Fish and saffron stew with parsley mayonnaise

Fish and saffron stew with parsley mayonnaise

Eat Right For Your Body Type
Lisa Linder

Saffron is a great spice to use with fish as it helps to cool its heating properties. This dish is based upon a French-style fish stew but without the wine (a very strong and penetrating taste which pitta should avoid, even in food) and cream (dairy and animal proteins do not mix well). It is still delicious and nourishing and light enough for all the three body types, although those with a kapha imbalance should take the Ayurvedic option (see below, it is still delicious). I would serve this only with a little crusty bread on the side (buttered for vata and pitta only). Vata can add a little garlic paste, lemon and paprika to the mayonnaise.


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 tablespoons ghee or butter, (kapha should use 3⁄4 tablespoon vegetable oil)
1/2 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1/4-1/2 head fennel
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1/3 leek, sliced and washed, (white parts only)
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
1/3 teaspoon fennel seeds, powdered
350ml fish stock
150ml water
a fat pinch saffron threads
2 fillets firm white fish
handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 rounded tablespoon mayonnaise


  1. Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a medium non-stick saucepan. Add the onion, fennel, carrots, leek and thyme. Sauté gently until the onion is soft and starting to colour, around 8–10 minutes. Spoon out a quarter of the vegetables and reserve. Add the garlic and spices to the pan, season with salt and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the fish stock and water and crumble in the saffron.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for 12–15 minutes, uncovered – you want to end up with 350–400 ml of well-flavoured liquid. Add in the fish and reserved vegetables, bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently for 3–4 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Spoon out the fish and place in the serving bowl.
  3. Stir the parsley into the mayonnaise, then stir into the fish stew, adjust the seasoning and ladle into the serving bowl over the fish.

Strict Ayurveda

  • To follow strict Ayurveda principles, before adding the fish to the stew, blend the vegetables to a fine purée, then adjust the seasoning and consistency of the soup by adding or cooking off excess liquid. Add the fish and reserved vegetables back into the soup and cook, covered as above. Stir in the parsley and serve.
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