Living away from the people and culture you have grown up with has its pros and cons. On one hand, it is a chance for a fresh start, away from familiar prying eyes, a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture.
On the other hand, it is a big adjustment to be without the things you take for granted. Like being able to get everything from a bar of soap to pizza home-delivered with just a phone call . Or going out to eat chaat every weekend…
Or going to the local open air market to get produce fresh from the local farms. Or a trip to the fish market to haggle with the fish mongers and come away with the freshest seafood caught just a few hours ago…
Not that we don’t get a variety of fish here in Denmark, but it’s just different species of fish than the ones I’ve been used to in India. I love these ‘new’ fish: Salmon, Herring, Halibut…, but I also miss the ‘old’ familiar ones: Pomfret, Mackerel, Catfish, Bombay Duck (yes, that’s a fish, not a duck!).
So when I found a pack of frozen Indian Mackerel in the freezer section of my usual Asian supermarket, I did a mental jig and got a pack home, put it in the freezer and proceeded to forget all about it for the next 3 months. 😛
And then 2 weeks ago I ‘found’ them while cleaning out the freezer. I made a quick spice and herb mix to marinate the little guys and on the grill they went.
Smoky, spicy, flaky and piquant, the mackerel made a lovely lunch on a bright, sunny Spring afternoon :). Simple, easy, familiar and delicious!
Here’s the recipe.
Grilled Masala Mackerel
8-10 medium-sized Mackerel
1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1 inch piece Ginger
4 large cloves Garlic
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
A few sprigs Cilantro
Sea salt, to taste
Approx. 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
8-10 Mint Leaves
Clean and prepare the mackerel and discard their innards.
Roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds in a hot, dry frying pan.
When the spices release their aroma, pound them in a mortar and pestle.
Add the cilantro, ginger, garlic and chilli, then pour in enough olive oil to make a thick paste.
Add the salt and grind them all together.
Stuff the insides of the mackerel with some of the spice paste and rub the rest over the skin.
Grill the mackerel in a barbeque or in an oven or even in grill-pan till done.
Serve with lime wedges and a salad.