All it takes, and don’t dismiss this to be a hyperbole, is a couple of drops to elevate the humble moong dal I sit and savour with rice this parched summer afternoon to the exalted realms of food heaven.
No this is not some arcane magic potion. Nor some ambrosia known exclusively to celestial beings. Not molecular gastronomy fantasy either.
We are speaking of just a few drops of juice of the Gondhoraj lebu here. Just a few drops of juice of which are sufficient to metamorphose food from the insipid and the mundane to the divine and the delectable and send the olfactory senses to an ecstatic trance.
Gondhoraj lebu. Or the Rangpur Lime. Indigenous to Bengal. Surprisingly understated given the culinary magic it catalyses. Citrus aficionados I believe have scoured the earth in quest of an equivalent, from the Canton Lime from China and Hime from Japan to the aromatic Key Lime from the alluring Caribbeans, but they have been sternly unanimous in their verdict – the Gondhoraj lebu is unique, it has no parallels.
I try Gondhoraj Bhetki, an old classic here – give my favorite Kolkata Bhetki a generous spice and Gondhoraj zest rub, followed by a loving smear with cream perfumed with Gondhoraj juice.
Pan fry till just right and relish the magic of Gondhoraj Bhetki !!!
- 200 g Bhetki fillet cut into 2" x 2" pieces
- 75 g full cream , whipped
- 75 g curd , whipped
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes for decoration
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp green chilli paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tbsps juice of gondhoraj lebu
- 1 tsp zest of gondhoraj lebu
- 2 tbsps mustard oil
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Zest the gondhoraj lebu say aprox 1 tsp. Extract the juice of the limes. Keep aside.
- Wash and pat dry the bhetki fillets.
- Put the fillets in a bowl, add 1/2 tsp each of ginger paste and green chilli paste, 1/4 tsp garlic paste, salt and gondhoraj lebu juice and give a loving rub. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- In another bowl, take whipped curd, whipped cream, the remaining ginger paste and green chilli paste, gondhoraj lebu zest, 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
- Take the fillets out of the first marinade and dip into the second. Keep aside for another 10 minutes.
- Take a frying pan. Gently take the fish off the second marinade and place in the pan, pour the marinade, cook over a medium flame for 10 odd minutes till the fish is just cooked.
- Gondhoraj bhetki is ready !!!