Turmeric Week: Steamed fish in Banana Leaf


For the Marinade:

  • Pomfret fish : 1 no
  • Red chilly powder : 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

For the Gravy:

  • Shallots/Pearl onion: 10-15 (finely chopped)
  • Tomato: 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Red chilly Powder: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Green chilles: 2 (split)
  • Ginger: 1″piece (finely chopped)
  • Garlic: 4-5 pods (finely chopped)
  • Coconut oil: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig
  • Salt to taste

For the Wraps:

Banana Leaves coated with coconut oil


  1. Clean the fish thoroughly, make deep slits in the fish for the marination to sink in.
  2. Marinate with paste of red chilli turmeric, salt and lime juice for 1 hour.
  3. Take a non-stick pan; add little coconut oil, when its hot, add chopped shallots/pearl onion and saute until its translucent.
  4. Add chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and fry for a few min. Add chopped tomatoes and saute for 2 min. Do not let the ingredients burn.
  5. Immediately add all spice powders prepared for the gravy, add little salt, sprinkle little water and check taste for any additional seasoning; mix in thoroughly. Cool and keep it aside
  6. Heat oil in pan and fry the fish flipping each side; it should be fried crisp, do not overcook and remove from fire.
  7. Place the banana leaf over a large plate and lightly smear coconut oil on the surface.
  8. Scoop 1/2 of the cooked gravy on to the banana leaf and place the fish on top. Smear the remaining gravy on top of the fish.
  9. Make parcels of the fish inside the banana leaves, use a tooth pick to hold the leaves in place. This parcel can be steamed on a hot pan on low flame. Some coconut milk could be poured on the pan to create a steam and provide flavor to the fish while steaming.
  10. Serve with lime wedges and hot steamed rice.

Vinod Radhakrishnan

A food production professional for the last 20 years, graduating in hotel management from India, he subsequently obtained a Masters in Hospitality Management from Wales Bridge University, USA. Has been associated with some of the finest international hotel chains such as Hyatt, Intercontinental (Six Continents Club) etc. and various fine dining outlets in the GCC and the Middle East. Has also been part of pre-opening properties (hotel & restaurants) in these regions namely Oman, Qatar & Bahrain. A culinary trainer for the last 10 yrs. working in culinary schools in India and the UAE, he has been with ICCA since 2006 and has been instrumental in developing its training curriculum. A certified food safety ​ ​trainer​, certified instructor from American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) as well.

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