Fish is one such food, which I crave for if I don’t have it for a couple of days. May be its due to the habit and culture that was inculcated in us. When it comes to sardine, the scenario completely changes. This fish is one of my all time favorite. There are multifarious ways of cooking the sardines in our region. Curries made with coconut, with spices and purees, by adding root vegetables of different varieties according to the season, shallow fry’s, deep fry’s , wrapped fry’s, the list is endless. One such seasonal dish is my recipe of the day. Green whole peppers are available during this season when highly fatty sardines are also obtained. Both when combined gives one of the healthiest dishes of the time.
I had stated a very brief description of the health benefits of sardines in my earlier post. I’m planning to go into the detailed version of this in another post. Today I’m concentrating on the health aspects of the green pepper. Green Peppercorns are the unripe berries of a tropical vine, Piper Nigrum. The same berries are processed to make black pepper. Green peppercorns have a milder but more complex and fresh flavor than most other peppercorns, and are commonly found preserved in brine or pickled. Green peppercorns can be sliced or chopped, or eaten whole. These have a much suppressed pepper flavor. In their various formats green peppercorns are popular in French, Thai, and Western European cuisines. Because they are perishable, green peppercorns are usually freeze dried, or preserved in brine or pickled.
Green peppercorns, in addition to being a culinary treat, have numerous health benefits. They are good for the digestive tract, reducing gas while increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach which aid with digestion and helps reduce several types of stomach distress. They also help fight bacterial growth in the intestines. In addition, green peppercorns are high in iron, vitamin K, and antioxidants. The skin of the peppercorn is helpful in breaking down fat cells, so eating green peppercorns can even help you lose weight. A chemical found in pepper, piperine, may have some use in helping other chemicals work in the body, and it may have anti-cancer properties as well. In all, green peppercorns are a healthy and tasty condiment, and well deserving of their place on every table. (source: http://www.green-peppercorns.com)
Peppers have been in use since ancient times for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties. Peppercorns are composed of health benefiting essential oils such as piperine, an amine alkaloid, which gives strong spicy pungent character to the pepper. It also contains numerous monoterpenes hydrocarbons such as sabinene, pinene, terpenene, limonene, mercene, etc., which gives aromatic property to the pepper. The above-mentioned active principles in the pepper may increase the gut motility as well as the digestion power by increasing gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions. It has also been found that piperine can increase absorption of selenium, B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients from the food. They are also an excellent source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as Pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. Peppercorns are a good source of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. They are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants like carotenes, cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lycopene. These compounds help the body remove harmful free radicals and help protect from cancers and diseases.
They’re milder than black peppercorns and have a unique green, fruity flavor that marries well with poultry, vegetables, seafood, even beef tenderloin sauces. They are also delicious in pate’s. Grind them in your pepper mill and add to spreadable soft cheeses like fresh goat cheese. Green peppercorns are not a sought after spice in Indian cooking. But for us Keralities, we find it in several fish and protein dishes. The milder flavour of the green peppercorns emits a certain distinctive punch and taste which makes this food get that appealing taste. The highlight of this dish is the green peppercorns. When combined with ginger, garlic, turmeric and lime juice creates a freshness which will make you drool over it. Never over cook this dish. It should be rarely done. I prefer it that way. For this recipe it was medium rare, crispy on the outside and soft inner side since my family preferred crispy ones.
Add all the ingredients except lime juice and fish to the grinder.
Grind to a coarse paste.
Add lemon juice and grind again to a fine paste.
Marinate the sardines with the marinade and keep for half an hour.
Shallow fry in coconut oil till rare or medium rarely done.
Serve immediately with rice and enjoy!!!!