Indian Spiced Sea Bream cooked in Banana Leaves

Indian Spiced Sea Bream cooked in Banana Leaves

An easy and great tasting indian spiced fish dish cooked in a parcel.  We used sea bream as it is easy to extract the fish fillet from the bone once cooked.

If you can’t find banana leaf, you can use parchment paper or foil as an equally good alternative.

Recipe for salad and dressing used on the Live Cook to serve with the fish has now been added to this page.

Cooking surfaces

Cast iron pan
Cast Iron Grid

BBQ Temperature



For the marinade

  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp maldon salt
  • Juice of a lime
  • 2 sea bream

Sauce for the fish

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 dried curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 small rocket chilli, finely chopped
  • 6 small tomatoes, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • pinch of ground fennel seeds
  • small pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/3 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 squares of banana leaf, parchment paper or foil (large enough to parcel up the fish)
  • string

For the thai salad

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch thai basil

For the thai salad dressing

  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil


  1. Setup your Egg to cook at 180°C with a direct heat.
  2. Marinade each fish in lime juice, salt and turmeric.  Set aside for 20 minutes.
  3. Heat half the oil in a pan.  Add the fish and fry on each side for 20 to 30 seconds.
  4. Remove the fish from the pan and place straight on the banana leaf.
  5. Heat the remainder of the oil to the pan and add the curry leaves, fry for a few seconds and then add the onions.  Cook until soft and lightly golden.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic paste, and chilli and stir for a minute.
  7. Add the ground fennel seeds and cloves, salt and pepper, and tomatoes together with a splash of water.  Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until the masala sauce comes together.
  8. Stir in the tamarind paste.  Taste the sauce, it should be a bit spicy and a little salty.
  9. Temper the banana leaf, by heating directly on the grill to make it pliable.
  10. Wipe some oil on the inside of the leaf, spoon a little of the masala sauce into the centre of each leaf.
  11. Place a piece of fish on top and spoon over the remaining sauce. (Top Tip:  if using foil, only spoon the sauce on top of the fish as it has a tendency to stick when cooked).
  12. Fold over the leaf to wrap the fish and juices.  Secure with string to keep your parcel intact.
  13. Heat some oil in a pan, add the parcels and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes each side or until the leaf turns a pale brown.
  14. Cook until the internal temperature of the fish has reached 63°C.
  15. We served this with a thai inspired herb salad and dressing.

For the Thai Salad and Dressing

  1. Tear the leaves and place on a large platter.
  2. Place the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mix together.  Start with 1 tbsp of sugar.  Give it a taste, you might like to adjust to your preferred taste.  You’re looking for a combination of sweet, salty, hot and sour flavours.
  3. Pour the dressing over the leaves and give them a stir to coat them in this zingy dressing packed full of punchy flavours..

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