If there is a French person reading this, I apologize for turning a perfectly authentic salad on its head. If there is a person on a diet reading this, I apologize for luring you in here with a salad and then saying it’s topped with ‘fried’ fish. The original recipe calls for tuna, which I replace with fried sear fish. (Go ahead and grill yours, if you want to be on the safe side of the scales). I also omit boiled green beans and add fried croutons instead for crunch. (Blasphemy, I know). At this stage you might understand why I called it ‘Nicoise-ish’. Should I have just called it ‘fusion food’? Or should I have called it ‘things I like to eat’? Like Shakespeare said, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. Now, who are we mere mortals to argue with that kinda logic, right? It’s a fantastic meal in one and looks so freaking amazing. That said, I love this version of Salad Nicoise (Nee-sh-wah) more than the original! Gasp Gasp :P.
Masala Fried Fish with Salad Nicoise
Prep time: 15 mins
Marinating time: 1 hr
Cooking time: 15 mins
What you need:
For the Masala fried fish:
4 steaks (400 gms) Sear Fish/ any white fish (1 inch thickness)
½ tsp Turmeric
2 Tbsp Chili Powder (or according to taste)
½ tsp Ginger Garlic paste
Oil for frying
For the Salad Nicoise:
1 big Cos Lettuce, (rinsed and well dried)torn into shreds
4 Tomatoes, chopped
3/4th cup sliced Black Olives
4 hard Boiled eggs
1 Onion, finely sliced
2 slices old bread, cut and fried into croutons (use the same oil as the fried fish for awesome flavour)
For the Vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp white wine Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
What to do:
First of all, don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients. It’s just assembly. Artful tossing together. Starting with the fried fish. Make a thick paste with turmeric, salt, ginger garlic paste and chili (add as much heat as you can take, but be advised that extra chili powder tends to blacken the fish and leave debris in the cooking oil). Marinate the fish steaks by rubbing the paste on both sides of the fish. Set aside. Add all the vinaigrette items into a bottle and give it a good shake till it looks like everything is homogenously incorporated. Keep cool in the fridge.
Heat oil to just below smoking point, put in the fish steaks and immediately lower the heat. Fry for 4 mins on each side. The extra masala will settle to the bottom of the pan. Drain and keep warm.
Wash the lettuce and pat the leaves dry. (Or use a salad drier). Toss in the rest of the ingredients (tomatoes, onions, olives) accordingly. Toss over the vinaigrette (Approx. 1 Tbsp per plate), just before serving to avoid the lettuce leaves becoming limp. Divide among four plates with one boiled egg per person. Place the fried fish in the center and serve with pride. Dig in with absolute abandon!