Kutum is a white fish unique to the Caspian which lends itelf well to baking in the oven.
Traditionally, kutum is baked in a tendir or stone oven, but a modern oven will do the job too. If you cannot get hold of kutum, use another type of round fish, served whole, such as sea bass, sea bream, carp, grey mullet, red mullet, pike or snapper.
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 35 -45 mins
1 kutum or whole white fish, gutted and with the fins and scales removed, but the head left on
For the garnish
200 g/8 oz tomatoes
200 g/8 oz cucumbers
1 small onion
bunch of coriander
concentrated pomegranate juice (narsharab)
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F or Gas Mark 4.
Rub salt & pepper into the fish and place on a baking tray, lined with kitchen foil or parchment. The fish are traditionally baked uncovered, but wrapping the fish in kitchen foil will help to keep it moist when it is baked without stuffing.
Bake in the medium-hot oven until cooked (usually 30 to 45 minutes).
Garnish with rhe tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and herbs.
The narsharab is served separately.