Monday, June 27, 2011


Guest Post and Awards:

I am thrilled Deepa of Hamaree Rasoi bestowed me with some more awards. I will collect them as soon as I have decided on my 15 nominees.

I was also happy and surprised to find a Guest Post in my mail box from a fellow blogger Samir Padalkar of Oenophile
. Well this is a dish he cooked himself and photographer is his son Jai Padalkar. Over to Samir

Samir Padalkar 

“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking.”
    Julia Child

Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.

The first time I ate this dish I was amazed at how spicy it was. It was served with a baguette, I felt an Indian style plain white rice would also pair well. Later I experimented making this dish, and found it to be relatively easy, the taste was magnificent. As the Wikipedia (and other) entry mentions, this dish originated with fishermen boiling the day’s unsold fish in seawater with some herbs. Later it became much more gourmet, with tomatoes and wine being added. An Indian version should be easy, since all that has to be changed is the fish (and spring onions instead of leeks). Here is one such version:


Photo by Jai Padalkar

  • Medium Red Onion
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 – 3 cups chopped spring onions
  • 1 cup dry white wine (substitute with 1 cup water/vegetable stock/fish stock)
  • 1 bottle cap full Pernod (substitute with Fennel seed water)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (you may use more or less, and add a couple of cloves if you wish)
  • 2 – 3 Bay Leaves
  • 5 – 6 Medium Fresh Tomatoes
  • Fresh Cilantro (Coriander leaves) to garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons Olive Oil (substitute with any light vegetable oil)
  • 4 – 5 strands Saffron (you may omit, but do not substitute with any color)
  • 1 lb (450 grams) Whole Pomfret cut into pieces (I discarded the head & tail)
  • 1 lb (450 grams) fresh shrimp (prawns) peeled & deveined.
  • 1 lb (450 grams) any other fresh white fish (I used cod).

  • Wash & Clean all the seafood & keep aside.
  • Puree (liquefy) all the tomatoes in a blender.
  • Fine Chop the onion
  • Peel & crush the garlic cloves.
  • Get a large enough covered vessel to cook in, add the oil and place it on medium heat (I used the Le Crueset Cast Iron vessel showed in the photo.)
  • Add the onions & garlic & sauté.
  • Add the red chili powder & Bay Leaves & sauté until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the spring onions & sauté for 2 – 4 minutes.
  • Add the Pernod, White Wine & saffron, stir & cover the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the liquefied tomatoes, stir & cover the pot & cook for 5 min. or until the mixture boils.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Add all the seafood and cook for 15 – 20 min, or until the seafood is cooked. Be sure to add the seafood in the order that it takes for it to cook, i.e. longer time needed seafood should be added first. I started with the pomfret, 2-3 minutes later added the shrimp, and 2-3 minutes later added the cod.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro & server with French Bread or plain white rice.
  • The red color you see in the photo is entirely due to the tomatoes, this dish is essentially fish being poached in a tomato-onion-wine broth. As a result, it is an extremely healthy dish, and you may elect to spice it up a lot or make it mildly spicy. We prefer mildly spicy, so just the one little teaspoon of Red Chili Powder.
  • If you drink wine, serve with a dry white wine. I always use the same wine to cook, and never use any cooking wine. I used the one shown in the photo, a “Pouilly-Fuisse” which is a Chardonnay from Burgundy. You can substitute any other dry white wine.
  • If you do not drink wine, serve with Fresh Lemon-Lime juice/soda.
  • Last but not least, do not forget to play this song in the background 

      “Aasmaan Se Aaya Farishta, Pyar Ka Sabak Sikhlane

      Dil Mein Hain Tasveer Yaar Ki, Laya Hoon Wo Dikhlane

      Kaho Pyar Hai Tumse”,
     From the movie “An Evening in Paris”.

The song is supposedly filmed in the South of France, the origin of  Bouillabaisse. Shammi Kapoor & Sharmila Tagore has to be the best looking Bollywood pair filmed abroad.

This recipe has been inspired from:-

1) The New York Times CookBook.

2) Provence The Beautiful CookBook --- Richard Olney.


  1. Samir this is interesting version with pomfret, incidentally my favourite fish. I also liked the way you have made it easy by suggesting alternate ingredients.

  2. @Shilpi :
    Thank you for publishing my recipe on your blog. Noticing several interesting fish recipes here, I thought I should try and add another one. Pomfret is also one of my favorite fish, I also like Tandoori Rawas, salmon, sole & a few others.
    As the original recipe suggests, the intention is to make a meal of whatever is left-over, and hence the wine & tomatoes is just as extra nicety.

  3. what a recipe Shilpidi. a must try for me.

  4. looking very delicious!!!! nice post!!!
    First time here, your blog is colorful and delicious filled with recipes.
    I'm happy follower of your blog now.
    plz stop by mine when you find time.
    Happy Blogging!!!!
    Food Blog News Daily
    Good Food Recipes

  5. A great guest post ~ the recipe sounds so exotic n flavorful!
    Congrats on your awards too :)
    US Masala

  6. Liebe Shilpi,

    wie geht's dir? Da ist sehr viel los momentan im Büro und hab' kein Zeit zum Bloggen :-(

    Dieses Rezept ist einfach Klasse. Gute Erklärung, auch mit viele Ersatzvorschläge. Bookmarked!! Thanks to your friend for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. :-)

    Liebe Grüße.

  7. Samir, that looks (and sounds) absolutely fabulous! Somehow, even though I cook a fair bit of non-Indian food, I've never got around to making a bouillabaise - I wasn't sure if it would taste the same without the crayfish tails and whatnot. But this is something I have to try, and fast. Thanks!

    P.S. Fennel seed water? So I guess that means soaking the fennel seeds in the water, right? For how long would you suggest?

    Shilpi: Congrats on the awards!

  8. I am thrilled with the response to this Guest Post,thank you Samir for the post and everybody for the response.

  9. Looks interesting. Thank you Shilpi and Samir!

  10. @Sayantani :
    @DD :
    @aipi :
    @schmetterlingwords :
    @Dustedoff :
    @Ash :
    Thank you for appreciating the recipe.

  11. @Dustedoff:
    Fennel Seed Water --- Use 1 tsp. of seeds per 1/2 cup of Water. Boil for 15 min. Sometimes my wife just pours boiling water into the seeds & lets sit for 30 min - 1 hr. Of course, you should strain out the remaining seeds.
    I have cooked Bouillabaisse with several varieties of seafood, including scallops, lobster, mussels & other white fish. Over time, I have settled at 3 being the optimal number as to the different types of seafood. Anything more, and it starts getting too complicated to handle. Only 1 out of the 3 needs to be shellfish, and shrimp are obviously the easiest to obtain. In the US my 3 favorite would be cod, shrimp & scallops; since all all 3 are easily available, and there are no bones.

  12. Thanks, Samir! Yes, shrimp are the easiest to procure, especially if one is stuck out here in Delhi far away from the sea. Will try this one out soon.

  13. Samir your Bouillabaisse just rock! We in Bengal have special love for fish and you add so many type in one single dish and I think the spice add is just awesome...thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi, Shilpi, thanks for your kind comment on my blog. This Indian-style bouillabaisse is absolutely mouth-watering! Although I haven't used wine in my cooking till now, I am tempted to use it in a few bookmarked dishes...this one being one of them. Samir, great work!

  15. @Dustedoff:
    Let me know how it goes.

  16. @Sutapa:
    Thanks for the generous comment. I did check your blog, and you have some great healthy fish recipes in there. I have never been to Bengal, but have heard a lot about its fish culture & great availability. Thanks again.

  17. @Purabi:
    Thanks for the wonderful comment. You have an eclectic blog, very impressive. Cooking with wine is really very simple, just treat wine as another liquid, and the alcohol usually burns off.
    Thanks again.

  18. @sayantani:
    You all have great blogs, I did look them over. I am really glad to see how far blogging has come along from its early days (early 1990's). Those days we just had text-based interfaces, Netscape was not yet invented.
    Thanks again.

  19. @Samir: Thanks for the great post... A must try recipe..
    @Shilpi: Congrats on your awards and also thanks for publishing the guest post.
    Bhalo Khabo

  20. @ Anu Santanu:
    Thanks for liking my recipe. You have a great blog, really love that Chicken Walnut Sandwich/Salad. I have had that a few times, and you can substitute shrimp or lobster as well. And of course, the sandwich/salad pairs well with a glass of white wine.

  21. lovely site following you
    delicious combination of flavours

  22. Thanx for visiting and being a friend of mine...A great guest post..the recipe sounds so exotic,flavorful and delicious...Congrats on your awards too....:)


  24. Shilpidi: Thanks for this wonderful guest post. And thanks a lot for receiving awards from my blog.
    Loved the ingredients here...Nice combination of spices...

    Hamaree Rasoi