How often has your mind wandered to Char-grilled Silver Pomfret And Kaffir Moilee Infusion? Not at all, because this dish is the unique creation of Chef Ashish Sanyal at the Lalit Ashok hotel, where he heads all of the culinary activity.
This article is to talk about this one signature dish the chef concocted. It’s unremitting title is, Char-grilled Silver Pomfret And Kaffir Infusion With Coconut Rice. The inescapable Anglo Indian influences, “kaffir”, “moilee” coupled with this whole new age cooking business of “infusion” means this is one pomfret that should not go untasted.
We hear so much of fusion and the general cross-pollination of culinary cultures lately; and for all its noise, we know a lot of the action is uninspired “fusion for the want of a better idea” cooking with no real creative effort. (It’s like trying to pass off Hinglish as a “fusion” language.)
But this dish by Sanyal seemed to be inspired. And by the reading of its recipe, we believe him. (Recipe reproduced below just in case you fancy your abilities as a chef.) So we asked the chef a couple of questions about his creation.
What was the inspiration for the dish?
I basically wanted to highlight good Indian flavours. Like the moilee and kaffir lime which makes the moilee traditional and kaffir nouvelle. It’s not like the sauce we do in Indian cuisine but it’s smoother. I wanted it to be healthy so I used the red Kerala rice. And fresh fish basically means pomfret. I gave it a light tava fry. So it’s fresh, healthy, light and flavourful. That was the intention. Everything in one platter, a complete meal. Apt as a full meal. All textures and aromas, including a traditional and nouvelle presentation.
People in land locked Bangalore are afraid to eat seafood. Care to comment?
It’s all about how seafood is stored. If the temperatures are controlled then the product stays fresh even in a place like Bangalore. We are very particular on how it is sourced and stored in ideal temperatures. We never compromise on that. That’s the difference between five stars and other restaurant.
We confess we have neither tried cooking or eating this dish, but since it is our business to tell you about the all the new treats that await you on the weekend, we would be remiss if we did not tell you about this invention.
While making the paste add very little water only if required. Don't make the paste thin.
3 .Add ginger and green chili and cook till ginger starts changing it's color to golden brown. You may also add a pinch of hing (asafoetida) at this point.
He started with Taj Bengal in 1995 and in only two years he was included into the Chef Fraternity of Taj Hotels as Chef de Partie. In the last 22 Sanyal has seen an era of changing food habits, style and culture of culinary reforms in the country.
He has handled been host to state dignitaries, handled large social banquets, organizer of various culinary festivals, pulling off Mega event catering and culinary workshops. He has trained under legendary chefs in Mughlai. He was invited by the World’s leading Luxury Cruise liner, Seabourn to be the Guest Chef onboard Seabourn Encore to showcase the vivid taste and flavours of the Indian Cuisine to the world.
He has shared the kitchen spaces with chefs like Gordon Ramsay, George Blanc, Imtiyaz Qureshi and Sanjeev Kapoor.