Oven-Roasted Fish with Onion, Lemon, Fenugreek & Cilantro (Mahi-e Shekam Por)
Cooking whole fish is easy--most fish markets sell them already cleaned and butterflied with the backbone and rib bones removed. (If not, ask the fishmonger to do it for you.) Leaving the head and tail intact makes them easy to work with--and the presentation at the table is impressive. A flavorful stuffing made with tangy tamarind and aromatic herbs is a great foil for the mild fish.
Tips: Fenugreek: Both the leaves (fresh or dried) and their mustard-colored seeds (whole or ground) have a complex flavor that's a little nutty and almost maple-y. Use it up: Ground seeds can be used in curry powders, teas, rubs or as a seasoning for cooked vegetables. Add fresh leaves to salads, sauces and curries.
Tamarind: The sticky, candy-sour pulp found inside the pods from the tamarind tree is used to make a concentrated paste (with or without seeds) that's common to dishes from across southern Asia. Use it up: Make pad thai; stir into sautéed vegetables or salad dressing.
1 vegetable, 3 lean protein, 2 1/2 fat