Lime and coconut steamed fish

Parsee cook Farzana Contractor makes Patrani Machi, steamed fillets of fish with a spicy green lime and coconut marinade
By Gary Rhodes
Lime and coconut steamed fish
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 45 mins marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 x 200g pomfret or john dory fillets
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp lime juice

For the spice paste

  • 175 g freshly grated coconut
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • slices of limes, to serve (optional)

Tips and Suggestions

These fish packages are traditionally wrapped in banana leaves before steaming. Not everyone can get hold of a bunch of these leaves - use greaseproof paper or aluminium foil instead.

About Farzana Contractor
From a Lucknowi Muslim family of traditional culinary tastes and married to a renowned restaurant critic, Farzana is an all-round foodie. Her tastebuds are further sharpened in her role as editor and photographer of UpperCrust, India's first food, wine and lifestyle magazine. Fazarna is also CEO of Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Bombay's popular tabloid newspaper. For more information visit her website:


1. Using a sharp knife, make two horizontal slits across the fish fillets. Rub with salt and lime juice and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. For the spice paste: grind all the ingredients for the spice paste in a food processor until smooth. Spread a thick layer over each fish fillet (on both sides) and leave in a cool place for 15 minutes.

3. Wrap each fillet in a square of aluminium foil. Steam over boiling water for 10-15 minutes, until tender.

4. Unwrap the packages at the table and garnish with lime slices before serving.

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