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Sweet and sour fish (mahi-e aflatuni) recipe

Sweet and sour fish recipe

Serves 6
Preparation 15min
Cooking 25min
Skill level Easy

Angela Nahas


4 tbsp ghee
8 spring onions, chopped
125 ml (½ cup) pomegranate juice
60 ml (¼ cup) ab ghoreh (unripe grape juice)* or verjuice
2 Seville oranges or limes, juiced
60 ml (¼ cup) tomato juice
2 tbsp honey
6 x 200 g centre-cut blue-eye cod (trevalla) or barramundi fillets
pomegranate seeds, dried rose petals*, mint sprigs and warm flatbread, to serve

Spice mix
2 tsp dried rosebuds (see Note)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin

Cook's notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make spice mix, using a mortar and pestle, grind rosebuds until coarsely ground. Combine with cinnamon, cardamom and cumin, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 210°C. Melt 2 tbsp ghee in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and spice mix, and cook for 1 minute or until onions are starting to soften.

Add pomegranate, grape, orange and tomato juices. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute or until slightly reduced. Stir in honey and then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Place fish in a greased baking dish and spoon over remaining 2 tbsp ghee. Season, then pour pomegranate mixture over fish. Cover with baking paper, then foil, and bake for 20 minutes or until fish is just cooked.

Scatter fish with pomegranate, rose petals, and mint, and serve with warm flatbread.


Ab ghoreh is available from Persian food shops. It is slightly less acidic than verjuice.

Dried rose petals and rosebuds are from selected delis and Middle Eastern food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg87.

Photography by John Laurie

Recipes related to Sweet and sour fish (mahi-e aflatuni):

Barramundi with crunchy chickpeas and prawns, and halva mayonnaise | Seared Halibut on Lemon Tabbouleh | Siyadiyeh (Siyadiya) Recipe | Light Fish Siadeah | Sayadieh | Spicy Rice for Fish (Ruz lissumak)

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