‘Paturi’ is a cooking process in which the fish is sliced evenly, and then wrapped in a banana leaf, after the fish has been hit by a basting of freshly pasted mustard, coconut with a hint of mustard oil, chili, turmeric and salt. The final cooking is done either by steaming or by roasting the leaf wrapped envelopes on a griddle. This dish has its origin in Dhaka but now has become one of the signature dishes of Bengali cuisine. There are Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Burmese influences in the food of Bengal, as well as some British influence, because of the formation of Kolkata during the 1700s.
A month back I happened to come across a cookery show video – which was hosted by Sanjeev Kapoorr and the three finalists of Master Chef India. In the episode i saw they had made some lovely Paneer/ Cottage cheese Paturi which was sandwiched with some mango leather and then wrapped in the banana leaves and pan-fried. I had immediately noted down the recipe and had decided to try this with fish. And, after doing a further research on Bengali Paturi, I found out that fish is like a staple food in bengal, and fish paturi is a very traditional recipe. And i tried not to make much changes or give it a fusion touch. As it sounded awesome as it is, to me.
- 500 gram Any Fish Fillet
- 2 Tablespoon Black Mustard Seeds (soaked in little warm water for 20 mins)
- 1 Tablespoon Light Mustard Seeds (soaked in little warm water for 20 mins)
- 1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds (soaked in warm water for 20 mins)
- 6-8 Green Chillies (adjust as per your taste)
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 Lemon Juice
- Salt to taste
- 1-2 Tablespoon Mustard Oil
- 8-10 Green Chillies to put inside the parcel (optional)
- Banana Leaf
- 2 Tablespoon Oil for shallow frying
- Threads for wrapping
- Wash, dry and cut the fish fillets in 4 inch pieces and marinate them with salt, lemon juice & turmeric powder and keep them aside for 30 minutes.
- In a blender add mustard seeds, poppy seeds, coconut, greens chillies and garlic.
- Add salt as required and finally make a smooth paste by adding very little water.
- Dip the fish pieces into the marinade and rub them with fingers.
- Leave the marinated fish for 2 hours in refrigerator.
- Pour in the mustard oil to it and mix well.
- Lightly roast the banana leaf on the heat to make it soft and foldable. Now, cut the Banana Leaf into 8 inch squares.
- Take the banana leaf in a platter with the glossy side up, and rub little mustard oil to it.
- Place a piece of fish at the center. Top it up with some marinade and one green chilli on each of the parcels.
- Fold the leaf from each side and wrap it to a square parcel. Tie it with the thread so that it doesn’t open while cooking.
- Now you can either steam the fish parcels (approx 10 mins) or pan fry them. I did the later.
- Put some oil in the non-stick pan and when its hot enough place few fish parcels in a single layer. Close the lid and cook on medium flame for 10 minute on each side.
- Once the fish paturis are cooked on both sides, place them in an air tight container so they remain warm when you serve later. And repeat the same process to cook the rest of the fish parcels.
- Serve the closed parcels with steamed rice. Unwrapping it before serving could make it lose it’s aroma.
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Regards & Love,