This mouth watering fish preparation is a Parsi dish that was brought to India by Persians. It is an explosion of flavor given by the bright green chutney that marinates the fish. And the best part is, the fish is steamed. This zero-oil fish dish just plays with your taste buds and does not sit on the waist.
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut (This is optional. Coconut is good fat and it enhances the taste; but if you are on a low fat diet, then skip this one)
You would also require
Banana leaves or aluminium foil - as many pieces as the number of fillets.
Steamer or pressure cooker
For the chutney- Grind together all the ingredients listed under chutney to a fine paste with little water. You will need a grinder or blender for this and not in a food processor.
Give it a taste check. Adjust salt, lemon and chili accordingly. It is acceptable to have the taste bit strong as the flavors will tone down after steaming.
Traditionally banana leaves are used to wrap the fish. But if unavailable, use aluminium foil. Cut them into squares, such that you would be able to completely enclose the fillet in each piece.
Wash and pat dry the fillet and coat each surface generously with the green chutney. Then assemble in the leaf or foil. Keep in the center and fold from all four sides, such that fish is completely enclosed.
Basa fish fillets
Coat generously with the chutney
Wrap the fish
Keep water for boiling in a steamer. If you don't have a steamer or pressure cooker, take a large and deep pan, fill little less than half with water, cover and allow it to boil.
In a plate or tray, arrange the fish packets. Keep the tray in the vessel such that it doesn't come in contact with water. You may have to keep a smaller cup below the tray to get the desired height.
Take care to not over crowd the fish packets, so that individual packets get good exposure to steam.
Close and allow it to steam for 7-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. I have used basa fillets and it took 7 minutes in the steamer. Thicker fillets might take longer, even up to 15 minutes.
Once done, open the steamer and before you open the packet, press with finger to check. If it feels flaky and cooked, you can serve right away. If not, steam for few more minutes.
Ready to be devoured!
For serving, plate it with the cover. It maintains the heat and flavor tucked inside the packet. Serve with fresh salad or steamed rice. Enjoy Patrani machhi steaming hot.