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Recipe: Parsi-style Patrani Macchi


Patrani Macchi is one of my personal favorite seafood recipes. This is a classic Parsi preparation that is very popular at weddings and other festive occasions.

Traditionally, the fish is coated in a coconut chutney mixture, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. Here in Dubai, banana leaves are available in select Indian stores. However, if you do not have access to these shops, you can wrap your fish in parchment paper instead.

What fish should you use for this recipe
Any plump flat fish cut into steaks. You can choose between pomfret, halibut, seabass, cod, or hammour. I used fresh Royal Hammour fillets from Malek Seafood. Click here to go to their online store.

Parsi-style Patrani Macchi

Fish coated in coconut chutney and steamed in banana leaves

  • 2 steaks fish fillets (400 grams) (<em>pomfret, halibut, seabass, cod, or hammour</em>)
  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp fresh coconut
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 3 whole green chillies (or as per taste)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (or as per taste)
  • 1-2 tsp minced ginger (or as per taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsbp lemon juice (or more)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  1. Clean and wash the fish.

  2. Sprinkle vinegar and salt on the fish and marinate for 30 minutes.

  3. Prepare the chutney by grinding fresh coconut, coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chilies, garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds. Season with salt, lemon juice, and red chili powder. The consistency of the chutney should be like a thick paste. If necessary, add a little water. Do not use too much as the mixture should not be runny.

  4. At this point, taste the chutney and adjust it according to your preference. Ideally, it should be a sweet, spicy, and tangy mixture.

  5. Spread out your banana leaves or parchment paper. Coat each slice of fish with the coconut chutney on either side and place it on the leaf or parchment. Tie with a string or wrap firmly, keeping the folded side at the bottom to prevent the chutney from coming out.

  6. Place the fish in a steamer over a pan of simmering water. Cover and steam for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked.

  7. Transfer to serving plates and remove the string if tied. Serve with hot steamed rice and lemon wedges.