Share this recipe

  • Save to your scrapbook
  • Save to your scrapbook

    Wrapped sea bass with tamarind and ginger chutney

    This will be saved to your scrapbook

    You can also add it to one of your existing cookbooks


      Email this recipe to a friend

      Send a link to this recipe to a friend or your own e-mail address as a reminder

      * mandatory
    • Write note

      Add Note


      The recipe will be added to your scrapbook

    Wrapped sea bass with tamarind and ginger chutney

    This Keralan dish is called pollichathu - or burnt - as the fish is best slightly charred. Serve it with chapattis (see opposite) and this sweet, spicy chutney, pulinji.

    • Preparation time: 30 Minutes, plus 1 hour marinating
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 60 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • Chutney
    • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
    • ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds, crushed
    • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
    • 2 tsp Groundnut oil
    • 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
    • 100g Fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 sprig Fresh curry leaves, or 2 tbsp dry curry leaves
    • 2 tsp Tamarind paste
    • 1 tsp Jaggery or brown sugar
    • ½ tsp Ground black pepper
    • ¼ tsp Ground turmeric
    • ½ Lemon, juice
    • 4 Wild sea bass or cod fillets
    • 1 Coconut
    • 8 Salad onions, trimmed
    • 2 Garlic cloves
    • 5cm Fresh root ginger
    • 2 Green chillies
    • 20 Fresh curry leaves or 2 tbsp dry curry leaves
    • 1 tbsp Groundnut oil
    • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
    • 2 Dried red chillies, torn
    • 2 tbsp Chopped coriander


    1. Mix the black pepper, turmeric and lemon juice and rub over the fish fillets; chill for about 1 hour.
    2. To make the chutney, crackle the dried spices in a hot pan with the oil. When they are sputtering, add the chopped chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for a few minutes, stirring. Add the tamarind with 100ml water, the jaggery or sugar, and a little salt; cook for about 10 minutes, until reduced to a paste. Season to taste. Put the chutney in a bowl to cool.
    3. Smash the coconut shell on a hard surface. Reserve or discard the milk. Use a peeler to strip off the brown layer; coarsely grate the white flesh.
    4. Light the barbecue or preheat the grill to medium-high. Chop the salad onions, garlic, ginger, chillies and curry leaves very finely. Heat a small frying pan until very hot; add the oil, then mustard seeds, then dried chillies. Add the onion mix before the spices begin to burn; stir over the heat until brown in parts. Add the grated coconut and coriander; mix well to combine. Add salt to taste.
    5. Pat the fish dry and cover in the coconut mixture; wrap in tin foil or a banana leaf to make a parcel. Cook on the barbecue or under the grill for 8–10 minutes. Unwrap and serve.

    Your recipe note

    Edit your recipe note


    Average user rating

    4 stars