An exciting dish from the coastal regions of India and Sri Lanka, this delicious seafood recipe is full of exotic flavors.

Pakki Hui Machli
Recipe type: Seafood
Serves: 6 to 8
  • Stuffing:
  • 2 Cups cooked long grain white rice
  • 1 large onion; diced
  • 6 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 small fresh hot chilies; minced
  • 1/2 Cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound sole fillets or other such as white fish, flounder, or turbot, tail, and fins intact
  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 cloves garlic; minced
  • 2 small fresh hot chilies; minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large onion; minced
  • 4 large tomatoes; diced
  • 1 Cup minced green onions and tops
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 Cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 1 medium tomato; sliced thin
  • 1 lemon; slice thin
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  1. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Have the butcher clean and scale the fish but make sure the head, tail and fins are left on. Wash the fish well inside and out and pat dry. Pack firmly with the stuffing and truss shut. Place in a baking dish with a tight fitting lid.
  2. To make the sauce, heat the oil and butter together over moderate heat. Add the garlic, chilies, herbs, and spices and, stirring constantly, cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, lemon juice, oil, sugar, and seasonings and, stirring frequently, cook for and additional 10 minutes. Cool slightly, put into a blender, and whir until smooth. Pour over the fish, cover with the lid, and put in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 30 to 45 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven occasionally and baste the fish with some of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Remove the fish from the oven, transfer to a heat proof serving dish, and slide under the broiler for just a moment or two.
  4. Beat the raw egg lightly and pour it into a lightly oiled omelet pan over moderate heat. When it has formed a skin on the bottom but is not dry, start at one side and roll into a long omelet. Remove to a flat cutting surface and let cool.
  5. Remove the whites from the hard cooked eggs and chop fine. Put the yolks through a sieve using the back of a spoon to produce a pile of yellow fluffy powder.
  6. Surround the fish with the watercress. Arrange the slices of tomato and lemon alternately among the cress. Slice the omelet roll thinly and sprinkle down the center of the fish. Arrange the egg whites around this. Sprinkle the entire fish with the cilantro.
  7. Put the baking pan on the top of the stove over a moderate heat, add the powdered egg yolks and, stirring all the while, bring to a simmer.
NOTES: Scrape into a small serving bowl and serve as an accompaniment to the fish.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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