This baked mackerel has so many strings of memories attached to my teenage. It was in those days, when I was with my grandparents, during my high school years, my cousin made this dish and brought for us. Baking fish in Indian style was almost new to me. My mom always baked food in western style, whether it was chicken, beef, fish or seafood. The dish made by sissy was so well balanced with the core ingredient coriander being highlighted. I just had it a couple of times. With that taste in my memory, I started making this baked fish. Every time I do this, I bring in some change to this dish but not affecting the core.Since fish is the least preferred food by my other inmates, that too very choosy, the baked Mackerel just pop up once in a while when I yearn for this fish. Baking is the only option where majority will consume this.
Mackerel is a common fish which can be found all year round in our region and all along India. Fish curry and fry are the regular preps. Since people started becoming conscious of health, baked, grilled and steamed forms started getting widely accepted. Mackerel is a name used for various species of fish found mostly in the Scombridae family. Of the different types, the more commonly known mackerel are Cero, Atlantic, King and Spanish mackerel. Mackerels are known for their slim shape, numerous finlets and oily meat. The oily meat found on mackerel is where its main health benefits derive from. This fish oil, which is also known as omega-3 fatty acid, has shown to be so beneficial, it is made into a supplement.
Mackerel can help strengthen the immune system and improve overall body functions due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients it contains. Lowering triglycerides, Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like mackerel, have been proven to be very effective in lowering triglyceride levels. Mackerel has been shown to be effective for, not only reducing the risk of heart disease, but also a deterrent for dying from heart disease due to its omega-3 fatty acids. Bad cholesterol particles, also known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), are lowered by the fish oil found in mackerel, while good cholesterol particles, known as high-density lipoproteins (HDL), are increased. Mackerel and other fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good for the blood. They help with blood circulation and lower blood pressure by allowing blood vessels to expand and be more elastic. It also helps in lowering the pain, stiffness and swollen joints associated with arthritis. This makes mackerel a good supplement for pain medications. Several studies have found a correlation between fish oil and a reduced risk of depression, suicide, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Some cases even displayed an increase in brain activity and enhanced memory. Mackerel can help strengthen the immune system and improve overall body functions due to the amount of vitamins and nutrients it contains.
Aside from the numerous health benefits associated with the omega-3 fatty acid found in mackerel, this particular fish can also be eaten for a significant source of nutrients. Protein, calcium, potassium, selenium and magnesium are found in abundance in this fish. These nutrients help maintain proper function of the body and are important for the heart, bones and teeth, nerves and muscles, and proper metabolic function. (Input courtesy : https://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/health-benefits-of-mackerel/)
There was a false notion in me which was imprinted in my mind hearing from my elders that mackerel is not a good fish. But that is not to be so. Coriander powder and coriander leaves are the two core ingredients which is the main flavoring agent in this dish. Lime leaves will steal the limelight and the whole dish will get overpowered by it if adding this item. so be careful when you add this. Fishy smell is not at all welcomed in my house. So I try this little ways to make things attractive and appealing. Those who prefer sticking to traditional palate can avoid this. Green pepper is also an option, instead can go for black pepper. Baking to brown and crisp also depends on the individual preference. Since ewe at home prefer moist masala, I bake thrills lightly browned. As I always say, stick to your intuitions and inclinations if your prefer making some changes as the taste buds differ for every individual.
Wash and clean the fish under running water. Score and drain well.
Slice the onions, coriander.
Grind the first marinade ingredients to a smooth fine paste.
Marinate the mackerel with the paste and set aside for half an hour.
Heat a pan, add coconut oil, and then the sliced onions. Saute till tender and pink. Add all the spice powders and saute till fragrant.
Add the coconut cream and combine well and simmer for sometime. Add in the chopped coriander leaves and switch off after a minute.
Allow this to cool down a bit. Apply this generously on the fish inside out. Rest for 15 minutes.
Bake in oven at 180 degree centigrade for 2-0-25 minutes or until browned.
Enjoy with rice or bread of your choice.