Banana-Leaf-Wrapped Sea Bass

Wrapping the sea bass in a banana leaf ensures the fish remains moist, and imparts to it a subtle flavour. Banana leaves can be found in Thai and certain Asian grocers. However, foil can be used as a substitute. A mango and yoghurt dressing works beautifully with this dish, and, together with plain rice and Masoor Dal, you have a complete meal.

  • 2 Sea Bass Fillets, each weighing approx. 150 g (5.5 oz)
  • 1 Banana Leaf cut into two
  • 1 Garlic Clove finely grated
  • 1cm (1/2 inch) piece Fresh Ginger finely grated
  • 1 tsp Chives chopped
  • 1 tsp Green Chilli finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Coriander chopped
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 pinches Chilli Powder
  • Knob Butter
  • 4 slices Lime

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 Green Mango peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Natural Yoghurt
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chopped Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida

Serves 2

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6.

Place the sea bass fillets on the pieces of banana leaf. Sprinkle over the garlic, ginger, chives, chilli, coriander, salt, black pepper and chilli powder. Top with the butter and slices of lime. Fold each piece of banana leaf up over the fish, to form a parcel, and secure with cocktail sticks. Put in a roasting tin, place in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the mango and yoghurt in a bowl and season with salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida, and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the mivture emits a fragrant aroma. Stir into the yoghurt and mango, mixing well.

Remove the banana-leaf parcels from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Unwrap the fish and serve with the mango and yoghurt dressing.

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