Fish in coriander chutney

Fish in coriander chutney

Reza’s Indian Spice

A traditional Parsi dish, this is so delicious and everyone loves it, with the vibrant green herbs and sweet coconut. The Parsis were persecuted in Iran during the 10th century and fled to India, bringing their style of cooking with them. This dish has a beautiful tangy taste which comes alive when it is steamed in its parcel in the oven. You can use any type of white fish. It is steam-baked so keeps lovely and moist. Banana leaves are widely available in Thai and Indian grocers and they impart a beautiful flavour, but if you can’t find them, foil or baking parchment make fine substitutes.


Quantity Ingredient
4 x 150-180g thick, firm white fish fillets
6 green chillies, deseeded
2 whole green chillies
100g freshly grated coconut
or 75g desiccated coconut
1 Very large bunch coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
30-40g roughly chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 garlic cloves
2-3 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
banana leaves or foil, to wrap the fish
a little vegetable oil, (optional)


  1. Briefly rinse the fish, then pat dry with kitchen paper and salt lightly.
  2. Using a food processor or blender, grind together the chillies, coconut, coriander, mint, cumin seeds, garlic, sugar and lime juice into a thick paste, adding a small amount of water if required. Adjust the seasoning. Coat each fish fillet with the paste on both sides. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  3. Remove the stems from the banana leaves, if using, and cut into squares each large enough to wrap a fillet. Secure gently by tying with string, or with the stems from the leaves. Or use foil, oiling it lightly to stop the fish from sticking.
  4. Place the fish on a metal rack in a baking tray and pour in enough water to cover the base of the tray, making sure the level of the water does not reach the rack. Place in the hot oven and steam-bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the fish flakes to the point of a knife.
  5. Remove the strings or stems from the parcels. Serve the fillets in their parcels, allowing your diners to open them at the table to release the delicious aromas. Serve with yogurt flavoured with lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper and a little sugar.
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