Ghalieh Mahi Recipe: Tangy Taste of Tamarind and Fish

Ghalieh Mahi Recipe

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Ghalieh Mahi Recipe is actually very tasty and belongs to simple cuisine recipes with wonderful flavor combinations. Balanced by the aromatic presence of garlic in this recipe, the white-fleshed fish is united with different fresh herbs and the tangy juice from the tamarind. It’s the kind of dish that will take your taste buds on vacation to southern, rich culinary landscapes.

Ghalieh Mahi Recipe


  • White-fleshed fish: 600 g
  • Vegetable oil: 6 tablespoons
  • Fresh coriander: 350 g
  • Fresh fenugreek: 50 g
  • Medium onions: 2, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves: 8, minced
  • Tamarind paste: 4 tablespoons
  • Turmeric: 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt: 3 teaspoons

Step 1: Prepare the Tamarind Mixture

Have ready some tamarind paste: 4 tablespoons of tamarind paste and a glass of boiling water. Stir up for the tamarind to dissolve very well in the water. Place the mixture aside to be used during the preparation of the rest of the recipe.

step 2: Fish marination

Prepare the marinade for the fish in a separate bowl. For the marinade, mix 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tsp of turmeric, and 2 tsps of salt with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Rub the mixture thoroughly on the pieces of fish, ensuring that all the pieces are well coated with the mixture. Let the fish marinate for about 15 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Step 3: Fry the Fish

Place the pan on the stove at medium flame, and add about three tablespoons of vegetable oil to it. The fish pieces are to be dropped one by one in the oil once the oil gets heated a bit. Fry each side of the fish in turns for about 7 minutes until it comes out crispy and changes to a golden brown color. Remove the fish from the pan after cooking and drain any excess oil on a paper towel.

Step 4: Preparing the Herbs

While frying the fish, you need to do the herbs. Now, finely chop the fresh coriander and fenugreek. They will give a fresh aromatic flavor to the stew.

Step 5: Sauté Onion

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large pot or casserole over medium flame. Add finely chopped onion to the pot and sauté until translucent and golden, for about 3 minutes.

Step 6: Add Garlic and Spices

Add the minced garlic and the other part of the turmeric and black pepper to the sautéed onions. Let them sauté for 2 more minutes until they are well combined and their flavors have been well mixed.

Step 7: Add the Herbs

Add cilantro and fenugreek to the pot and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring continuously. It’s important to cook the herbs well to flavor the dish.

Step 8: Addition of Tamarind

The ready tamarind mixture needs to be strained, and after that, the seed and pulp have to be removed. Then, add it to the pot; this will incorporate well with other ingredients.

Step 9: Simmering the Stew

After boiling, pour two glasses of boiling water into the pot; start the boiling mixture, cover the pot with the lid, and let it simmer. Allow the stew to cook for about 30 minutes; this allows the flavors to develop and blend properly, while the meat is cooked to tenderness with a good amount of water in it.

Step 10: Adding the Fish

Add the fried pieces of fish back into the pot of stew gently after having stewed for the 30 minutes. Cover and continue cooking the stew for another 30 minutes. The fish will be soft, the flavors would have been absorbed by the stew.

Step 11: Final Seasoning—Add at the end of the cooking

You may put the remaining salt into the stew if you think it is necessary. But do check for the seasoning according to the actual taste you prefer—do not forget about balancing the overall taste.

Step 12: Reducing the Stew

Uncover the stew if necessary to reduce further. Reduce until about a half-glass of water is lost; this will concentrate its flavors.

Step 13: Serve

Serve Ghalieh Mahi hot, along with steamed rice. The stew should be rich in a sour taste with the fragrance of the herbs and an appropriate balance of spice.

Step 14: Enhancing the Color (Optional)

To add richer color, stir in about a tablespoon of tomato paste after sautéing the onion and garlic. Sauté the tomato paste for about 3 minutes, so the tomato flavor mellows slightly before proceeding with step 7. This will give the stew a deeper, reddish color, somewhat sweetening the pot to balance out the tang from the tamarind.

Recipe Summary

Ghalieh Mahi: Persian-style white fish stew, marinated with sautéed onions and garlic, fresh coriander, and fenugreek—cooked in tamarind sauce Marinated in spices and then fried, cooked finally in the stew of herbed tamarind, a harmonious whole of tastes, served with rice to offer one a delightful taste of the South Iranian cuisine.

category: Lunch
Update by in Thursday 28 March 2024

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