Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish and shellfish. Shellfish include various species of molluscs (e.g. bivalve molluscs such as clams, oysters and mussels, and cephalopods such as octopus and squid), crustaceans (e.g. shrimp, crabs, and lobster), and echinoderms (e.g. sea cucumbers and sea urchins). Historically, marine mammals such as cetaceans (whales and dolphins) as well as seals have been eaten as food, though that happens to a lesser extent in modern times. Edible sea plants such as some seaweeds and microalgae are widely eaten as sea vegetables around the world, especially in Asia.
Seafood comprises all bony fishes and the more primitive sharks, skates, rays, sawfish, sturgeons, and lampreys; crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, shrimps, prawns, and crayfish; molluscs, including clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, periwinkles, whelks, snails, abalones, scallops, and limpets; the cephalopod molluscs. Some of the famous fishes we are aware of include Bombay duck, or bombil as it is called locally, is one of Mumbai's polarising culinary experiences. This charmingly misnamed delicacy is actually a fish, whose pungent odour is part of that special love-it-or-hate It-Mumbai smell.
Talking about the health benefits of seafood It’s a Good Source of Essential Nutrients- Seafood is low in saturated fats, high in protein, and packed full of important nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and B vitamins. These nutrients are essential in maintaining your health, particularly your brain, eyes, and immune system. Fish is a one-stop source of so many vital nutrients that it can maintain a healthy balance in your body, and help fight all sorts of major diseases. Apart from these benefits, eating fish can also improve your metabolism, sleep quality, skin quality, concentration and alleviate inflammation. Though we must also note that Seafood can contain harmful contaminants, like mercury and micro plastics, while eating fried seafood may increase the risk of certain health conditions. Plus, poor fishing management has led to overfishing and the destruction of marine environments.
“Fish and Seafood are jewels from the sea and their numerous varieties and offerings are overwhelming for a food connoisseur. Be it Indian, Continental or a mix of global cuisines, the flavors are simply adorable to relish!” – Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using fish and seafood:
Recipe-1] SERENE SEAFOOD SOUP
Garlic-1 tsp chopped
Onion-1 small chopped
Celery-2-3 tsp. chopped
Green chili-1-2 slit
Macaroni pasta-1/2 cup
Tomato puree-1/2 cup
Fish- 250 gms cut into cubes
Prawns- 6- 8 no medium sized, cleaned
Salt and pepper to taste
Mixed herbs-1/3 tsp
Chili flakes- ½ tsp
Water/seafood stock- 2-3 cups
Potato -1/2 cup small diced
Green capsicum-1/2 no cubed
Carrot-1 small, cut into small dices
Red chili sauce-1-2 tsp
Parsley/ coriander- 2- 3 tsp chopped
Lime juice-2-3 tsp
Roasted crushed peanuts/ powdered- 1-2 tsp
1. Prepare all the ingredients for the soup recipe as listed.
2. Clean and wash the fish and seafood and keep aside.
3. To start cooking, heat oil in a pan, add in the garlic, and saute onions for a few seconds.
4. Add in the macaroni pasta, tomato puree, salt, pepper, herbs, chili flakes, spices as per taste.
5. Add in the assorted veggies as desired into the pan and add in little stock/ water and simmer for 4-5 mins.
6 Now add in the fish and prawns into the pan and mix, simmer for 6- 8 mins, check for seasonings and adjust the texture of the soup, also check the cooking stage of pasta and add little chili sauce, mix and serve hot garnished with chopped greens and serve hot.
Recipe-2] FISH CUTLETS
Boneless fish cubes- 400 gms, poached and flaked.
Potato- 3-4 no, boiled, peeled and mashed.
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry/shallow fry- as needed
Pepper powder to taste
Mixed herbs-1/4 tsp
Chili flakes-1/4 tsp
Green chilies-1 tsp chopped
Grated cheese-1/4 cup
Parsley-2-3 tsp chopped
Breadcrumbs- ½- 1 cup
Eggs-2 no beaten
Oil to shallow/ deep fry as needed
To serve with:
Mayonnaise- sauce- 1 cup
Chili sauce- 1 tsp
Green chilies-1 tsp chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Mint leaves- 8-10 no cut
Roasted crushed peanut powder-1-2 tsp
Peanut butter-1-2 tsp
Tomato ketchup-1-2 tsp
1. Prepare all the ingredients as per the list above.
2. Poach the fish fillets, boneless ideally in simmering water to which some salt, lime slices or white vinegar has been added, a few sprigs of fresh herbs may be added as well. The cooking time of the fish would be around 4-5 mins, carefully remove it from the liquid and allow it to cool down.
3. Now comes the mixing stage of the cutlet mix, in a mixing bowl combine together the poached and flaked up fish, combine it with mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, herbs, chili flakes, add some green chilies and grated cheese as well.
4. Add in some binding agents like corn flour, maida, breadcrumbs and mix well, forming it into a medium textured dry dough like mixture. Apply oil on the fingers and divide the mixture into lemon sized balls and slightly flatten them.
5.Dip the fish cutlets into beaten egg and coat with dry breadcrumbs and chill in the fridge for 20 mins. Just before serving, heat up oil in a kadai/ frying pan and fry the fish cutlets to a nice golden brown color and remove, drain off excess oil and serve hot with the dip recipe as mentioned above. Mix all ingredients for the dip, chill for 20 mins and serve.
Recipe- 3] CREAMY SEAFOOD CURRY
Boneless fish fillets/cubes- 500 gms, cleaned and cut
Medium sized prawns- 500 gms cleaned
Peppercorns- 3-4 no
Cinnamon stick-1 piece
Onions- 1 small chopped
Green chili-2-3 slit
Ginger-2 tsp juliennes
Thai yellow curry paste-2- 3 tsp
Lemon grass- 3-4 pieces
Fresh basil leaves- 4-5 no
Coconut milk-2 cups thick
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Curry leaves- 8-10 no
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander -2-3 tsp chopped
1. Prepare all the ingredients for the creamy seafood curry recipe.
2. Clean and wash the fish and prawns, apply a marination with salt a little oil and turmeric powder and keep aside for 10-12 mins.
3. To start up with the seafood curry recipe. Heat oil and little ghee in a pan, add in the seeds, curry leaves, lemongrass, basil leaves, chilies, ginger etc and allow to splutter and crackle for a few seconds.
4.Now add in a little water, the curry paste and allow to simmer the mixture for 2-3 mins. add coconut milk and the fish and prawn and gently stir, cover and simmer the curry for 5-6 mins. do not shake or stir vigorously.
5. Check the curry for liquid content, adjust salt as well as per taste and finish up the curry with fresh coriander, ginger juliennes or a tempering of fresh basil and thai ginger/galangal, kafir lime leaves and serve it hot with steamed white rice/ jasmine rice.
Recipe-4] BAKED TRIO FLAVORED FISH
Pomfret/ choice of flat fish- 500-750 gms
For the marination:
Lime juice- 2-3tbsp.
Garlic-2-3 tsp chopped
Ginger juice-2-3 tsp
Fresh basil leaves- 10-12 no
Thai curry paste-2-3 tsp, red or green
Tamarind pulp- 2-3 tbsp.
Lemongrass- 10-12 small pieces
Soy sauce-2-3 tsp
Red chili sauce-2-3 tsp
For the base of veggies for the fish:
Saute blanched carrots- 1 cup sliced
Saute blanched french beans-1/2 cup cut
Cherry tomatoes- 10-12 no
Assorted bell peppers-1 cup cut into cubes/juliennes
Fresh herbs-1/2 cup
Butter-1/4 cup to grease the baking tray
Onion rings- 1 cup to place under the fish while baking
Celery-1/4 cup cut into small pieces’ place under the fish while baking
1. Prepare the ingredients for the fish as per the recipe list.
2. Clean, wash and check the fish inside out for being well cleaned to avoid contamination issues.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine together the ingredients for the fish marination and apply it inside out on the fish and keep refrigerated for 20 mins, preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.
4. Grease the baking tray with butter and place the onion rings and cut up celery pieces at the base, top it up with the marinated fish. Place in the oven for cooking for around 20-22 mins, remove and keep aside. While baking, brush with melted butter as well occasionally.
5. Arrange a serving dish for the baked fish, place the fish in the center and surround it with assorted vegetables which have been blanched and tossed in a little butter with salt and pepper to accompany the fish. Serve it along with lemon garlic butter sauce.
Recipe- 5] SUMMER SEAFOOD SPECIAL SALAD
For the base of the salad:
Assorted lettuce leaves- 1 cup
For the body of the salad:
Prawns- 12-15 no, cleaned and poached
Baby potatoes-5-6 no boiled, peeled
Water chestnuts- 6-8 no
Avocado- 1 no ripe, peeled and cut into cubes
Spinach leaves- 1 cup blanched
For the dressing of the salad:
Olive oil-2-3 tbsp.
Lime juice- 2-3 tbsp.
Salt and pepper to taste
Mustard paste-1/2 tsp
Soy sauce-2 tsp
Red chili sauce- 1-2 tsp
Ginger juliennes-1-2 tsp
For the garnish of the salad:
Pine Nuts/ assorted nuts of your choice-2-3 tsp
Flax seeds/ sunflower seeds-1-2 tsp
Fresh herbs/ micro greens-2-3 tbsp.
Olives- 2-3 tbsp. black and green
1. Prepare all the components of the salad as listed.
2. Clean, wash and place the assorted lettuce leaves in chilled water until being used.
3. Poach the prawns, boil the baby potatoes, blanch the spinach and prepare the avocado as well for the body of the salad.
4. In a mixing bowl, combine together the ingredients for the dressing of the salad and give it a nice mix.
5. Just before serving, drain out the lettuce leaves, pat dry them and arrange them on a serving plate. Combine together the body of the salad and place them on the base of the lettuce.
6. Finally drizzle over the prepared yummy dressing on the salad and garnish it appropriately. Serve immediately.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more such recipes by chef Dr Kaviraj Khialani who is not just a celebrity Master Chef but has varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is an author, food writer, food designer, consultant, and creative cuisine specialist.
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