In this dish, fish is topped with coconut-cilantro chutney, wrapped in leaves, and baked. Here lettuce leaves substitute for the traditional banana leaves. This is a popular dish around Bombay where fish and coconuts are fresh and abundant.
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup unsweetened grated coconut ( preferably fresh)
1-2 small chilis
3 garlic cloves, coarsly chopped
1 Tbl. chopped fresh ginger root
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
Main dish ingredients
2 pounds firm, white-fleshed fish fillets
6-8 large lettuce leaves for wrapping (leaf lettuce works well)
1/4 cup melted butter or ghee
2 Tbl. fresh lime juice
1 lime, sliced
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the chutney ingredients and process until quite smooth. If using a blender, it may necessary to add one or two Tbl. of water and to blend the ingredients in batches.
Rinse the fish and cut into 6 to 8 serving sized pieces. Place each piece at the bottom of a lettuce leaf and spread a generous spoonful of the chutney on top. Fold the rest of the leaf down over the fish and tuck in the edges to form a packet.
Place the packets in an oiled baking dish and drizzle the butter and 2 Tbl. of lime juice over them. Bake, covered, at 350 F. for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lettuce looks wilted and browned. The lettuce may be eaten or not, as desired.
Serve with rice and Tomato Kachumber and garnish each serving with a slice of lime. Or serve the fish accompanied by a simple side dish of cherry tomatoes stir-fried with some oil and minced garlic.
Note: If you are pressed for time or are out of lettuce leaves, you can simply spread the chutney on top of the fish and bake approximately 10 minutes less. The chutney can be served by itself to accompany any Indian meal. Parsley can be used in place of the cilantro. from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant