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by jaya
Rated: E · Other · Contest Entry · #2273131
Too good not to learn
Tasty delight

Wedding was over. The hundred and odd guests mingled. Conversation swirled. The older couples wore a wistful smile, for they just witnessed a marriage that reminded them of their own, while the young, looked forward to traditional practices like the bride's sprinkling of rice, bride and the groom exchanging garlands and so on. The newly-weds shone bright in their newfound bliss.

Lunch was served. The flavor of food hung tantalizingly on the air around the dining area. The place was colorfully decorated with natural flowers and sparkling ribbons lending the room a sense of happiness.

The tables, bearing different dishes were attractively set for a buffet. The china was alluring and the napery glistened pearly white. People flowed in for lunch.

Bride’s friends, Rupa and a visiting American student, Sally, strolled into the dining hall in anticipation of a long and leisurely meal.

Sally looked around curiously. Everything fascinated her. She loved the new climate, new culture, new people and surely, the new cuisine.

Talking about culture, she just decided to buy a veil like the one the bride wore, which lent her an air of a princess.

As they lined up for food, she ran an appreciative glance over the variety of artistically arranged dishes on the long table.

Mmm... there were number of mouthwatering foods like spicy chicken, mutton biryani Popnote and fish curry on the one side, and on the other, were vegetarian preparations like coconut chutney, stuffed egg plant and mixed vegetable curry and a number of sweet dishes. Everything is India specific, which is exactly what Sally wanted. Separate tables displayed salads, desserts and ice cream.

Rupa and Sally heaped their plates with portions of chicken, mutton biryani and fish curry with some salad.

“Madam! This variety of fish curry is special to these parts, and much relished,” said the man behind the table, who could be one of the catering staff. Rupa and Sally nodded their thanks to him as they served themselves.

Then, they walked out to the wrap-around porch, found some chairs and sat down to enjoy the beach view, the breeze and the food.

The very first spoonful told Sally that the fish item was worth learning.

“Rupa! You must tell me how to make this fish curry. I am sure I’ll be able to do it when I go back home. Our salmon tastes much alike.”

“Sure Sally. Actually, it is quite easy. The only requirement is the availability of fresh catch.”

“We have our farmer markets, where I might get some,” enthused Sally.

“Ok. Here you go." Rupa put her plate aside, took a clean paper napkin and jotted down the recipe.


Recipe for Fish Masala


Fish-Half a pound
Clean and slice into small pieces.
Marinate the fish slices in sufficient amount of salt, a pinch of turmeric, one teaspoon of red chili powder and half cup of curd for thirty minutes.

Onions – 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Spinach – one small bunch, washed and chopped.
Green chilies (optional)

Spices to make a paste-

Ginger-1 inch
Garlic- 3 cloves
Cuscus- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds- 1 teaspoon
Dry coconut- a small piece


Take a deep skillet.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice. Add first,

Cardamom- 3

Cloves- 5

Cinnamon- 1 inch

After they pop up, add onions and green chilies and fry. When browned, add the paste of the ground spices. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the marinated fish and spinach. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Add half a tumbler of water. Cover and let it cook till the gravy thickens and the fish softens. Simmer. Put out the flame after 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander and mint leaves.

Serve with rice or tortillas or any kind of bread.


Sally, after reading the recipe, smiled, saying “Thank you, Rupa. I am going to cook it as an item for brunch. I will invite Nina Lane, a favorite novelist and a great neighbor."

A bit later, Sally and Rupa took their leave of the newly-weds after inviting them over to their pad for a get together.


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