Smell of Death and Darkness hangs all around. Limbs and bones of Life and Light are wrinkled, crippled, thin and heavy with the burden of an avalanche of hatred. Love tottered and fell.
But still hope remains afloat instead of sinking. Peace decided to live.
With burning sands of the endless Sahara in our eyes, fear as heavy as the Himalayas in our heart, we live on and cook Fish Pilaf. We choose ‘sharing and caring’ over THE Wall.
Give a whisper of spice to the cheerful fillets; and your Pilaf will be heightened with the touch and smell and smoke of ginger and bay leaves – warm and moist, the Pilaf-pot will sing the song through your kitchen chimney which you have been trying to sing for years.
Ingredients: for fish curry
Ghee ( vegetable Oil or olive oil is good too)
2 tbsp onion paste
2 tbsp juice of Ginger paste ( take a handful of ginger paste and squeeze out the juice)
4 tbsp yogurt
Half cup Coconut milk ( regular milk will do too)
Salt to taste
Whole Green chilies (Handful)
6 pieces Hilsha fish ( your choice of fish fillets cut into bite sized pieces. 10-12 pieces)
Ingredients for Pilaf:
3 cups Basmati/Kalijeera or any fragrant rice
6 cups water
2 Bay leaves , 2 Cardamoms , 1 stick Cinnamon
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Handful of Green peppers
Fried onions ( from one large onion)
Method: for fish curry
* In hot oil/ghee put first five ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes in medium low heat.
* When spice-mix separates from oil, add fish and green peppers. Make sure the gravy is not dry. Add a tbsp water, if needed. Cover. * In low heat cook for 15 minutes max or until fish looks cooked- trough, tender.
Method: for Pilaf
* In high heat, boil water. Add ghee/oil, salt and the whole spices. Let it come to a bubbling boil. Add rice.
* Add some gravy from the fish curry. Gently stir so that ghee and gravy can coat every grain of rice.
* When rice looks almost cooked, whitish and water mostly evaporates, put the lid on. Turn the heat low. Very low. Cook for 20 minutes undisturbed.
* Gently add fish along with the rest of the gravy. Sprinkle sugar, green peppers and fried onion. Cover. Cook for another 10 minutes in low heat.
* Serve hot.
Note: Whole Green peppers in the curry as well as in the pilaf are for adding flavor. Not heat. You must use peppers for this dish.
Despair is thick as a brick that hits hard right in the heart. But we must be singing the soothing, somber hymn when the days grow dim. We must inhale a lungful of breaths of hope, light and life. We must love each other or die.