Pan Fried Basa with Fiery Tomato Sauce and Grilled Asparagus

I love to experiment with cuisines, drawing inspiration from different styles of cooking, recipes, cuisines etc… and finally bringing it together as my own. This is one such dish.

I first came across this fiery tomato sauce in a South African cookbook. Known as Babette’s fiery sauce, it was listed as one of the basic sauces used in the cuisine. I just knew that I had to try it out as the flavours were incredible. It is a basic tomato sauce, easy to prepare and can even be made in bulk and stored. And being a basic sauce, it can be combined with different ingredients creating whole new dishes each time.

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I decided to go the seafood route with this sauce when I found some fresh basa fillets at the local farmer’s market. And when you have fresh produce, there is not much that you need to do; just a dash of seasoning is enough to draw out the flavour. I used salt, pepper and cumin to season the fish with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

The grilled asparagus was a last minute addition, again a find at the local farmer’s market. You can use any kind of grilled vegetable that you want based on what’s in season.

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Pan fried Basa with fiery tomato sauce and grilled asparagus – a perfect spring recipe; succulent pieces of basa spiced with cumin and pan fried, served on a bed of hot herby, garlicky tomato sauce and some grilled asparagus on the side for an extra bit of crunch and flavour.

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Ingredients:

For the fish:

1. 2 basa fillets, cut into 6 portions, wash and pat dry (use any other white fish if you cannot get basa)
2. Salt, to season
3. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
4. ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
5. Vegetable/olive oil – to pan fry the fish

Babette’s fiery sauce:

6. 3 ripe red tomatoes, diced
7. 2 cloves garlic
8. 2 sprigs parsley
9. 1 scotch bonnet chili
10. 6 tbsp sunflower oil
11. Salt, to season
12. Freshly milled black pepper, to season
13. Lemon juice
14. A pinch of sugar

For the asparagus:

15. Asparagus stalks, trimmed and cleaned
16. Salt, to season
17. Freshly milled black pepper, to season

Method:

1. Marinate the fish pieces with salt, pepper, cumin and lemon juice; keep aside for 30 minutes.
2. To prepare the sauce, blend tomatoes, garlic, parsley, chilli and oil in a blender till smooth. Add water if too thick.
3. Heat a pan and add the sauce; reduce on low heat till a thicker consistency is obtained. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. (Make sure to taste and adjust seasonings accordingly).
4. Pan fry the fish pieces, drain on a towel and keep aside.
5. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper; grill till done.
6. To assemble, spoon the sauce on a plate, place the fish on top and add the grilled asparagus.
7. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves.
8. Enjoy while warm!

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9 thoughts on “Pan Fried Basa with Fiery Tomato Sauce and Grilled Asparagus

  1. RecipeTin (@Recipe_Tin) June 23, 2016 at 12:21 am Reply

    This is fantastic! Love the flavors you’ve put here! Look at that tomato sauce. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya June 23, 2016 at 8:36 am Reply

      Thanks Nagi, I had almost forgotten this dish. Time I made it again.

      Like

  2. Ka November 18, 2015 at 6:19 am Reply

    This tasted great! Had to substitute the chilli for a capsicum but still turned out nice.

    Like

  3. chefceaser January 1, 2015 at 8:12 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

    Like

  4. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef December 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm Reply

    What a beautiful dish and I love all the ingredients that you’ve put together to get the best flavour.

    Like

  5. afracooking December 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm Reply

    What a fabulous combination of flavours! Love it!

    Like

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