After Bhapa Ilish & Daab Chingri, today I will discuss another delicious, traditional fish recipe – Bhetki Paturi. Paturi is a way to bake marinated fish within banana leaf. The marination used in Paturi is generally made of mustard paste. The basic idea is to cook fish in banana leaf envelope. If you do not have banana leaf then you can use pumpkin leaves or outer cabbage leaveswhich are bigger in size and not so tender at the same time. The trademark of this recipe is its aroma of the banana leaf embedded in the fish.
In this recipe I am using Bhetki fish but you can replace Bhetki with Pomphret, Hilsha and Pabda. Whatever fish you choose, the basic process to make Paturi remains the same. The ingredients to make Paturi are very simple and is always present in anybody’s kitchen. Lets start with Bhetki Paturi by noting down its ingredients.
Bhetki – 500gm(washed & cleaned properly)
Mustard Oil – 2 tbsp,
Mustard Paste – 2 tbsp,(to make mustard paste refer to recipe of Steamed Hilsha)
Coconut paste – 2 tbsp,
Green Chilly – 2 nos (longitudinally slit),
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp,
Salt to taste,
Banana leaves – 10 in x 10 in (No of pieces of banana leaves will depend on the no of fish pieces taken).
1) Add the mustard paste, coconut paste, turmeric powder, mustard oil, salt to a uniform mixture.
2) Place the fish pieces in the mustard mixture and coat them well with the mixture. The above proportions are approximate as per my understanding. You can increase or decrease the amount of mustard or coconut paste depending upon your taste and amount of fish taken. Keep the marinated fish for 30 minutes.
3) Take a banana leaf (10 in x 10 in) and thin out the rib running through the center of the banana leaf by slicing so that the leaf can rest flat on the frying pan.
4) Place each marinated fish slice on a banana leaf. Then fold the leaf from the 4 sides and tie with a thread.
5) Take a frying pan and grease it. Then place a banana leaf to cover the entire frying pan.
6) Then place all the fish pieces side by side over the frying pan covered with banana leaf and cover it with a lid and cook in low flame for 10 min.
7) Then turn all the paturis upside down and cook the other side for another 10-15min.
8 ) Remove the lid and transfer the entire content from the frying pan to plate.
9) Serve the paturis as it is cooked within the banana leaves. Let the guests unwrap the banana leaves and enjoy the aroma of the paturis.
10) Patuirs can be eaten with rice, fried rice and polao.
Nowadays I have seen people going to restaurants to have paturis at exorbitant price as they think that making Paturi at home is a tedious task. But it is a very wrong notion that Paturis are very tough to make. I think that Paturis are easier than any normal fish recipe as it does not need constant monitoring while cooking. Only we need to marinate and put it in the oven or frying pan to bake. Nowadays when we have microwave oven in most of the houses, we can cook paturi very easily.
Microwave Version :
1) After marinating the fish pieces and wrapping them in banana leaf, place the wrapped fish pieces in a pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minute at 80% power.
2) If your oven does not have convection then turn the paturis upside down after 15 min and then bake the other side for another 10 -15 minutes.
Please Note : If you are calorie conscious, I think you can have paturis without any hesitation as the fish is baked and no deep frying is done. You can reduce the amount of mustard oil as per your choice.