Whole Stuffed Fish

Serves: 4-6 people

Difficulty: Moderate

This is an ancient recipe of stuffing a whole fish with spices, sealing it in an earthenware pot, burying it in the ground and covering it with natural heat fermenters. I have had to change the recipe slightly to replicate this style of cooking for the modern day. Perfect for a dinner party. You can click here to see how to make it.

I like to use large fillets like trout or salmon and carve it at the table.


  • 1 whole trout, about 1kg, skin left on, cleaned, scales and head removed, de-boned
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded if you like and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 50g leek, sliced
  • 50g carrots, finely sliced
  • 50g green beans, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 lemons or limes, cut into quarters
  • salt, to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Make deep slits in the trout on both sides. This will deepen the flavour of the spices.

2. Make the masala. In a pan gently heat the vegetable oil and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves (if using).

3. Once they start popping add the garlic, ginger, desiccated coconut (if using), red chilli and half the smoked paprika and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle in a little water if you need to.

4. After 2 minutes add the leeks, carrots and green beans and cook for 1 minute.

5. In a bowl mix together the honey, yoghurt, remaining smoked paprika, chives and dill.

6.  Rub the outside of the fish with the marinade, ensuring you rub the marinade into the slits. Stuff the inside with the masala filling.

7.  Place the trout in the bottom of a large baking dish, with the lime halves and bake in the preheated oven, covered with foil for 20 minutes . Remove the foil and continue to cook for a further 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through.

8. Finally squeeze over the baked limes.

Anjali’s Tip:  If you prefer you can make this dish with salmon, or even use individual portions of fish. I usually estimate 175g - 200g per person. And you may need to cook it for less time depending on how thick your fillets are.

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