Bhetki Macher Paturi is a fish preparation very dear to almost all of the Bengalis. The dish is called “Paturi”, as the boneless Bhetki fish is cooked wrapped into Banana leaves (“Pata” in Bengali).
Today I would like to share the recipe that my mom makes at home and is as good as served in restaurants if not better. The flavor of mustard seeds is primary to this dish. You can use other fishes as well to make this recipe (considering you are living outside of West Bengal), but for experiencing the authentic taste, you may wanna find some good Bhekti fish 😉
Things you need
- Banana Leaf (6″ wide) 10 pcs
- Bhetki fillets 10 pcs
- Mustard Oil 6-8 tbsp
- Black mustard seeds 2.5 tbsp
- Yellow mustard seeds 1 tbsp
- Green chillies – 3
- Poppy seeds/ Posto – 2.5 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Lime juice – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
- Black pepper – 1 tsp
- Threads to tie leaf pockets
- Curd/Yogurt – 2 tbsp
- Grated coconut – 1 cup (optional)
- Clean the fillets thoroughly with running water.
- Marinate the fish fillets with 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp lime juice for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the banana leaves and dip them in salt added boiling hot water for 2-3 minutes. Then wipe off the water and toast the leaves lightly on a pan. This will help us to make the banana leaves soft enough to make small pockets without cracking them open.
- Soak 2.5 tbsp black mustard seeds, 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds and 2.5 tbsp poppy seeds, 1 tbsp cumin seeds for 15 mins in water.
- Make a fine paste of mustard-poppy-cumin seeds (sorshe-posto ), adding yogurt, 1 tsp sugar, green chilies and pinch of salt.
It’s necessary maintain a thick consistency of the paste. If salt, sugar, green chilies are not added while grinding the mustards- it can taste bitter.
- Marinate the fish filets now with a smooth mix of mustard-poppy seeds, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp black pepper, 3 tbsp mustard oil for 30 more minutes.
- We used 2 pieces of banana leaves as shown in the photo.
- Brush some mustard oil right in the spot where you would place the fish filet.
- Place the fish filet, put 1-2 tbsp of that mustard sauce, some grated coconut. Many people like to put a green chili in each pocket.
That sounds a little bit intimidating to me, so we skipped the green chili in this step!
- Fold the banana leaf gently to make a pocket as shown in the pic. You can one more leaf to make it more secure. Then tie a knot around the pocket.
If the paste is too runny or the filet is relatively bigger for the leaf, the gravy may start spilling once you put them on heat.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and place the leaf pockets in them. Cook it on low to medium flame for 10 minutes per side. Occasionally flip them.
It is important to keep the flame low, otherwise the leaves will burn fast and the fish inside with remain undercooked.
Cooking time may differ depending the thickness of the fish filet.
Bhetki Macher Paturi is ready to be devoured! A perfectly cooked paturi, will have enough sauce for each of your bite, the fish will be just cooked- soft and juicy, rich in flavors of mustard, the grated coconuts will add a sweetness and an occasional crunch to it… Enjoy it with hot rice.
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