Oven baked fish and potato
1.5 - 1.75 kg whole fish (Mullet / Buri); or any other big-sized fish you prefer
3 large potatoes (peeled, thickly sliced, boiled cooked)
2 large onions (peeled, chopped in tiny dice)
2 garlic heads (peeled, pods sliced)
2 large ripe tomatoes (diced)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 each medium capsicum:
Green, red, yellow (diced)
2 loomy dried black lemons
3 lemons (sliced, pitted)
4-5 bay leaves
2 wooden sticks cinnamon
1 tsp powdered cardamom
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt + pepper
Minced mixture for stuffing:
1 bunch each (green coriander, dill); chopped
2 large or 4 medium tomatoes (sliced)
2 chili pods (1 green,1 red)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp each:
Salt, pepper, cumin, dried coriander, 7 spices, paprika, turmeric
1/2 cup olive oil
Dilute tomato paste in water. Process with all the rest ingredients above to finely mince.
Ask your fishmonger to clean and scale fish well. To open its inside. Remove belly contents. Wash, scrub insides until they turn white clean. At home; rinse under running tap water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper towels. Make deep diagonal slits by means of a tip of a sharp knife; without totally reaching the other end of the fish.
Turn the fish to the other side and repeat the same. Rub the inside and the outside of the fish with an amount of the mixture; inserting some to fill all slits of fish you have made; reserving aside the rest of this mixture to spread over the fish before baking. Leave fish aside to marinate for some time.
Meanwhile; in a cooking pot; add vegetable oil. Then add onion and stir over medium heat; until translucent. Stir in capsicum into onion until it also becomes translucent. Add sliced garlic, loomy and sliced pitted lemon with remaining ingredients of herbs and seasoning.
Cover and allow to half cook for only ten minutes; over low heat; then add tomato dice; to wilt in heat of pan. Spread on base of a large baking serving dish; to cool; reserving an amount of almost four tablespoonfuls aside.
Dilute tomato paste in 2 cups of water and pour over vegetables on base of baking dish. Add boiled potato slices on top of vegetables; layered alternatively in symmetrical rows. Add an amount of processed mixture on top of layered potato slices.
Place fish on top of potato and add to both its sides the reserved amount of half cooked vegetables; divided equally. Pour reserved processed mixture over fish top.
Bake; covered, in a preheated oven of 200 degrees Celsius; for 20 minutes only, then uncover and leave in put off oven only five more minutes. Remove. Serve.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 17 December, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly