Kashmiri Gaad - Fish

 

Kashir Gaadh/Kashmiri Fish

by ChandraMukhi Ganju

Kashir Gaadh/Kashmiri Fish
Serving Size: 3-4 people

Cultural and Religious Importance:

Fish is an important Kashmiri delicacy usually cooked on festivals like 'Gaada Bata' in the month of December, 'Shivaratri,' 'Khechi Amavasi' and also on cultural functions like 'Shraan Sundar' (ceremonial bath) of newly born baby which is usually done on the 11th day of the birth of the baby.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lb or 2 medium sized trout fish/ gaadh or fish of personal choice
  • 1 ½ tsp. mertschwangan/red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. lider/haldi/turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. shonth/ginger powder
  • ½ tsp. badiyan/fennel powder
  • Pinch of yeng/heeng/asafetida
  • 2 roung/ crushed laung/clove
  • Kashmiri vari/Kashmiri masala (if available)
  • Oil for cooking and frying
  • Salt to taste or approximately 1 tsp

Method:

  • Remove scales of fish by scraping with knife or peeler. Cut fins. Clean and wash the fish.
  • Make nice round 4-5 pieces of each fish and rinse again.
  • Put fish in a colander and season with salt and 1 spoon of turmeric for 15 minutes.
  • Heat 1½ cup of oil in a frying pan.
  • Deep fry 2 or 3 pieces of fish at a time. **
  • Fry fish until golden brown and take out of fryer and place aside. Fry all pieces in the same way.
  • Take 3 tbsp. of the hot oil from frying fish in a cooking pan (traditional method) or heat fresh oil and discard the left over oil from frying.
  • Add asafetida, clove and chili powder and sauté at low heat. Add little water (about 2 tbsp.) and sauté.
  • Add 3 cups of water and all other ingredients to chili mixture in pan and boil the mixture.
  • Add fried fish to spicy chili mixture carefully back to back and dip fish completely in the spicy mixture.
  • Cover and cook the fish in this masala/spicy chili mixture for 5 minutes.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes or more with occasional checking for water consistency.
  • You may add more water if needed. Fish breaks easily when hot, so do not stir while cooking. But shake the pan frequently to avoid sticking to bottom.
  • Fish is ready when you see most of water absorbed by fish.
  • Sprinkle vari masala if available and cover for 5 minutes.
  • Traditionally this dish is served cold with white rice.

**Alternative to deep frying: To avoid deep-frying, broil fish pieces by greasing the baking tray with oil and then placing fish back to back with a brush or spray of oil on fish. Broil approx. for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Or take little oil on a flat wide bottomed pan and pan fry the fish.

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