Himachal Som, Ex-ambassador, Delhi

"Cooking is art thought out with the palate...and a great diplomatic tool."
Narendra Bisht
Stuffed Bhetki à la Himachal

1. Take a whole gutted, cleaned, de-boned bhetki (or shinghara or kingfish), split open like a book.

2. Marinate in paste of haldi, red mirchi, lemon juice for few hours, then wash. Make deep angled incisions on both sides.

3. Rub in a mixture of grated onions, ginger, salt and mustard oil, plus ground yellow and black mustard seeds, green chillies, salt and lemon juice.

4. Use a filling of your choice to stuff the fish with, such as small prawns with coconut in a ginger, red chilli and onion paste.

5. Cover fish in curry leaves and grated lemon rind, then wrap in a large banana leaf or foil.

6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for an hour. Before serving, pour some heated mustard oil over the fish so that it gets slightly singed.

Kiran Konduri, CEO, Zephyr Software, Bangalore Riyas Komu, Artist, Mumbai
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