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.

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