Exotic Banana Leaf Fish

 October was indeed a month for feasting and I for one really enjoyed it.  This is a traditional recipe made by my sister Anu and all of us smacked our lips in anticipation and enjoyed the wonderful outcome.


The Recipe:

1 large fish – 2 kg , scaled and cleaned and kept whole.  Wash, rub with turmeric and salt and keep aside to drain.  Make gashes with sharp knife on both sides to rub in the masala.

Large banana leaves to wrap the fish.  Oil for deep frying the fish.

Masala:  1 tsp chilli powder; 1/4 tsp turmeric; 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste; 1 tsp black pepper powder; 1 onion, quartered; 1/8 medium coconut grated; salt to taste.  Grind to a smooth paste and marinade fish overnight in this masala

For Gravy:  3 large onions, sliced fine; 2 sprigs curry leaves; 2 tomatoes chopped fine; chilli powder and salt to taste; oil for seasoning.

Deep fry fish on both sides to a golden brown.  Drain and place in the centre of banana leaf retaining remaining masala for the gravy.  Fold the leaf into a parcel and tie with string.   Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C 15 minutes each side or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean.

Next, make the gravy.  Heat 3 tbsp oil in a nonsick pan.  Add the curry leaves and onions and fry to a golden brown.  Throw in the tomatoes and stir fry till thick and gravyish.  Add salt  and chilli powder to taste and a little water if required.  Mix in the remaining masala marinade.    Simmer for 5 minutes.

Untie the banana leaf and pour the gravy over the baked fish.  Garnish or decorate as you please.  Serve with white rice and vegetables of your choice.  A most impressive dish.    The outcome is phenomenal.  We all admired it for a while before attacking it.  And wiped the platter clean.  Hats off to Anu for this Exotic Banana Leaf Fish.

Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.

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