Review Summers Under The Tamarind Tree
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe and image from Summers Under The Tamarind Tree by Sumayya Usmani, Image by Joanna Yee A whole fish (or fish steaks) topped with spiced tomato and red onion is a quick and delicious way to add Pakistani flavour to seafood - this one is a staple of my mother's home. You can use red snapper, mackerel or rainbow trout (whole or in fillets), or halibut or hake works just as well
Glamorous Glutton:
Recipe type: Fish
Cuisine: Pakistani
Serves: 4
  • 1 whole gutted red snapper (or fish of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 5-6 tbsp vegetable oils
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 red onions, cut into rings
  • ½ tsp ajwain seed
  • 5 large tomatoes on the vine, chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • To garnish
  • ¼ bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm/1 -inch piece ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  1. Rub the fish with lemon juice, salt, chilli powder and turmeric. Place on a plate, cover loosely and set aside until ready to cook.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and allow to splutter for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds; do not allow to burn. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly caramelised.
  4. Add the ajwain seeds and chopped tomatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the oil rises to the top. Add the tomato purée and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until everything is red and bubbly. Turn off the heat.
  5. Top the fish with the tomato mixture, then place the fish in a large baking dish, cover with foil and cook in the hot oven for 45 minutes if the fish is whole, 15-20 minutes if the fish is in pieces. Check to see if the fish is cooked through. For the last 4-5 minutes remove the foil and allow the topping to caramelise.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander, green chilli, ginger julienne and a squeeze of lemon and serve hot.
Recipe by Glamorous at