Steamed cod in a banana leaf

Posted on Sep 2011 - by Tandoori Editor
Steamed cod in a banana leaf

Spices are all the rage with John Gregory-Smith’s new recipe book The Mighty Spice Cookbook, as Tandoori demonstrates.


6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp mustard seeds
4 red onions, finely chopped
2 large pinches of dried curry leaves
2 tsp garam masala
Juice of 1 lemon
4 large squares of banana leaf or baking parchment, about 
30 x 30 cm/12 x 12 in
4 cod fillets, about 150g / 5½ oz each, skinned
4 fresh curry leaves
4 cocktail sticks
Sea salt
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, then chuck in the mustard seeds. Let them crackle for 30 seconds, then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10–12 minutes, or until they are really golden and sticky.
Rub the dried curry leaves between your hands so that they break up, then scatter over the onions. Add the garam masala and lemon juice and season with a good pinch of salt. Mix well and cook for a further minute.
Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the cooked onion mixture onto the middle of a banana leaf, then use the back of the spoon to spread the onion so it’s just wide enough for one of the fish fillets to sit on top.
Place the cod fillets on top of the onion mix, then spread another heaped spoonful of the onion mixture over and top with a curry leaf.
Wrap the fish in the banana leaf like a parcel, tucking in the sides, and fasten the top with a cocktail stick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of fish and banana leaf.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to any remaining onion mixture in the frying pan and heat over a low-medium heat.
Add the fish parcels and then cook for 16–18 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and tender.
Serve immediately, still wrapped in the banana leaf so there is no risk of losing any of the delicious juices.
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