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Spice Roasted Bream

10th Feb 2024

This is one of those dishes that goes so well with drinks, everyone sitting round the table, each with a fork for picking little pieces off the fish. The sweet fish with sharpness from the tomato and a hint of bitterness from the baked lemon, go for more chilli if you like it hot, we do. It's also delicious as a main course, served with saut potatoes and a salad.

Serves 2 or 4 as a starter


500 grams | 1 lb whole sea bream, gills removed then de-spined and de-scaled

2 inch piece fresh ginger (approx.10 grams), roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic (approx. 10 grams), roughly chopped

inch piece fresh turmeric, roughly chopped or teaspoon turmeric powder

2 green finger chillies, 1 roughly chopped and 1 finely chopped optional to taste

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

1 teaspoon Yak Yeti Yak masala or garam masala

45 ml | 1 fl oz vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

200 grams | 7 oz baby plum tomatoes

1 small green pepper, de-seeded and sliced

1 lemon, sliced and juiced


Place the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and grind to a powder add the ginger, garlic, turmeric, 1 roughly chopped chilli, masala, vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice then grind to a paste. Make 2 deep gashes to either side of the bream and cover the bream all over with the marinade, leave the bream to marinade for 1 to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C, fan 180C, gas 6.

Pierce the plum tomatoes and place them in an oven proof dish with the, finely chopped finger chilli, green pepper and teaspoon salt, mix them so the chilli is evenly distributed. With a piece of kitchen paper wipe the excess marinade off the bream, it's fine to leave a little of the marinade behind. Place the bream in the dish, on top of the tomatoes and arrange the lemon slices around the sides. Roast for 25 minutes or the until bream flesh is fully opaque it should easily come away from the bones when you test it.


Bream - mackerel, trout, any of the sea bream species.

Green peppers - red or orange peppers

Plum tomatoes - fresh tomatoes cut into quarters or cherry tomatoes though cherry tomatoes can be sweet

Lemon - lime, bergamot orange