Bengalis love their fish – river water or salt water, no Bengali meal is complete without at least one item of fish. baked, steamed, fried, poached, grilled – you name it and we have a recipe for it.
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 technique 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 taste.
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
- ½ cup grated coconut
- Green chillies – 2 nos
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Ginger – ½ inch
- Lemon juice – 1 tblspn
- Salt to taste
- 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!
Serve it with hot rice and you are good to go just like that.