Desi Men, Let's Talk In The Kitchen - Wild Fish With Cauliflower Rice
Welcome to the third episode of Desi Men, Let's Talk In The Kitchen!
Before we continue I thought I'd re-iterate just how grateful I am in response to the reaction to this series - all of which has been immense. Yesterday, I was even invited to speak on radio - something I never even dreamed of doing in my life!
Here are the ground rules down for anyone participating.
The aim of this series is to get more Desi men into the kitchen so that we can build their cooking skills together through intuitive cooking. More importantly the aim of this series is to show Desi men how cathartic cooking can be as a practice. With this in mind I propose the following rules:
You won't always get it right and that's okay - learning is not a linear process (believe me I've messed up quite a few dinners in my time!)
Forget Instagram - you're not here to make pretty dishes for Instagram (not that there's anything wrong with that). You're here to learn cooking and that's where our emphasis is
Keep trying! - Cooking can be complicated and challenging. It's times like these where you will need patience. You might not get it the first time, but with practice and patience you'll get there
Today' we're going to be cooking some wild fish with cauliflower rice and some cheeky fried potato slices.
I know the plan this week was to make Keto naan, but I felt like we need to do more cooking before we experiment with something that's so new.
For this dish you can add greens or fermented foods like sauerkraut as I've done so based on what picks your fancy.
If you choose to make this dish with other sides, let me know how it goes :)
Here's what you'll need ingredient wise for what we're cooking today:
wild fish (cod, boneless haddock or even salmon will do as replacement)
Right, time to get spicy *cringe as I typed that out*.
This is what I used for my dish:
1 whole chilli
Also please remember salt and pepper.
Okay Taimour, How spicy is this dish?
The dish I made was medium on the spicy chart.
Like I said last week, if you have a low tolerance to hot/spicy food then I'd recommend taking out the 1 whole chilli. Equally, please replace the cayenne pepper powder with cumin powder. Cumin is a good alternative as it will retain the South Asian flavour profile, but help the dish stay mild.
Right, Let's get cooking yaar!
We'll begin by chopping - there's going to be quite a bit of chopping involved with this dish.
As always, before you begin your chopping remember your deep breathing. Take in your biggest deepest breath of the day, and release it with your mouth - emptying your lungs. Take your time and do this as much as you need before you begin chopping, your well-being comes first.
Life is quite roller-coaster, I feel as though I'm in free-fall most of the time. Cooking is one of the few times in my day where I fee grounded and the practice of deep breathing is what initiates this.
Here's a good video that helped me when I first got into deep breathing.
Now, time to get chopping. Keep the garlic cloves as bulbs, we'll be grinding them later to create a paste.
Get started with the onions first. The chopping today needs to be quite fine so I'd recommend going over each item twice. As you can see below I've finely chopped everything.
For the cauliflower rice, making it sounds more daunting then it actually is. Looking at the picture below you can see all you really need to do is hold the cauliflower quite firmly and finely chop from the outer-layer and pause when you get close-ish to the root (harder strands).
If you don't feel comfortable chopping that finely can use a cheese-grater too (that can get messy so make sure you have space) or just buy cauliflower rice online.
Once all the chopping's done it's time to oil up your pan.
(I always use coconut oil or olive oil to cook.)
The first item to cooked be will be the wild fish. Now, the fish is going to stick - so you've got to make sure that you're constantly monitoring and scraping as necessary. The heat should be medium.
Throw in your fish fillet (which I had), add in salt, pepper and some paprika to bring in some colour.
Once your fish is cooked on both sides (should take around 10-14 minutes) you now need to dice it up. The reason you need to dice it up is because the dish is quite scrambled in it's nature.
The way I dice up my fish is using a scraper, as shown below. If you don't have a scraper, you can use a knife gently to dice the fish.
Ideally, in the end this is what your fish should look like:
Once your fish is scrambled, I'd recommend adding in a bit of turmeric powder to bring in some more colour to the dish (I'm not a fan of pale fish lol).
Straight after add in your finely chopped vegetables (onions, chilli, mushroom & cauliflower). Now the pan is going to get quite busy the minute you do this, so be ready!
Give it a whirl too to mix things up (also important to not let the fish stick).
As you're mixing everything together you might also find that some sections of your chopping is not as fine - that's okay! Remember your dicing technique? Well you can use that to make things finer where they need to be, as shown below:
Now it's time to get spicy!!!
As your dish cooks add in some turmeric powder, bit more paprika (for the colour) and cayenne pepper. Give it a twist and now add in your salt and pepper!
Let it cook for 5 - 10 minutes while you keep mixing up the dish on a medium heat. Once your vegetables look cooked (all the items you've added tend to cook quite fast) add in your garlic paste and give it a whirl:
All in all this dish should take around 35 to 45 minutes.
However, if it takes you longer to cook the dish then have no worries - everything at your own pace :)
You can switch off the heat on your dish for now while we cook the potatoes.
For the potato slices, slice them very very finely (I mean very finely - almost that you can see through the slice). Oil up your pan but don't over-populate the pan because space is important here.
Add in your salt and pepper and cook each side for 6-8 minutes on a medium-high heat.
Twist and flip accordingly and even add in some chilli flakes if you want to add in a kick!
Here's an example of the consistency of my potato slices:
With the potato's now cooked you're done!
Here's an example of what my final dish looked like:
It's the third week and you're doing amazing, doesn't matter where you've joined the series. As long as you're in the kitchen and getting your cook on you're doing amazing, you're learning new skills while appreciating cooking for the cathartic activity that it is.
Now time for some big news!!
From next week the series is moving into video format - as much as I enjoy doing the write-up, I feel that through video format I will be able to convey the cooking in a more friendlier digestible format. More importantly, by going video I will be able to deliver the recipes in a more shorter time-friendly manner.
So come join me next week as I cook rice in omelette (a personal favourite from my childhood) through the magical format of video!