Baked Pomfret (Chanduva) Iguru

Pomfret is one of the few Indian fish available in US easily. What I like about pomfret (called chanduva or sanduva in Telugu) : fewer spines, makes for less messy eating, can be baked whole, and takes on flavor very quickly. We had some really awesome pomfret curry in a Malaysian restaurant called Banana Leaf last New Year's eve, and it was soooo heavenly, I was hoping to find something to match the taste. One year later, after trying out 3 or 4 recipes from the net, I had come to the conclusion that the curry from Banana Leaf must be a closely guarded secret. Having come to that conclusion, I did not see any reason why I shouldn't make my own Andhra version of the curry. Never did I realise that I had the taste right on my fingertips!!!! When something like this happens, its time to stop and put it down here real quick before I forget how "it" happened!

Things I gave importance to:
Everything I used for the gravy was freshly made. I think this is a very important part of this recipe.
I bought small pomfrets, makes for better flavor, lesser mercury levels and more portion control.

Nutritional Information:*

I could not find documented nutritional information on pomfret, so I have calculated the below based on a member of the same species, called butterfish.

Based on 1/8th recipe or 146 g:

Calories: 174
Calories from Fat: 79
Total Fat: 8.8 g (14% of DV)
Saturated Fat: 3.5 g (17% of DV)
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 65 mg (22% of DV)
Sodium: 387 mg (16% of DV)
Total Carbohydrates: 5 g (2% of DV)
Dietary Fiber: 1 g (4% of DV)
Sugars: 1 g
Proteins: 18 g

Vitamin A: 9 % of DV
Vitamin C: 55 % of DV
Calcium: 4 % of DV
Iron: 6 % of DV

(Makes 8 servings)

Small Silver Pomfret: 2 (Each weighing about 400 g)
Ginger, fresh: 4 inch piece, peeled
Garlic: 12 cloves, peel removed
Long Green Chilies: 2
Tomato: 1, medium
Garam masala: 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder: 1 to 2 tsp
Lime juice: from one lime
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp

Cleaning the pomfret: Do not slice the pomfret to small pieces. Ask your fish monger to remove the eyes, gills, insides and fins. Do not try to remove scales. This fish has no scales!

Make 2 cuts each on both sides of the pomfret, taking care not to make it too deep. This will help marinate the fish better.

Puree the ginger, garlic, green chilies, garam masala, red chili powder, lime juice and tomato to a fine paste.

Place the fish flat on a shallow baking dish and spread salt and above paste liberally. Place some of the paste inside the cavity also.

Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Cover and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 7 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot with rice.

*Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet and may vary based on individual requirements.

Breakdown of Caloric Information:
Carbohydrates: 11% Fats: 45% Proteins: 44%

Things to notice: Chandua or Silver Pomfret is a great fish to consume: notice that this type of fish is very high in monounsaturated fat and is low in polyunsaturated fat, which is really good news for all of us trying to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in our diet.

Advice from my mother: Never buy the black pomfret, it does not have the flavor that a silver pomfret has.


Does "Freezer Burn" Make Food Unsafe??

Health Tips given by Longs Drugs:

"Freezer burn is a food quality issue, not a food safety issue. It appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on frozen food. It occurs when air reaches the food's surface and dries out the product. This can happen when food is not securely wrapped in air-tight packaging. Color changes result from chemical changes to the food's pigment.

Although undesirable, freezer burn does not make the food unsafe. It merely causes dry spots in foods. You can cut away these areas either before or after cooking the food. When freezing food in plastic bags, you can help prevent freezer burn by pushing all the air out before sealing."

More information about freezer burn and how to freeze foods to avoid freezer burn can be found at:
The last link has a lot of very informative practical tips to prevent freezer burn.

The Colors of Health

The Colors of Health