Traditional Kerala style fish baked/steamed in banana leaves with spicy masala.
For thick paste/masala:
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2-3 springs Curry leaves
1 cup finely chopped red onions
½ cup Coconut milk
2 nos Green chillies
2 finely chopped/grated Tomato
1 tsp Coriander powder
¼ tsp Garam Masala
Fresh lemon slices
Coconut oil (vegetable oil can be used as well)
Make a few slits on pomfret with sharp knife. (For this recipe pomfret fish with bone is preferred)
(Tip: If pomfret is unavailable, substitute with any other white flesh fish)
Prepare the marinade mixture with Ginger Garlic paste, Black pepper powder, Turmeric powder, Lemon juice, Chilli powder, Lemon juice and salt to taste until a uniform paste is formed.
Apply this paste into the slits and all over the pomfret fish. Refrigerate the marinated fish for 3-4 hours. This fish can be cooked in two ways,
Method one: (quick and easy without masala)
Wrap the marinated pomfret fish in banana leaves with lemon slices inside and secure with toothpick.
Add little oil in a non-stick pan and cook wrapped fish for about 8-10 minutes, flip the fish over and cook for another 5- 10 mins on the other side.
After the fish is cooked, unwrap it and serves it with lemon and rice.
Method two: (with masala/thick paste to add more flavour)
In a pan, heat oil and slightly fry fish until it turns golden brown on both sides. Do not cook fully. Keep this fish aside.
Now in the same pan heat some more oil, add curry leaves, mustard seeds, green chillies and onions. Cook until onions turn golden brown.
Add coriander powder, garam masala, any leftover marinade and tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add thick coconut milk and salt to the paste/masala and sauté until the masala turns into thick paste.
Apply all this masala over the fried fish (just coat it).
Wrap the fish in banana leaves with lemon slices inside and secure with toothpick.
Bake this fish in the oven for about 15-20minutes at 350ºF or steam it for 20 minutes.
Serve with lemon and fresh leafy salad.