Bengalis love their fish – river water or salt water, no Bengali
meal is complete without at least one item of fish. When I speak to my friends
here in Bangalore about the everyday Bengali feast, they are quite taken aback
how come we add so many varieties and so many courses every single, and not to
mention the famous Sunday mutton feast! Yes, I think we Bongs love our food and
enjoy feeding our guests.
One such exotic fish preparation is the paturi (baked in
banana leaf – it can be other leaves also). This is a unique technic of cooking
- I don’t know invented by whom - but is most common in Bengali households.
Fish is marinated and then slow cooked wrapped in a leaf so that it enhances
the flavour and the fish retains its moisture, juices and gives a soft n subtle
We make paturi with Hilsa as well as Bhetki/Becti. You can
take any white fish fillet for this recipe.
Bhetki fish cut into 5 inch fillets
1 cup Mustard – mix black and white mustard
seeds ½ cup each
Green chillies – 2 nos
Lemon juice – 1 tblspn
Turmeric powder – ½ tspn
Mustard oil – for shallow frying
Banana leaves cut into small pieces – just enough
to wrap the fish
Thread to tie the wraps
Wash the fish pieces and marinate
them with lime juice and salt and keep aside for 5 mins.
Make a paste of mustard, grated
coconut, turmeric, ginger, garlic, green chillies and salt. Marinate the fish
pieces with this paste and keep it for at least an hour.
Take a banana leaf piece and
brush little mustard oil in the inner side of the leaf. Keep a marinated fish piece
in it and add a good layer of the mustard paste.
Wrap the banana leaf around and
tie it with a thread. It is very important to tie it properly so that no spice,
fluid and come out.
Now add little mustard oil in a
shallow frying pan and add the wrapped fish pieces. Fry each side for 5 mins
and you are done! Yes its that easy J
Serve it with hot rice and you
are good to go just like that.
You can also choose to bake them
or microwave them incase you don’t want to fry. But believe me the mustard oil
version smells heavenly!