This dish is a Parsi favorite and super popular among folks who have lived in Mumbai, India, where it's also known as 'Patra Fish' (Patra being the banana leaves). It's light, fresh and full of aromas of cilantro and mint. You can involve the whole family in helping you wrap and tie-up the pieces which makes it fun and rewarding in less than fifteen minutes. I served this at a coworkers dinner recently at home and it was the 'wow-factor' of the entire meal. With the hot steam rising through the bamboo steamer and heavenly little bright green pockets of fish sticking out, this one's a big party (and body) pleaser!
- Grind all ingredients in a blender until a smooth paste forms. In case you need to add water to make the blender blades move, try to minimize its use.
- Thaw the fish in case it's frozen and add salt to taste. Pour half the paste on top of the fillets and let them be fully covered by it. Marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Lightly brush in the inner side of the leaves or parchment paper with very little oil.
- Place a fillet on each leaf and top up with a spoon full of the remaining paste. If your paste has released water, strain and press it in a fine sieve to remove the water first.
- Wrap the leaf around the fillet and tie loosely with the string.
- Once all the fillets are wrapped and tied, place them in a steamer and steam for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets.
- Remove from steamer and serve hot.
You may have noticed that we added salt twice - once on the bare fillets and once into the blender for the paste. This is necessary because some of the salt is lost during the de-watering and steaming process.