With the onset of winter 2017, I happened to travel to Garli- a small little heritage village is known for its hidden hamlets. Most of these houses are in the neglected state but a closer look gives you a clear idea of the rich architecture – the carved wooden doors, ornamental doorways, stained glass windows, and antique artworks that make this village unique.
During my stay at Chateau Garli, host Mr. Yatish Sud would often go out of his way to give some out real offbeat memorable experience. One such happened on an evening on our way back from the river bank when the jeep got stuck in Swamp. We were zooming through the swampy land to see the Siberian cranes fly and right at the moment to capture this beauty as the jeep stopped is just refused to move further.
After much hustle, we managed to get out from there and place ourselves at a fisherman’s house. Mr. Sud spotted a fresh catch Mahseer of 10 kg. What more he immediately decided to buy that and get it to the resort, though having no idea what next. Me being a home chef who has been hosting meal experiences at home I jumped to volunteer to cook for all. Cooking has always been my best destresser and not going by the books has always been my style.
When I am cooking I have very little time to think, because the cooking is challenging my mind and taking my mind off the stress of everyday life. My excitement couldn’t be wrapped up anymore. The very thought of being able to try my hands on cooking fish that to in a commercial kitchen and serve around 40+ people made me do a happy dance.
As I entered the kitchen I was told that there’s no proper cutter to chop the fish. But with the help of a big size knife me along with Chef Brij Lal managed to cut the huge live size stock. Chopping them into the desired cuts I also had to keep in mind that I was gonna cooking for 40- 50 guests – a little math’s and a little experience comes to play.
For the first time, I was having some help in the kitchen and my sous chef happily agreed to chop the onions, make the ginger garlic paste, the tomato puree, and other nitty-gritty stuff. I was cooking Spicy Fish curry in Red gravy with some Bengali flavours. Everything in the kitchen was life-size. The hot oil in the wok all Smokey and I marinated fish for margination I still had a little doubt about the outcome. But the moment I put them in the oil and I saw them turning golden brown, I knew things going to fall into place.
Brij Lal from time to time made sure I was comfortable and constantly kept asking me did I need anything.Tossing turning, playing with the spices my grin kept growing. Deep inside I knew this is gonna be a night I will always remember.
Finally, after some good 30 mins, the dish was ready and served for the hungry souls. The smiles told I had not goofed it up. As I saw each one take second helping I wished I should have cooked the whole fish. I just love to cook, it’s one of those things that just comes naturally to me, and I think I inherited. Life was all about living in the moment. A story which only I lived, smelled and cooked and here sharing it.