Recipes

Baliq Levengi (Baked Stuffed Fish)

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 20 mins

| Cook Time: 30 mins

| Total Time: 50 mins

Discover The Recipe

Azerbaijan is a small country straddling the boundary of Eastern Europe and Asia and is a former Soviet republic. Sitting along the Caspian Sea, fresh seafood is always popular. This recipe for an Azeri style stuffed fish known as ‘Baliq Levengi’, is stuffed with a mixture of walnut, onion and pomegranate seeds, seasoned with the flavors of lemon, cilantro and garlic. Baliq Levengi is the national dish and this dish is often prepared for Nowruz, the Persian New Year which is celebrated in the region. Pair the fish with a bed of fragrant turmeric rice, and you have an exotic delight that your whole family will enjoy. This recipe for Baked Stuffed Fish with Turmeric Rice (‘Baliq Levengi’), contains authentic and intoxicating flavors in every bite. 

We developed the perfect spice blend to infuse the local flavors of Central Asia's Caspian Sea region to your table, including lemon, tangy sumac, pomegranate, ginger, and fresh-dried herbs. Use fresh lemon juice to make an authentic, zesty marinade or dressing for BBQ fish, meats, or grilled veggies. Try using this blend to make our BBQ Fish Skewers recipe on the website and an easy alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup raw walnuts 

  • ⅓ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp Piquant Post Caspian Lemon Pepper, divided 

  • 1 lb white fish filets (flounder, sole, tilapia), about 4 filets

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 8 toothpicks

  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional)

  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

  • Turmeric Rice

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 tsp turmeric

  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 1.5 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt 

  • ½ tsp black pepper

Notes

This dish is typically made with a whole fish, but we modified this traditional recipe with fish filets.

We recommend placing the filling on the thinner side of the filet, making it easier to roll.

If you have leftover filling, saute with 1 Tbsp olive oil and add to the turmeric rice.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, place onion, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, 1 tsp Caspian Lemon Pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Pulse a handful of times to combine until everything is roughly chopped and forms a sticky mixture (do not purée).

On a lightly oiled baking sheet, lay the fish filets flat. Season with 2 tsp Caspian Lemon Pepper. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of walnut mixture to cover about one third of the fish. Carefully roll the filet and place toothpicks to hold together. Repeat with the rest of the filets. Brush with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes

Meanwhile, cook the rice: In a medium pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add turmeric and basmati rice. Sauté for 1 minute. Add water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Serve filets over a bed of turmeric rice garnished with cilantro and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • First, you can substitute this spice blend pretty much anywhere you would use a standard lemon pepper blend. Try this as a rub on roast/grilled chicken or on salmon. Or marinate the chicken using the marinade in this recipe.

  • Substitute the fish filets with thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant..

  • Try using Caspian Lemon Pepper in our BBQ Fish Skewers.

  • This Lemon Pepper Salmon or Lemon Pepper Chicken are both easy weeknight dinners.

  • This Lemon Pepper Glazed Cauliflower makes for a delicious vegan dinner.

  • Here are 10 more recipe ideas for using lemon pepper seasoning. Simply substitute an equal amount of Caspian Lemon Pepper in the recipe.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

Baliq Levengi (Baked Stuffed Fish)

Serves

4

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

30 mins

Total Time

50 mins

Piquant Post spice you’ll need:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup raw walnuts 

  • ⅓ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp Piquant Post Caspian Lemon Pepper, divided 

  • 1 lb white fish filets (flounder, sole, tilapia), about 4 filets

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 8 toothpicks

  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional)

  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

  • Turmeric Rice

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 tsp turmeric

  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 1.5 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt 

  • ½ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, place onion, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, 1 tsp Caspian Lemon Pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Pulse a handful of times to combine until everything is roughly chopped and forms a sticky mixture (do not purée).

  2. On a lightly oiled baking sheet, lay the fish filets flat. Season with 2 tsp Caspian Lemon Pepper. Place 1-2 spoonfuls of walnut mixture to cover about one third of the fish. Carefully roll the filet and place toothpicks to hold together. Repeat with the rest of the filets. Brush with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes

  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice: In a medium pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add turmeric and basmati rice. Sauté for 1 minute. Add water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  4. Serve filets over a bed of turmeric rice garnished with cilantro and fresh pomegranate seeds.

Notes

  • This dish is typically made with a whole fish, but we modified this traditional recipe with fish filets.

  • We recommend placing the filling on the thinner side of the filet, making it easier to roll.

  • If you have leftover filling, saute with 1 Tbsp olive oil and add to the turmeric rice.

  • Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.

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