Steamed coconut and chilli sea bass with shoestring fries

PT45M

PT1H

First published in 2021
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Avi says: 'Mumbai is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures and this dish is an Irani café classic. It was brought to India by the Parsis who came from Iran and settled in coastal Gujarat. They included fish in their diet and combined a unique mix of Persian and Gujarati cuisines to create this dish.  

It is simple, yet full of flavour and freshness. I particularly love this dish in the autumn in England or in the monsoons in India, when the weather is cold and you crave something comforting, steaming hot and healthy. The combination of coriander leaves and chillies leave your lips tingling and gently warm you up from the inside. The tangy aroma from the lemon and the sweetness from the coconut create a sense of happiness on a dark autumn’s day.'

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Sea Bass

Marinade

Shoestring fries

  • 250g of potatoes, peeled
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying

To serve

1

Rub the sea bass fillets with lemon juice and sea salt and place in the fridge for an hour

2

In the meantime, prepare the shoestring fries. Cut the potatoes into matchsticks, using a mandoline with a julienne blade attached if you have one. Wash and drain the potatoes three times to remove excess starch, then pat the potato as dry as possible using a clean cloth or kitchen paper. Set aside

3

Place the marinade ingredients in a blender and to a coarse paste, adding a little water if necessary (but as little as possible)

4

Preheat an oven to 200°C/gas mark 6

5

Place the banana leaf (if using) in the oven for a minute so it becomes soft and easy to fold

  • 1/2 banana leaf, cut in half, or 2 sheets of baking paper
6

Smear a spoonful of the marinade onto each piece of banana leaf and place the fish on top. Spread another spoonful of the marinade on top to coat the whole fish evenly. Fold the leaves into parcels so the fish is completely sealed. Alternatively use a sheet of baking paper and tin foil to create a parcel

7

Bake the the fish parcels in the oven for 8–10 minutes

8

As the fish bakes, fry the potatoes. Place a deep pan of sunflower oil over a high heat and heat until 180°C. Once hot, carefully fry off the potato in batches until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt

  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
9

To serve, place each fish parcel in a dish. Open up the parcels and scatter with a big handful of the shoestring fries. Garnish with chopped coriander and a lemon wedge

First published in 2021
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