Goan Whole Pomfret Stuffed with Fresh Green Chutney
For the Green Chutney Stuffing :
Grind the ingredients mentioned below to a thick smooth paste with minimum amount of water and place in a bowl to be used for stuffing the pomfrets. Store the remaining green chutney stuffing; if any, in a glass jar or plastic container with a lid; in the fridge for a couple of days. In case you wish to store for a longer period then chill or freeze.
1 bunch fresh Coriander, chopped (pick with tender stalks, wash & drain)
2 Sprigs fresh Mint (optional)
1 med. Onion (peeled & roughly chopped)
1 tbsp. fresh Tamarind thick paste/ extract or to taste
7 cloves fresh Garlic
1 inch piece fresh Ginger
2 fresh Green Chillies or to taste
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
4 tbsps. fresh Coconut (scraped or grated)
A large pinch of Turmeric
A pinch each of Cinnamon & Clove powder
A large pinch of Sugar or to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
4 med. size fresh Whole Pomfret
Juice of 1 Lime
Salt as required
Wheat Flour for dusting/sprinkling
Rawa (Semolina) for dredging/rolling (optional)
Refined Oil for pan/skillet frying
It is better to get the fish cleaned, slit into pockets from the fish monger but in case you wish to do it yourself then proceed in the following way…
Slit the mouth, discard the gills, trim the fins & tail. Make sure the mouth cavity is cleaned thoroughly. Wash & drain the fish thoroughly. Lay the fish flat on a cutting board and slide in a very sharp knife to make a slit about 2 cm away from and along the top edge towards the tail (on the thicker side (length-wise) of each pomfret; away from the stomach-mouth cavity) and run your knife in gently to form neat pockets on both the sides of the pomfret. Do not cut open all the way through. Repeat the procedure for each whole fish.
Rub each pomfret from outside, mouth cavity and in the pockets with some salt, turmeric & lime juice. Marinate for about 15-20 mins. and then stuff the pockets and cavity with the prepared green chutney filling. Refrigerate for another 15 mins.
When ready to fry, first gently roll each stuffed pomfret in rawa and then dust/sprinkle flour on both sides. Arrange all the pomfrets on a tray. Heat a pan/skillet with enough oil for pan frying till hot. Reduce heat to medium and gently slide the pomfret in the hot pan. Cover the pan with a lid to speed up cooking and to avoid spluttering. Fry for at least 5 minutes on each side. Use two spatulas to get a better grip and flip the fish with ease. Lift the lid and check in between to ensure even browning. Fry until both sides of the fish are cooked through and evenly brown. Serve on a platter garnished with fries or baked potato wedges, quartered lime/lemon and salad.