Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Macher Paturi / Bengali Style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf

I wanted to write this post for a long time but it kept being postponed because I had to write too much for this recipe and I was too lazy for that. But thankfully today I thought of just doing the deed...and you have the perfect recipe for Macher Paturi. Macher Paturi has always been a great favourite of mine. Its great with any kind of fish, rui, tilapia, koi...but its the Hilsa and Bhetki , which are born to be reincarnated to be such mind blowing dishes. If you are using Hilsa or Bhetki, just skip the garlic because that will in a way suppress their supreme flavours, but if you are in zillions of milez away from home and just making your virtual way back to your mom’s kitchen with the fish you found in supermarket...then do add the garlic. The garlic will ward away the fleshy flavour of the fish making it tastier.

how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

For us...Sorshe Paturi always and I mean always had to be of Hilsa or Bhetki. So the only time we used to cherish this dish was only during the monsoon. Sometimes Ma used to make Paturi in a kadai where he dumped the marinated fish and simmered on low flame until the fishes were cooked from inside. But this one is a quick one, one which Ma used to make on unavailability of banana leaves or time. If you are not much a lover of the pungent flavour of Banana leaf then that might suit your taste...but for the rest of us...I am sure wrapping and steaming is the process we feel more inclined towards.

how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Prepare the mustard paste.
how to cook bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Place the fish at the center of the leaf and rub it well with a spoonful of the mariande. Drizzle some mustard oil and place some grated coconut and green chilli on top of it.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Fold one side of the leaf. Take the side which was along the stem in the vertical manner. This will prevent tearing of the leaf to a great extent.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Fold the other side of the leaf.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Now fold the bottom part of leaf.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Fold in the upper upper part.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Hold it tightly with one hand and secure it tightly with a toothpick with another hand.
how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
Put all of the wrapped enveloped on a baking tray / roasting pan, which is already greased with some mustard oil and water. Brush some of that oil and water mix on the upper part of the envelopes as well.
As for prepping the banana leaves, do not use the baby leaves. They are very short in width and length and do not use the very old ones as well. The old ones tend to tear easily. Try to choose the medium sized ones, which are not too new or not too old. Leave them overnight in the kitchen counter to soften up a little bit. If you are using frozen banana leaves then thaw them and use immediately. Freezing softens them and they are quite ready the time they are thawed.

how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make bengali Macher Paturi recipe / Bengali style Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf recipe / ilish macher sorshe paturi recipe / bhetki macher sorshe paturi recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

Macher Paturi / Bengali Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf
Serves 8



Ingredients:
10 medium pieces of fish (It’s better to use fillets, but you can also go for the regular pieces as well. Don’t make them too thick or large as they will take more time to get cooked.)
3 tbsp mustard paste
1 tbsp poppy seeds paste
2-3 fat cloves of garlic
2 green chillies
8 green chillies to wrap
2 tbsp grated coconut / ¼ th cup of thick coconut milk
1 gondhoraj lebu
2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt
½ cup of mustard oil
Banana leaves to wrap

Method:
In a grinder put together the mustard seeds and poppy seeds. Grind them for a time until they become like coarse powder. Now add in the 2 tbsp of the mustard oil, green chillies, garlic and ginger. If you are using coconut milk add them too. Now grind them until you get a super smooth paste. Check by nabbing a little of the paste in between two fingers for its consistency. If it feels even a little bit coarse grind again.
Pour this entire paste in a bowl and stir in some water to make the paste of medium consistency. Also add in another 2 tbsp of the mustard oil, salt, turmeric powder and a generous squeeze of gondhoraj lebu. If you can’t find it, then skip.
Prepare your banana leaf. Take a sharp knife, like the one you will use to do fillets and then cut the leaf in a sharp and smooth motion along the stem. The strong stem should be cut off nicely. Make sure not to tear the leaf at any point.
Observe the leaf to measure how much portion you will need to wrap one fish. Then select a line according to that measurement and gently tear the leaf along that line. It should come off easily and smoothly. Follow this step to create other wrappers from the leaves. It’s convenient to prepare them before you start wrapping rather that doing each one of them at a time. For me it took 1 whole medium banana leaf to create 10 wrappers.
Place one fish in the middle of the banana leaf. Spoon in 1 tbsp of the mustard paste. Rub it well all over the fish. Drizzle ½ tsp mustard oil over it and place some grated fresh coconut (if you are not using coconut milk) and one green chilli on top. Now wrap the leaf according to the pictures above.
Secure it with a toothpick.
Take a roasting pan and drizzle some mustard oil into it. Pour in ¼ th cup of water. Mix it well and spread the oil and water all over the surface of the pan. Take some of that mix and brush that on the upper part of the envelopes of fish as well.
Place the wrapped fished into that pan one beside the other. Do not stack.
Preheat the oven at 350F and bake the fishes in it for 20-25 minutes or until you see the edges of the banana leaves starting to char.
Put off the oven and let the fishes stay in there for another 5-7minutes more.
You can also do it on the stove top. Take a tawa and heat some mustard oil in it. Fry the wrapped fishes in it until the banana leaf starts to char. Do it in small batches and once done, take them out of the tawa and keep aside.

Serve hot with some steaming hot plate of rice and a generous drizzle of mustard oil.

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