January 31, 2007

Oven Poached Sea Bass with Quinoa Pilaf

While congratulating us on our wedding anniversary last week, a friend asked 'so what are you cooking for your anniversary?' Well, I didn't cook the day of our anniversary, we went to a Lebanese restaurant and then to Butterwood for dessert. But I did make something special the next day.

When we received the seasonal magazine from our grocery store, I saw a recipe with quinoa and it intrigued me. I found it in the next trip to the grocery store and wanted to try it instantly. So I made poached Sea Bass and Quinoa pilaf. Quinoa has a nutty taste and we liked its texture and taste. Then I read about all the goodness and protein in the ancient grain, and knew that we'll be making it again soon.

I've never poached a fish before and was hesitant about making it. But one of my new year resolution is try new recipes. And I created a 'indianised' version of the poaching liquid with tomato, tamarind and garlic in vegetable broth with spices. It was delicious. We had a wonderful dinner at home with nice fruity Reisling to complement the food.

For Quinoa Pilaf

1 cup organic Quinoa
1/2 tspoon cumin seeds
1/3 cup mixed vegetable
8-10 almonds - blanched and chopped
pinch of turmeric
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups water
1 tspoon butter
1/2 tspoon olive oil

For Poached Sea Bass

2 steaks Sea Bass - I made it into 4 pieces
pinch of turmeric
1/2 tspoon lemon juice
1 medium onion - chopped
1 medium tomato - chopped
5-6 mushrooms - chopped
1 tbspoon taramind juice
1/2 tspoon red chilli powder
1 tspoon of cloves, fennel seeds & cumin seeds powder (Dry roast them together and powder it finely)
2 cloves garlic - crushed and chopped
2 tbspoon - white wine
salt & black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
cilantro - to garnish (finely chopped)


For Quinoa Pilaf
For 1 cup of Quinoa, use 2 cups of water.
Soak quinoa in water and let it cook until all the water is soaked and the germ rings are visible. I cooked it for 8-9 min in microwave.
Heat oil in pan and add the butter once it's hot. Temper it with cumin seeds and then add the almonds. Saute for a couple of minutes, then add the mixed vegetable.
Once they are half-cooked, add the quinoa, turmeric, salt and black pepper and mix it thoroughly. Let it cook for another couple of minutes and take it off the heat.

For Oven Poached Sea Bass
Heat the over to 350 deg F.
Meanwhile, marinate the sea bass with turmeric, salt, pepper and lime juice and let it marinate for 30 min.
Heat a wide, thick bottomed pan and temper the olive oil with garlic. Once they start turning brown, add the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes.
Then add the fennel-clove and cumin seeds powder, red chilli powder, followed by tamarind sauce.
Add the mushrooms and let it cook for 2-3 minutes till they are mixed well together.
Add the wine and mix all the ingredientwell.
Then add vegetable broth, season with salt and bring it to a boil.
Put the fish in a wide bottomed dish and add the poaching liquid. The liquid should not cover the fish, but come about half-way up to the side of the fish.
Let it cook in the oven for 20-25 min till the fish flakes easily.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Kuchenlatein.


  1. Coffee8:34 AM

    Quinoa pilaf!!!! Thats new to me!! Looks like a quick and easy dish. :)

  2. Coffee- I saw your comment, but for some reason it doesn't show up here. Thanks, quinoa is easy to make and a complete protein and delicious too. Do try.

  3. Mandira, I've been having trouble leaving a comment on this fabulous recipe you prepared. I sure hope this goes through. I fell in love with this when I saw it on you blog. I love quinoa and sea bass. So, this looks delicious---and very healthy! Hope this goes through to you!!! :):)

  4. Hi Mandira,

    This is such a great and healthy recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. wefHi Mandira,
    Iam hearing abt quinoe first time. Well even I think always to try new things at home as far it is healthy food.Your look rea good and healthy.I will store this for future.Thanks for sharing this.And belated happy anniversary:-)

  6. Mandira,I saw your post yesterday but couldn't open to comment at all! Quinoa is new to me,never made anything with it.Looks great though,must try.
    Enjoy the Super Bowl!:)

  7. Uffffffff...finally
    First A Belated Happy Anniv., how many years has it been ?
    Loved the sea bass recipe, going to do it
    Have never had Quinoa, looks good

  8. Wow the whole menu looks so exotic !!

  9. Mandira beautiful snap...it's making my mouthwater!!!

  10. Hey Mandira,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. You have nice blog and delicious recipes. Can't comment on ur seabass, I'm strictly vegetarian.:)), nice photography!

  11. Hi Mandira, happy belated anniv! Quinoa pilaf looks really nice...must try that sometime..always been weary of that so far!


  12. Looking good.....thanks for introducing Quinoa.

  13. Hi Mandira -- is it Chilean seabass? It's a very tasty fish I know -- I used to buy it alot. Then heard it was overfished and alot of markets/restaurants stopped selling it. I guess it's being farmed now like salmon. I have gone mostly vegetarian this past year, but I still crave fish and this is a favorite. Your dish with quinoa is great! Love your description too -- germ separates -- I never could figure how to explain that :)

    Thanks for sharing -- looks grand and I'm sorry for the long comment :)

    PS Happy (belated) Anniversary!!

  14. I love quinoa!! Thanks for the recipe!! :)) I´ll try imediately.

  15. I just bought some quinoa so this recipe, which looks great, is timed perfectly. I don't think I'll poach sea bass (too expensive) but might try another fish. Thanks,

  16. Sher, thank you for retrying and posting your comments. I'm touched. We really liked the combination too. I'm sure to try poaching other varieties of fish too!

    Thanks Sangeeta

    Meena - Yes, quinoa is suppsed to be a healthy grain. You can even make it into a healthy breakfast with fruits and milk.

    Thanks Asha - It was our first time trying it and we liked the taste. Watching Super Bowl was fun, hope you enjoyed it too!

    Sandeepa - Yes, I know, blogger has been acting cranky! I wasn't sure if I'll get my blog back. We just celbrated our first anniversary. Do try and let me know how it turns out!

    Thanks Revathi, Sri. I couldn't resist putting some desi masalas and making it into this fantastic combination :)

  17. Padmaja - Welcome to ahaar and thanks for visiting.

    Trs - Thanks, I really liked the picture in the magazine and decided to try it. See, I'm easily persuaded :)

    RP - thanks, I hope you'll try it.

    Helene- Thanks, now I'm thinking of new recipe with Quinoa, will post soon.

    Pookah - Yes, sea bass was a treat for our anniversary! Do try and let me know how it turns out.

  18. Everything about this sounds good to me. Sea bass is one of my favorite fish, and although I've only cooked with quinoa a few times, I liked it the first time I tried it, like you.

  19. Dear Mandira,
    I have seen many times Sea Bass in US Markets , but never tried it , how does it taste , is it similar like Poona /Katla /Rui mach ,we get in India .
    Quinoa , wow again anew thing for me , loved the combo , pics looking great mouth-watering ...
    and Belated Happy marriage Anniversary , May God Bless Both of you .
    Hugs and Smiles

  20. Mandira i have tagged you for Meme.

  21. Kalyn - me too! I instantly liked the quinoa flavor. The sea bass was delicious too... I'm still trying out all the fish available in the stores :)

    Jaya - first of all welcome back :) Sea bass has a mild flavor with a a kind of sweet taste. Thank you for your wishes. I'll let Aswin know.

    Sri - Will definitely do the MeMe this weekend, thank you for tagging me.


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