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    Mohamed Siddiq is a rockstar in the kitchen. Ironically, if he wasn’t a chef, he probably would have swapped out his apron for a guitar. “I can’t get enough of Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin,” admits the Executive Chef of the Taj Club House in Chennai. And the dots seem to connect when he shares, “I whipped up the dish below just for you. I get very excited when I get thinking about food and visualise it, kind of like a painting.” Or a song. The lyrics (read: ingredients) are inspired from his culinary travels as far as Calicut and Cape Town. How else would you discover bimbli (typically found in a Kerala fish curry) in a Continental salsa?

    Pan-seared Pearlspot, Chilli ‘n’ Bimbli warm salsa

    Recipe serves one portion

    Ingredients qty
    Pearlspot fillet 4 nos ( 180 gms)
    Green kanthari
    chillies (birds eye) 5 nos
    Fresh Kerala
    tamarind (bimbli) 2 nos
    Cherry tomato 3 nos
    First press olive oil 60 ml
    Yellow pumpkin 100 gms
    Baby pok choi 80 gms
    Peeled slivers of garlic 20 gms
    Yellow butter 20 gms
    Salt 10 gms
    Fennel powder 2 gms
    Crushed black pepper 2 gms

    Method

    ■ Clean and wash the fillets ■ Marinate
    with fennel, crushed black pepper and olive oil ■ Boil and mash pumpkin with salt and
    yellow butter ■ Finely chop the bimbli, de-seed and chop the bird’s eye chillies, dice the cherry tomato ■ Mix the above with salt and olive oil to form the warm salsa ■ Blanch and saute pok choi with
    garlic ■ Pan grill the pearl spot fillets, arrange on plate, top with salsa ■ Serve with pumpkin mash pokchoi ■ Best paired with chilled white wine.

    Sonali Shenoy

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