Coconut, chilli and coriander-crusted cod baked in banana leaf

Serves 6 Starters and mains

Banana Leaf Cod 5802



  • 50g-75g fresh coconut, finely grated off the skin
  • 1 large lemon, skin and pith removed and flesh roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 long green mild chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 50g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 25g fresh mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 3⁄4tsp fenugreek seeds, finely ground
  • 6 thick pieces of cod fillets or cod loin, skinned (around 1.2kg in total)
  • 2 large whole banana leaves

For the raita

  • 150ml yoghurt, strained overnight
  • 1⁄2 cucumber, deseeded and chopped into small cubes


Place all the ingredients except the cod and banana leaves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to quite a fine paste. Use a few drops of water, if needed, to loosen. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To make the raita, mix the yoghurt with a few sea salt flakes and fold in the cucumber. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Cut each banana leaf into 3 and cut off the toughest edge. Put the toughest edge and the leaf pieces in the sink. Pour over boiling water then carefully wipe with kitchen paper. Lay the leaves smooth-side up, smear the top side of the cod fillets thickly with the coconut, chilli and coriander paste and place on the leaves. Bring the trimmed edge over the cod, then fold in the side edges and bring up the last edge to cover the fish. Tie with the tough trimmed-off edge to secure the parcel. Lay on a sheet of thick foil, bring up the edges and scrunch the top together to seal.

Prepare the barbecue and, when very hot, put the grill rack in position. When the coals have gone grey, rake them to one side. Place the parcels on the grill rack, put down the lid and cook for around 8 minutes. Don’t overcook them – they will carry on cooking in the heat of the parcel. Alternatively, cook in a preheated oven at 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Eat straight from the banana leaf parcel with the raita on the side.

Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.
Banana Leaf Cod 5802
Food styling and recipes: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes.


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