Monday, August 5, 2013

Fish Baked In Turmeric Leaves

The other day I had written about using turmeric leaves in cooking. Asking my blog friends to tell me about how they use the leaves, I was happy with the feedback. This is what I cooked for lunch today. Fish baked in turmeric leaves with minimal use of spices.

I used three fish pieces from the carp family, locally known as rou. I marinated the fish with salt, freshly grated pepper, a bit of turmeric and a few green chillies ground to a paste. The fish pieces were kept aside as I got the leaves, washed and lightly rubbed off the water with a kitchen towel. Turmeric leaves can be folded easily and unlike banana leaves, they need not be put over the gas flame just to make them softer and easier to wrap the food that you are about to prepare.

Before the wrapping was done I sliced a large onion, added a mix of freshly ground garlic and ginger and mixed them with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then the onions were divided between the fish pieces and the wrapping was done. Only one end of the turmeric leaves were trimmed...the stalk end just to make the packet even. Bamboo twigs (only a little bigger than toothpicks) were yanked off the slender bamboo trees in my backyard and I used them for securing the packets.

Then they went into a 200* oven for a little more than twenty minutes. It was as easy as that. The smell (of the leaves) during the baking process is a little strong but all that disappears once it's cooked. Only a faint smell of the turmeric leaves remain. Which is well and good. I limited the use of spices as I didn't want the aroma of the leaves to be overpowered by other smells. But I was happy with the result! Next time I can add more spices and plenty of herbs for the garnish!

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