For the last 10 days I have been at war – at war with the twice annual flu-bug! Not nice at all, especially in our heat. But in the end I emerged as the winner – thanks to my Doctor, some antibiotics and of course because of the loving tender care of my husband! :-)
So here now is the conclusion, as previously promised, of our short ‘sojourn’ in Kovalam.
For our last evening at VIVANTA by TAJ KOVALAM the golf buggy took us right down to the shore of the Arabian Sea to the hotel’s new contemporary restaurant appropriately named “BAIT”, a very rustic looking place befitting its location.
Our table was set not inside the restaurant, but outside, close to the edge of the beach.
The smell of the sea, the crashing of the waves against the huge bollards along this strip of private beach, competing with the soft sound of music coming from the main restaurant, set us into the right mood to look forward to Chef Elangovan’s promised culinary surprise for that evening.
We could hardly wish for a more romantic setting – the tiny flickering lights of hundreds of fishing boats way out at sea, the clear stars above us high up in the sky, candles on our table and all over the garden.
But to top it all, we had a huge full moon shining down on us, sending its silvery light across the water.
It was then that we decided that we will come back here in a few month time – just for a little break again.
Chef, for this occasion, had prepared indeed a very special treat for us. Something, I must confess, I had not come across before on all my travels around the world.
Red Snapper on Mango Wood
Red Snapper Fillet 300 g
Green chilly 10 g
Salt a pinch
Small onion 5 g
Curry leafs a few
Ginger & garlic paste 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ½ g
Tamarind or lime juice 1 no
Coconut oil 5 ml
Mango wood or
Tamarind wood slab 2 nos
Make paste out of chilly, ginger, garlic, turmeric and tamarind or lime juice.
Grate the small onions and mix with marinate paste and coconut oil.
Apply the marinate all over the fish, rest for a couple of minutes.
Grill the fish in hot pan on both sides
Place the fish on mango wood slab and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
Before serving garnish with sprig of curry leafs.
Accompaniment with roast baby potatoes and char grilled vegetable.
This is a truly delicious fish dish, light and delicate in flavour. I will have to go out hunting for Mango tree slabs from a ‘friendly’ timber merchant since I have a feeling that this preparation will be arriving on our table a few times soon.
PS. Since I have been talking about ‘Mangos” here I cannot get a well known song out of my head; a song which I learned whilst living for 3 years out on the wonderful island of Trinidad/W.I. and was made popular in the James Bond Film “Dr. NO”. “……..Underneath the Mango tree me Honey, And me can watch for the moon …..”
(Photos: CS and JS/Manningtreearchive.com)