5 pieces kokum (fish tamarind)
1tsp turmeric powder
½tsp fenugreek seeds
2tbsp red chili paste
2tbsp refined vegetable oil
1/2tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
2 medium onions, grated
1tbsp peeled and finely sliced garlic
Wash the kokum and leave it to soak in 50ml warm water.
Cut the fish into 12 pieces. Rinse the fish, pat dry and rub in ½tsp turmeric and ½tsp salt. Set aside to marinate.
Dry-roast the fenugreek seeds for a few seconds in a small frying pan till fragrant, then grind. Be careful not to over-roast the seeds as this will make them bitter.
Mix the fenugreek, chili paste and half a teaspoon of turmeric together with 50ml of water, forming a paste.
Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan. Add the mustard seeds; when they pop after a few seconds, add the curry leaves, onion and garlic and fry until the onion is translucent (about 3-4 minutes), then add the remaining salt.
Add the fenugreek paste and fry, stirring, for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the soaked kokum plus its soaking water. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens a little.
Add the monkfish and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Serve with plain boiled rice.
Life always gives big opportunities in the form of small hints. The big move in Pankaj Bhadouria’s life came with a small step when she decided to leave her successful teaching career spanning over 16 years and enter India's 1st televised cookery reality show - MasterChef India on the leading GEC - Star Plus.
And as they say, fortune favours the brave, Pankaj went on to become a worthy winner and with it India's first ever MasterChef.
The comfort of the classroom gave way to the adulations, accolades and a host of achievements. Pankaj hosted her first cookery show - "Chef Pankaj ka Zayka" on Star Plus during Sep-Oct 2011 where she showcased her passion for cooking. The success of this daily show added another flavor to her sweet success.