Chef Annemarie Rodrigo, who worked with us at Bistrode, has Sri Lankan heritage and gave me a curry leaf tree. I'm obsessed with the leaves, their flavour is so unique. Barramundi is a great alternative to trevalla.
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp white peppercorns
1½ brown onions, finely sliced
10g fresh turmeric, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
20g fresh ginger, peeled
50ml vegetable oil, plus a dash
Salt and pepper
4 blue-eye trevalla fillets, about 180g each, skin on
12 curry leaves
2 long red chillis, cut in half lengthways
1 lemon, cut in quarters
Preheat oven to 200C. To make the Indian spice paste, heat spices in a frying pan for a couple of minutes, tossing regularly. Place in a blender with half an onion, turmeric, garlic, ginger and a dash of oil. Blend until smooth.
On low heat, add vegetable oil and spice mix to a saucepan and cook gently for 15 minutes, then cool.
Cut four squares of greaseproof paper, about 25 centimetres wide. Season fish. Put even amounts of remaining sliced onion in the centre of each piece of paper, add a dash of olive oil and put fish on top, skin up. Smear a tablespoon of spice paste on the fish skin and put three curry leaves on each. Place half a chilli alongside and fold the paper in half, seal the top at one end, add a dash of water and seal the bag completely, making sure it's fairly tight.
Put on a hot baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and serve on four warm plates with lemon and sea salt. Serve with boiled basmati rice.