Priya Reddy.
Other Andhra favorites posted
Lemon Rice with Egg Plant Chutney
Mirchi Ka Salan