Saas ni macchi

Saas ni macchi

Parsee fish in white sauce

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

Saas simply means ‘sauce’, however I am not sure whether this was the Parsee take on their fish velouté but it is a velouté of sorts except that it is thickened with eggs and ground rice instead of flour and butter. The flavouring is very Parsee and this dish is very much a signature of the community and a must at most special occasions.

Pomfret (pompano) is the most popular fish to use. It’s a meaty flat fish from the Arabian Sea much prized by the people of the west coast of India and coastal Pakistan. Pomfret is also found in the Indian Ocean but somehow the taste is just not the same. You can use any good white chunky fish fillet, like sea bass, turbot, halibut or, even coley, but ideally use one that can be cut into steaks with a central bone (you could use four cod cutlets, for instance) so that the fish can be simmered in the sauce itself.


Quantity Ingredient
3-4 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil
4 small red onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
7.5-10 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 pomfrets, each trimmed and cut into 2.5 cm thick steaks through the bone or filleted
15-20 fresh curry leaves, finely shredded
1 litre water
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
6 eggs
60g fine grade rice flour
90-120ml malt vinegar
85-115g caster sugar
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
3 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4-5 medium green chillies, finely chopped
salt, to taste

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
* makki ki roti [rid:9901]
or * chapattis [rid:9926]
Laapsi khichdi a' la Pervin


  1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger until just beginning to colour.
  2. Add the fish and shredded curry leaves and fry on each side for 1 minute.
  3. Add the water and tomatoes, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes until fish is just cooked through (steaks will take a little longer than fillets). Remove the fish with a fish slice and place in a deep dish. Keep warm. Strain the stock, return to the casserole and reheat it.
  4. Beat the eggs with the rice flour, vinegar, sugar, coriander and mint until smooth.
  5. Whisk the hot fish stock into the egg mixture and then pour back into the pan.
  6. Cook, stirring slowly but continuously, until it thickens. Do not let it boil (best to use a wooden flat spatula and a whisk alternately to achieve this and to prevent the egg from curdling).
  7. Whisk in the cumin and, once well blended, the chopped green chillies. Season with salt and check that you are happy with the sweet, sour and slightly hot tastes.
  8. Either add the fish to the sauce (if using steaks with bone in) and heat through, or pour the sauce over the fish (if using fillets).
  9. Serve immediately with chapattis or khichdi.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again