Indian style baked sea bass
Indian style baked sea bass - I got this idea when I was watching some English food show in which fish was baked with breadcrumbs in aluminium foil. So I thought of baking the fish with Indian spices in aluminium foil. The fish was so moist and juicy after baking, you will really like it. You can add your own ingredients in this. In this you can use ordinary onion also and while adding mustard seeds, you can add dry chillies and curry leaves and even other ingredients.
I have used sea bass in this recipe. You can use pomfret or any fish you like. I have layered the fish with sliced tomatoes, you can put lemon slices also, which gives a good sour taste. You can even do this for party food by making small parcels with aluminium foil for each portion of fish. If the number of people are more obviously its more work - so plan accordingly. I have marinated the fish, then fried, then wraped it in aluminium foil with onion masala. The fish was moist and delicious. You can use boneless fish if you want.
If you see the pictures you can see 2 fish pieces (whole) - one is small and other is big. I have used 2 fish for my family. You can slice the fish or use boneless fish to make meen pollichathu. Make small parcels with banana leaves or aluminium foil for each piece/slice of fish. This recipe will be good for parties.
- Oil - for frying the fish
- Whole Fish – 1 (medium size) or 1/2 kg
- Aluminium foil
- Tomato (for garnishing) - 1
- Chilli powder - 1
- Lemon juice - 3 tsp
- Salt - as required
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
- Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
- Oil - 1 tsp
- Oil - 2 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 3/4 tsp
- Onion (shallots) - 100 gms
- Curry leaves - 12 to 15
- Green chillies (finely chopped) - 2
- Ginger and garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp or ginger chopped - 1 tsp
- Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
- Tomato - 1
- Coriander powder - 2 tsp
- Salt - as per taste
For masala or sauce
- First clean the whole fish properly and can separate the head for this and make slits on the fish, so that fish will be marinated well. You can fry the fish head also can eat it separately, if you like it.
- Chop the onion, green chillies, and tomatoes and keep it aside.
There are 3 stages involved.
a. Frying the fish
b. Making the masala/sauce
c. Wrapping the fish
a. Frying the fish
- First marinate the fish for 1hr or overnight. Mix all masala (ingredients) in a plate, can add few drops of water to make a thick paste. Then apply on fish.
- Now take a pan, add 2tsp oil, when it gets heated up, now place the fish on pan or tava, drizzle few drops of oil around it and on top, so that it won’t stick to the pan. Fry the fish for few minutes on one side and the other side also. See to that fish is fried well on both sides, but not over cooked. It will be soft but it is cooked and it is like a fried fish. It will not take more than 10 to 12min. cook it on medium heat.
- After cooking the fish, keep it aside.
- take a kadai ,add oil, when it gets warm add mustard seeds, when it splutters add curry leaves and shallots, stir well, cook till it is light brown and soft.
- Now add ginger &garlic paste or ginger pieces, stir for a second then add all dry powders add green chillies also, stir well.
- Now add chopped tomato and mix well, cook till it is soft and well blended with spices. I have not chopped the tomatoes finely as any how it is going to become soft while cooking.
- Can add water 30ml, so that spices are cooked well and not burnt. cook on medium heat.
- when the masala is cooked, it starts leaving oil on top and becomes like thick gravy texture and it should be dry. add salt as per taste. switch it of and let it cool.
- Take a banana leaf or aluminium foil, grease it with little oil(optional), the area where you are going to put masala and fish.
- First put masala on aluminium foil then, place fish on it, then again masala and spread it.
- Now arrange the slices of tomato on the fish, I have done on both the fish. If you are using one fish then arrange on only one fish.
- Close the aluminium foil, on both sides, then the other 2sides, then pierce it with tooth prick or thread (cut it long and just roll it on both sides) .it is just to make sure that wrap is not opened. Close the all ends.
- Now place the fish on the oven tray and keep it inside the oven for 10- 12 min (200c). Or
- Put it on the same tava , in which fish was fried , put 1/2tsp oil, when it gets hot, put banana leaf and fry it on both sides till the leaf becomes brown.
- Turn carefully, as the gravy can come out, the banana leaf colour changes when it is cooked.
- You can close the lid and cook the fish on lower flame, it will take 10 to 15min. or just without the lid also you can cook.
- When the lid is closed, my experience is, it will be more juicy and soft, if the lid is opened and cooked it is little dry but tastes good.
- When it is cooked place it on a plate and open the aluminium foil, you will see that masala is nicely attached to the fish and coated well.
- The sliced tomatoes are well attached to the fish.
- Good taste, spicy with few simple ingredients in it.
- Can serve it with plain rice or any dish you like it.
b. Making the masala/sauce
c. Wrapping the fish in aluminium foil
- Banana leaf if using use baby banana leaf, as it will not tear like big leaf does.
- If the masala is thick and little dry, it will be easy to apply on fish and wrap also.
- If you want you can use chopped ginger and garlic instead if ginger & garlic paste.
- You can reduce chilli , if you like. add salt according to requirement.
- Can avoid tomato pieces if you want and add 30ml of coconut milk and cook the masala till it dries or can add both few chopped tomatoes and coconut milk, you will get different taste.
- Can alter with spices , according to your taste.
- In fish marinate, chilli powder, ginger and garlic paste, turmeric powder, pepper powder and lemon juice all these ingredients you can add according to you taste, whichever you like. In masala also you can add ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, tomato, pepper powder, tamrind paste or kokum water(kokum soaked in hot water for few minutes), coconut milk, in this also it is up to you, you can add anything which you like, according to your taste.