Fish baked with cardamom


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

This fish recipe, Dum Machchi, is cooked by sealing the ingredients in a heavy roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid made from several layers of foil, so that the steam and flavour cannot escape and fish remains moist. Try it with Basmati Rice with Caramelized Sugar.


  • 675 g/lb tilapia or monkfish fillets, or any other firm, white fish
  • 7.5 ml/ tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of cinnamon stick, broken up
  • seeds of 6 green cardamom pods
  • 5 ml/1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 ml/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp white poppy seeds
  • 15 ml/1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/2 tsp garlic purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ginger purée
  • 2.5–5ml/½–1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 115 g/4 oz/½ cup thick set natural (plain) yogurt, whisked
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 30–45ml/2–3 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • Basmati Rice with Caramelized Sugar, to serve


  1. Cut the fish fillets into 5cm/2in pieces and sprinkle with the lemon juice and half the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3.

  2. Grind the cinnamon, cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, poppy and sesame seeds in a coffee grinder until finely ground. Set aside.

  3. In a small pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry until it is soft and translucent, but not brown. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan, continue to fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the ground ingredients, chilli powder and turmeric.

  4. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then add the remaining salt and the yogurt. Mix thoroughly and remove the pan from the heat.

  5. In a roasting pan (15 x 30cm/6 x 12in), spread half the onion mixture, half the tomatoes and half the chopped coriander. Arrange the fish on top in a single layer. Carefully spread the remaining onion mix, coriander and tomatoes over the fish.

  6. Cover the pan with a piece of foil, sealing the edges. Bake for 35–40 minutes, transfer to a dish and strain the juices over. Serve with Basmati Rice with Caramelized Sugar.

Per portion Energy 353kcal/1473kJ; Protein 36.2g; Carbohydrate 17.8g, of which sugars 10.6g; Fat 15.9g, of which saturates 2.3g; Cholesterol 0.2mg; Calcium 320mg; Fibre 2.2g; Sodium 126mg.