Mangalorean Recipes

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Fish Selection

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When buying fish see that is always fresh.   It should have stiff and rigid flesh.  Flabby flesh, is a sign, that it has started to decompose.  The fish should smell fresh, but one can not take this always, as fish kept in ice, tends not to have smell.   Bad fish starts to smell, when it is taken out of the ice, and left out for some time.

Fresh fish will have red gills, bright eyes, and scales firm.   Fish that does not have scales, should have its outer skin smooth, moist and adhering to the flesh.    Blistered skin is a sign, that the fish is bad.

Small fish is always preferable to large ones.  Larger fish tends to be old and tough.

 Fish should be absolutely fresh.  Fish takes less time to cook, and is easily digested.  Although separate dishes are given in the heading, of certain fish, the same method of recipe can also be applied to various other fishes.  

To cut and clean fish, put it on a flat board, and with a knife remove all the scales, fins and the tail.   Cut open a little of the stomach close to the head, and remove the insides, and clean the fish

In Indian kitchens, Indian housewives use a large curved knife, fixed to a long low stool called "Adalo" instead of a knife and board.   It serves both for sitting and cutting fish etc.

The fish is held with the head in one hand and the tail in the other, and the fish is scraped over the curved knife, to remove the scales and fins and then it is cut.   

Wash the fish in plenty of water.   Stir and rub the fish to the pot with the hand taking care not to break the fish.   Repeat two or three times, cleaning with fresh water, till the last water is quite clean.

From Inernet:

What is a fish?
A fish is an animal which lives and breathes in water. All fish are vertebrates (have a backbone) and most breathe through gills and have fins and scales. Fish make up about half of all known vertebrate species.

What is a person who studies fish called : An ichthyologist.

How are fish identified : A combination of the number of fins and their characteristics, scale counts, general features, colour, maximum length and distribution are used.

Difference between male and female fish - In some species the males and females have different shaped bodies or different colouring; in other species there is no visible difference.

How fishes breathe:  Some fish have lungs and breathe air, but most breathe through gills. Gills are made up of thin sheets of tissue richly supplied with blood vessels. As water passes over them dissolved oxygen is absorbed into the blood and waste products such as carbon dioxide pass out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum.

What is a lateral line :  The lateral line is a row of scales that most fish have along their sides, stretching from their head to tail. Under these scales are a system of fluid-filled canals and specialized cells which transmit vibrations to the brain. The lateral line helps fish to detect objects including predators and prey.

Why are fish slimy : Fish secrete a type of mucus from their skin. This slime coating is important because it provides protection against parasites and diseases, covers wounds to prevent infection and helps fish move through the water faster. Some species release toxins in their slime which ward off attacking creatures while others use their slime to feed their young.

What do fish eat? Fish Diet :
Detritus, diatoms,  aquatic macro-invertebrates (particularly insect larvae, crustaceans and worms), molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, zooplankton, fish and their eggs, terrestrial insects, water birds, turtles, frogs, snakes and mice etc .

What eats fish?
Other fish, birds (e.g. pelicans, cormorants and herons), snakes, turtles, crustaceans, some insect larvae (e.g. dragonfly larvae), and humans. In other parts of the world there are also animals such as wild cats, wild pigs and bears that feed on fish.

Where do freshwater fish live : Freshwater fish inhabit all sorts of environments: streams, rivers, lakes, springs, lands, lagoons, billabongs, backwaters, estuaries, swamps, dune lakes, reservoirs, ponds and drains. Some freshwater fish also spend part of their lifecycle at sea.

 Types of Tropical fishes
Anabantids  - The Anabantids are fishes that belong to the families Anabantidae, Belontiidae, Helostomatidae and Osphronemidae. They are also called "labyrinth fish" because of their auxillary breathing organ called "labyrinth".  

 Catfishes- Catfishes are indentifiable by the barbels around their mouths which allow them to locate food in the dark. Instead of scales, the skin may be naked or covered with bony plates ("scutes").Types: Cory, Whiptail, Plecto
Characins . Description - This is a very brief summary information about the fish. Everything else is on a separate page. Types: Tetra, Hatchetfish, Pacu. Most characins spawn by egg-scattering.
Cichlids - Description - The colours, shapes and sizes of cichlids vary enormously. Types: Angelfish
Cyprinids - Description - Tropical aquarium cyprinids are divided into three main groups: barbs (which are carp-like fishes), danios and raspboras. All cyprinids spawn through egg-scattering.
Killifishes - Description - Cyprinodontidae.
Loaches - Description - Loaches are distinguishable by the erectile spine beneath the eye, which acts as deterrent to predators.
Livebearers - Description - This is a very brief summary information about the fish. Everything else is on a separate page. Types: Mollies, Swordtails, Guppies, Platy, Millions Fish
Other Fish - Description - This category comprises: Triggerfish

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