Chutney ni Maachi | Chutney and Fish in Pastry Roll
A wonderful party dish. This is a westernised, fusion Parsi food recipe. The sharpness and tangy chutney make this recipe pop. Try it out in different ways. Fill up smaller vol au vents and present them individually if you prefer. Or you can even make individual parcels from the rolled-out puff pastry sheets. This recipe doubles easily to serve a crowd. It is an old Parsi favourite which was often served at parties. It cannot be reheated but can be prepared ahead of time up to the stage of prebaking.
|As individual servings, open style?|
|Perfect for larger groups at a buffet table, |
(This roll has not been overturned. hence the seam is visible)
Preparing and Poaching Fish
For 1/2 kg/ 1.1 lb fillet of fish, thick fish works easier.
Apply a mix of 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp vinegar all over it.
Poach the fish for a minute or two in
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 slit green chilli
1 small tomato, chopped
Remove the fish from the water and flake it into large pieces, then set aside.
The Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup of the fish liquid
1 tbsp salted butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon chilli powder
Mix this well and cook it on the stove top till it comes to a boil. Allow this to boil for a full minute to ensure the flour is cooked through. It should be thick and shiny. Yet, it's soft enough to apply over the fish.
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 ½ cups of fresh coriander; packed tightly
2 tbsp jaggery
6 green chillies
½ tsp salt
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 green peeled mangoes
10 fresh mint leaves
Grind the coconut until fine. With the machine running add the rest of the ingredients - preferably in the order listed. Taste for the tikkhu-khattu-mitthu balance.
Assembling the Puff Pastry
Roll out 450 g/ 1.1 lb of puff pastry on a parchment paper.
Leaving an inch or two all around the pastry, apply the chutney over the pastry. Place the fish in the centre lengthwise and pour the tomato sauce over the fish part only. Then fold the short sides of the pastry on to the fish, next take the bottom part of the pastry over the fish, and lastly, bring down the top of the pastry just over the bottom part of the pastry to seal and fold properly.
Gently push it over to turn the "seam side" down. Make a slit on top and glaze the top portion going down the sides. It can be any of the 3 methods: an egg wash, plain milk, or a spoonful of left-over cream. Place the parchment paper with the roll on a large baking tray.
Preheat the oven and bake at 200 °C | 400 °F for 35 minutes, or until cooked and golden brown. This is best served freshly baked from the oven.
Do not overcook the fish while poaching. This is just to ensure the fish does not remain raw and helps to flake it into pieces to fill the puff pastry. The vinegar helps keep the fish firm, and the rest of the ingredients in the poaching water give it a taste to avoid the fish tasting like "boiled" fish. While this is the traditional way of preparing this dish, you can skip the poaching step altogether and use fresh raw fish instead.
Slice it with a pizza cutter for clean cutting.
Keeping a piece of parchment paper at the bottom makes it simpler to handle before and after baking. It will easily slide onto your platter to serve.
For more Parsi Food recipes, its history and origin read my cookbook
The Art of Parsi Cooking;reviving an ancient cuisine.