Pomfret steamed in green chutney. A patra ni machhi inspired feel good recipe

pomfret steamed in a green chutney marinade

K tells me that the star attraction in birthday parties during her growing up days in Mumbai were the green chutney sandwiches.

The equivalent for us in birthday parties in Calcutta were egg rolls.

In fact I didn't really come across green chutney till I came to Mumbai. Then there was green chutney in sandwiches, as a side with vada pav and as the marinade in the Parsi Patra ni Machhi.

My mom in law, a Parsi, used to make us bottles full of green chutney. My mother, a Bengali, got hooked on to it, and would take some of this back to Kolkata.

Yesterday, the folks from Pescafresh, the seafood delivery service in Mumbai, sent some gigantic pomfret and mackerel for us to try. I was wondering what to do with the pomfret when I remembered the patra ni machhi and thought of doing a steamed green chutney marinated version.

So we ground a bunch of fresh coriander or dhania in the mixer with a couple of cloves of peeled garlic, 2 split green chillies, some salt, juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of olive oil and marinated the pomfret with the paste.

the marinated pomfret

I then preheated the oven for 10 min at 200 C, wrapped the fish in a baking foil, and put it in for 30 min at 200 C. The pomfret were pretty large and took a while to cook though you can try it for 25 min too. The pomfret was scored so the flavours of the marinade went deep in.

pomfrets out of the oven

We let the pomfret rest a bit and then had it Parsi style with rotis and Parsi masoor daal that Banu had cooked.

Bengalis have fish only with rice and our daals are always yellow!

last night's dinner

I won't call this patrani machhi of course because we didn't use a banana leaf (patra) to steam it and the green chutney didn't have the grated coconut and sugar that a patra ni machhi mix would have.

Still, it was a fairly flavourful and quick dinner option which retained the flavours of the fish.