After a hard day at work, we all just want to be able to prepare a tasty meal in 15 minutes or less. Because of this, I’ve been experimenting with what I call “Food Hacks”, using inexpensive prepared sauce mixes meant for use with a particular product but using them with something else. The reason for sharing these “Hacks” is to help people realize that because the sauce envelope says “for Beef”, “for Chicken” or whatever, does not mean that it can’t be used for something else. Some may need to be “tweaked” a little by the addition of other ingredients like onions, garlic etc but for the most part, they can be used “as is”. In this “Hack” I used a prepared Indian sauce mix for Mutter Paneer, a type of dairy based cheese. The brand of sauce mix is Parampara, and directions indicated it could also be used for Tofu, so I thought I’d try to see if I could extend its use to fish, since that has an equally bland and neutral a taste as does Paneer or Tofu. I elected to use an equivalent weight of Mahi Mahi filet and follow the directions as indicated on the envelope.The only changes I made was to add two green Thai chilis, and increase the quantity of green peas.
These prepared sauce mixes are readily available in most Indian or Pakistani grocery stores here in the US. I would imagine the same applies to their availability in other countries as well. While someone who cooks Indian food in the traditional manner may cringe at the thought of using a sauce mix meant for cooking Paneer, to cook fish. Others may just welcome the idea of a quick, good tasting substitute that can be prepared with minimum fuss, and tastes close enough to the real thing! The result tastes like it’s supposed to, a mild Punjabi type fish curry, more along the lines of a creamy Korma as opposed to a more spicy Goan or Sri Lankan Fish Curry. I will be trying a variety of brands of Paneer sauce mixes to see how they perform as substitutes.
1 envelope of Parampara Mutter Paneer ready to cook sauce mix
1 7oz fish filet, cut in cubes
5 ½ oz can green peas
300 mls water
3 ½ oz yogurt
2 ½ tbsp fresh cream or “Half and Half”
2 whole Thai green Chili (optional)Method
- Whisk the contents of the sauce mix envelope with the water and yogurt. Cook the mixture for 7 minutes
- Add the drained green peas, chili peppers (if used) along with the cubes of fish
- Cook until the curry becomes thick (5-7 minutes)
- Add the fresh cream and bring to a boil
- It goes well with both Mango and Sweet Lime Pickles