bengali cuisine · fish · mum

Mum’s Special

Any self respecting Bengali is fond of fish, and I being one am no different… So fish rules the diet chart.. But once you have lived out side of Bengal, things aren’t that easy.. You may not be able to find the kind of fish you want.. Thankfully, my city does not have that problem…

Last week when mum went shopping I insisted, i wanted fish and fish made in the traditional Bengali way and she obliged.. So she came up with Macher Paturi ( as in Fish steamed in banana leaf with special spices and I insisted that she had to make it.. I simply love the way she makes it… The aroma of the spices, coupled with the slow cooking and steaming…. I would give anything to eat that.. So finally, I got my wish..

Macher Paturi, is a traditional bengali dish, though there are many variations and they are cooked all over coastal India, with different blends of spices, the one cooked in Bengal is with mustard paste, and green chillies and garlic…

So here goes  Macher Paturi ( Fish steamed in Plantain Leaf)

  • Bone less river fish ( Betki, Hilsa, Singhara) or Cod is a good fish as well Cut into thick firm steak size (8 pieces)
  • Garlic chopped (1 teaspoon full)
  • Ginger chopped (1 teaspoon full)
  • Green Chilly (6-7 pieces)
  • Black mustard seeds (1 table spoon)
  • White Mustard seeds (1 table spoon)
  • Turmeric powder (half a teaspoon)
  • Red chilly powder (i teaspoon)
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard Oil ( plus extra to garnish)- 6-7 table spoon
  • Plantain leaf cut to 12×12 inches
Now take all the ingredients except the fish and the plantain leaf and the extra mustard oil, put in the blender and blend all the spices together till they come together in a fine paste… take the mustard oil and brush it over the plantain leaves.. Now place the fish on a plate and marinade them with the spice paste. Then place the fish on the plantain leaf and then tie them up with a thread to hold the edges of the leaf.. Then place them in the steamer and let it slow cook on the gas for about 20-25 mins.. (you could use a moktu.. which is used to steam momos or the bamboo steamers in a wok filled with water (double boiler style ) or the electric steamers… By then the fish should be ready and you can serve it with hot steaming rice and jack-fruit pickle….
This is my mum’s recipe and such a satisfying one… totally love it…….
P.S. Mum made them….

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