Indian foods may seem a little out of your wheelhouse, but pick up a fresh new copy of blogger Asha Shivakumar’s Masala & Meatballs and learn this vibrant cuisine through the magic of fusion. This nut-crusted halibut has a vibrant sauce and subtle Indian flavors for a delicious foray into the exotic.
The second year of our marriage, when I grew a little comfortable with cooking and a little relaxed around my kitchen, I planned to make something out of my comfort zone, something completely different. I made this effortlessly chic dish for Valentine’s Day. I recall how impressed my hubby was, and how happy I was. I told myself, “Oh hey, I can cook.” I scribbled in my diary so that I didn’t forget anything, thinking that I would put this recipe in my cookbook, whenever that happens — and here it is. It’s a surreal feeling that this recipe made it. If there’s one thing you do not want to skip is the asafetida. Get a small bottle; it keeps for a while. Serve the fish with some chunky, toasted bread or herbed rice.
Notes: You can use any fleshy fish that is does not have a strong smell. You can finish cooking the fish in the pan by covering and cooking over very low heat for a few minutes. It will not be as crispy because it will steam when you cover, but it is an option.
- 2 8-ounce halibut fillets
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
- 1/4 cup fine semolina
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
Green Onion Sauce
- 1 teaspon vegetable oil
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/3 teaspoon asafetida
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup thick coconut milk
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the fish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the fish, wash and pat dry the halibut fillets. Take 2 plates. On one plate, add the crushed hazelnuts, semolina, red chili powder, turmeric, lemon zest and salt. Mix well and set aside. On another shallow plate, break the eggs and beat in the cream and salt with a fork.
Place a nonstick griddle over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and let it get hot. Take 1 fish fillet, dip it in the egg-cream mixture fully and then add it to the nut mixture. Pat the mixture very well onto both sides and then carefully slide it into the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the fish for about 3 minutes on each side, until for tender and flaky. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second fish fillet and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
To make the sauce, add the oil to a saucepan over medium heat and let it get hot. Add the scallion and asafetida and slightly sweat for about a minute. Then add the turmeric and coconut milk. Simmer for 2 minutes and then add the salt and pepper.
Place the fish on 2 plates. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve.