Donning the Chef’s Cap at Spice Studio

I got this wonderful opportunity to don the chef’s cap at Spice Studio at Alila Diwa Goa. It is one thing cooking in the comforts of your home for just 4 family members and something very different cooking in a kitchen which caters for more than 100 people. As I entered I could see huge vessels, spoons and containers. The chefs there put me to ease very quickly.

Being a Bengali and knowing my liking for fish the chefs chose two dishes of fish for me. One was the forever famous Goan Fish curry, this was with pomfret and the other was King Fish Racheado. We started from scratch: slicing up the fish, marinating them with special mix of spices, rubbing the masalas on them, preparing the gravy and frying them.

For Goan Gish curry you can see the ingredients in the pic. The grounded masala tasted tangy and smelt heavenly! The extra tips given to me were: marinating the fish pieces in salt, ginger-garlic paste, adding salt to the gravy in the final stage of cooking (an act I never gave much importance) and adding coconut milk to the gravy in the end. This goes very well with hot plain rice.

My gas stove is just one fourth of the one in the pic. The handles of the vessel so huge it took me few minutes to get the right grip over it.

(pic credit: Ishani Ghose)

The King Fish fry does seem a little easier but it is the right mix of ingredients that gives the actual flavor. The two ingredients that can make or spoil the dish are the right amount of sugar and the vinegar toddy. The other ingredients are the usual ones that make for regular fries like: dry chilli kashmiri, onion, cumin seed, garlic, clove, elaichi, black pepper, and cinnamon. The fish slices were coated with this paste and finally dabbed with rawa. It was slow cooked. What came out of the frying pan was juicy yet crispy with the exotic masala taste that lingered on in my memory for long.

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Thank you Spice Studio team for the great experience I had with you all!


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