Roes and caviares are perhaps the richest delicacies of sea food and no wonder in any Star Menu these are invariably the costliest!Roe is the name for fully ripe egg masses of fish & some marine forms like sea urchins and shrimp.Soft Roe, also called white roe is the male reproductive glands and their contents. It is eaten cooked or raw in various International cuisines like in Japanese Sushi,Turkish Tarama,Greek Taramasalata, Italian Bottarga,Bengali 'Potoler dolma'.Caviar is the name for sturgeon roe and it seems that sturgeons are becoming really rare because of the large scale sturgeon fishing around the world for caviares.Roes are available in various forms and texture, some are crunchy(the tastier) while some are white and rubbery, some are orange, pink or red. In Kerala we call it 'enar' or 'meen panji' or 'meen mutta' but I'm sorry I dont know the taxonomy in other languages(any help??).
One can have plenty of combinations with roe. I generally prefer the crunchy taste of yellow/reddish/orangish Indian fish roe...But all that I could get in the UK market here was the Herring roe, the white soft roe...and I decied to compromise.You may cook it as simple as a marinated deep fry...(marinate with red chillipowder and salt and then deep fry,batter it lightly and deep fry) or make a dip or topping out of it.... Or just scramble it like an egg scramble.It tastes lovely in any form. Here is my Scrambled Herring Roe recipe.
Herring Roe-500g(You need at least 500g to serve two people decently for it will shrink on heating)
Baby shallots-200g(or 2 medium Onions)
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder-1tsp
pepper powder-3/4 tsp
Mustard seed-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Marinate the herring roe with red chilli powder,paprika, turmeric and salt and leave it for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a wok.Add mustard, curry leaves. Once they have spluttered add baby shallots.Saute it till it becomes transluscent. Now add the pounded ginger, garlic and green chilli. Saute it for couple of minutes. Now add the marinated the roe along with the juices running out of it.Add pepper and cook it for nearly 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. Serve it hot with chappathi or with rice as as side dish.