This recipes brings back fond memories of the season of ” Bagha” in Aden. Bagha (will have to look up its equivalent in English) is a fish about the same size as the small rainbow trout found in the US.
In the summer, they are abundant in Aden. I remember while we drove home from school or wor, the fishermen selling them on the side of the roads. They are usually sold in bundles of ten, fresh out of the Red sea , with their silver skins glistening in the sun. The last time i visited Aden in 1999–in July and August–I requested them but they were no where to be found. They are a seasonal treat.I personally can sit and eat the bundle of ten on my own.
If you don’t like whole fish, then you can use the same recipe for fish fillets. I enjoy it whole.
For this recipe you will need:
1) 3 tblsp of red chilly paste (I make my own. You can too, by soaking some red dried while Mexican chillies in water overnight–I get the mild ones–and then liquidize them in a food processor. Make sure the mixture is smooth, and does not have any small bits that might get stuck in your throat. They are very unconfortable)
2) 1 tsp of ground cumin
3) 1 tsp of ground coriander
4) salt to taste
5) 3 cloves of garlic finely minced
6) small to medium size rainbow trout
7) 3 tblsp of Olive Oil
Wash the rainbow trout well with cold water–inside and out. Cut it open from the middle–from its spine so it opens up like a book. You just want to cut it far enough so it opens up (see pic)–you don’t want to separate the fish into two pieces.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together well and cover the whole fish–YES EVER NOOK AND CRANNY. I like to coverand leave it in the refrigerator for an hour or two for it to suck up the flavors.
This is not a deep fried fish–Adenis NEVER deep fry fish. For fying you will need a frying pan big enough for the fish to fit comfortably (GOTTA MAKE THE FISH HAPPY HA HA HA).
Heat the oil in the frying pan, and then gently place the fish TUMMY down. Let it cook for about 6 minutes , or when it loosens from the frying pan. DO NOT FLIP IT WHEN IT IS STILL STICKING TO THE PAN–it will come apart and won’t come out picture perfect like mine .
Gently flip to the other side and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until cooked through, and is nice and crispy on the outside.
Serve with wedges of lemon.