Friday, April 13, 2012

Poila Boishak with Paturi!

A 'paturi' is a dish cooked in fresh leaves like banana leaf or pumpkin leaf.  For most paturis, the main ingredient is coated with a mustard sauce wrapped into a parcel made with the leaf and then steamed. The unique flavor of a paturi comes from the aroma of the leaf that is infused into the dish. There is nothing more aupicious to Bengalis than fish and there is nothing more Bengali than a pautri. So just in time for the Bengali New Year or Poila Boishak celebrations, here is a recipe for Machher Paturi by Deepa Majumdar of Seattle. She and her husband make this authentic fish paturi that will leave you speechless. Asian grocery stores around the US have started to carry frozen banana leaves so we now have the opportunity to cook these delicacies abroad too! Here is the recipe, Subho Noboborsho to you and yours from the Bengali Gourmet!

Macher sorshe paturi.

Deepa and her husband, Joyjeet

(traditional steam/oven/microwave)


Fillets of tilapia (3) (Costco 3 full fresh fillet).
OR you can use Salmon or any boneless fish fillet.
Banana leaf (fresh/frozen)
Black Mustard seed  
Mustard oil (3-4 table spoon)
One small lemon piece
Poppy seeds
Green chillies
Grated coconut (optional)


  1. Cut the fillets half and then into three pieces . Wash and let dry . Add little lemon and salt to the pieces.
  2. To make the mustard paste: Take 3 heap spoon of mustart powder, one heap spoon of poppy seed, turmeric  and salt and soak them in water in a bowl for 10 mins.You can also use mustard powder but whole seeds recommended. After that microwave the Mustard/poppy for 30 second. Then blend them in a blender adding some whole green chilli ( according you the amount of hot you want the fish to be)
  3. Then mix  the fish with the mustard paste. Check the salt and adjust according to the taste. Add Mustard oil. Marinate for 2 hours.
  4. To add more flavor you can add frozen coconut in the mustard paste.
  5. After marination is done,take the banana leaf, washed and cleaned and dried, cut them in square/rectangles in appropriate sizes so that one leaf piece can wrap the whole fish up.
  6. Take each piece of fish and wrap individually in the banana leaf. Tie them with thread. (If you have a huge party please do the whole process a day before and refrigerate it).
  7. Now take a huge cooking pan/wok  and a covered stainless pan or steamer/wood steamer.
  8. For Traditional Steaming: Put a banana leaf in the bottom of the pan and then put the leaf-wrapped fish on top and steam it in cooktop oven for 30-45 mins. If you don’t have any steamer, you can use any pan or container with a lid (I used my “masala r dabba”). Just make sure that it fits in the wok . Add water to the wok and place the container in the wok and put a weight on the top to hold it down.
  9. For Oven : Put the fish in oven proof dish and cover it with aluminium foil. Put a flat tray one rack below the fish tray. Bake it in 400 degree for 25-30 min
  10. For Microwave : Put the fish in oven proof dish, cover with moist paper towel and microwave it for for 20-30 mins

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