Mackerel and my mackerel masala 

15 Mar

The mackerel


Mackerel is actually a term which is used for different species of fish that belong to the Scombridae family, including Cero, Atlantic, King and Spanish mackerel. This deep water fish is also known as lacento or maccarello. Mackerel can be found in Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean Ocean. Although, they are deep water fish but some of them like Spanish mackerel can be found in near the bays as well. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. This oily fish can be found in different varieties such as Atlantic mackerel (Boston mackerel), Spanish mackerel, King mackerel (kingfish or cavalla), Cero mackerel (cerro or painted mackerel), Pacific mackerel (American, blue or chub mackerel), Pacific Jack mackerel (horse mackerel) and Wahoo (ono).

Mackerel is a slim fish with a cylindrical shape and it has a strong flavor. The slim torpedo-shaped fish is found in deep temperate and tropical waters. These fish are iridescent blue-green above with a silvery underbelly and twenty to thirty near vertical wavy black stripes running across their upper body. It has two widely separated dorsal fins and numerous finlets (small fins) on a dorsal and lateral side of the body. Tail is shaped like fork. The mackerel is known for their oil meat and slim shape. Many of the mackerel’s healthy benefits are derived from its oily meat which contains lots of omega-3 fats.

Mackerel is known as a very healthy fish and regular consumption is very good for overall health. It is famous for the heart health benefits it provides and also, known for making the blood clean and fresh. One should buy mackerel that is firm and bright, gills should be clean and the skin moist with shiny scales. Ideally, this fish should be eaten within couple of days because its skin disintegrates quickly. Mackerel is an important food fish that is consumed worldwide. As an oily fish, it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. 
Ingredients

* 4 mackerel (ask your fishmonger to gut and wash them), heads removed.

* drizzle of rapeseed oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil

* rice to serve (optional)

*

For the masala paste

* 1 tsp cumin seeds

* ½ tsp coriander seeds

* ½ tsp fennel seeds

* 2 tsp garam masala

* 1 roasted red pepper, from a jar

* 2 garlic cloves

* thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped

* 1 small onionhalved

* 1 tbsp tomato purée

* 2 tbsp desiccated coconut

For the green yogurt

* 250g pot natural yogurt

* small bunch coriander, plus a few leaves to serve

* 2 limes 1 zested, ½ juiced, 1 cut into wedges to serve

* 1 tsp sugar

* 2 spring onions

For the pickled onions

* 1 red onion, thinly sliced

* ½ lime juice

* ½ tsp sugar

Method

* First make the masala paste. Tip the seeds into a dry frying pan, toast for 1-2 mins until aromatic, then tip into the small bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining paste ingredients, season with salt and whizz until everything is finely chopped and well combined. Add a splash of water and combine well.

* Slash each mackerel a few times on each side. Rub the paste all over each fish, making sure you get into the slashes. Cover with cling film and chill for 1 hr, or overnight if you like.

* For the yogurt, combine the ingredients in the small bowl of your food processor, season well and chill until ready to serve. Put the ingredients for the pickled onions in a bowl. Massage the lime juice and sugar into the onion rings for 1-2 mins, then cover and set aside at room temperature to pickle for 30 mins, or overnight if you prefer.

* If serving with rice, make sure you have this on the go. Heat the grill to high. Put the mackerel on a baking tray lined with foil. Drizzle with a little oil and grill for 5-6 mins each side, or until the flesh is cooked through – it should easily slide away from the bones when pushed with a knife.

* To serve, arrange the fish on a platter. If the yogurt has thickened, loosen it with a drizzle of water – it should be like single cream. Drizzle it over the fish, then top with pickled onions, coriander leaves and lime wedges. Serve the rice on the side or however you want with extra green yogurt sauce


For more info contact me at simon.bingham@simons-sauces.com

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