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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ilish Paturi /Hilsa Fish Wrapped in Banana leaf


The very mention of ilish paturi makes my mouth water. I am in love with the smell of banana leaves in which the fish is wrapped. Ilish paturi when served with steamed rice is match made in heaven. There is a saying amongst us Bengalis that there is Illish ( Hilsa Fish) and there are other fishes. In taste, aroma , tenderness and exclusivity this fish is unmatched. It does not get lebelled as the King of Fishes for nothing.  It's breeding generally takes place in the Bay of Bengal & Gangetic delta having a mixture of sweet and saline water. 

This mixture brings about the lovely taste of this fish.  Also, eating this fish requires skillful handling of the bones which challenge you to remove them without getting the harder ones getting stuck in your throat. The idea is to let the chew the softer bones so that they would not bother you while eating. But one should not worry about a few bones getting stuck in the throat as they easily get digested withina short period.  It's this novelty factor that has been well exploited by the Fish Mongers who till recently have hiked it's price to Rs.1100/- per kg ( Almost US$20 ). 

However, when we do buy it , we make the most of it through cooking in different styles. So this time around it is Paturi( Fish baked by wrapping it inside plantain leaf) . It retains the original taste and the simmering heat makes the cooking uniform throughout. So, Enjoy...

Ingredients:
4 Hilsa /ilish pieces
5 tbsp Mustard seeds (mixture of black and yellow mustard seeds), soaked in warm water with 1/2 tsp white vinegar
4 pieces of Banana (plantain) leaves
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Poppy seeds (optional)
9-10 Green chillies
1 tsp Chilly powder
5-6 tbsp Mustard Oil
Salt to taste

Method:
With extreme care wash ilish pieces and place them on a flat plate. Ground to paste: Mustard seeds + Green chillies + Poppy Seeds +pinch of salt & turmeric. The paste should not be too fine but grainy. Apply this paste evenly on the fish pieces and keep aside.

Now next step is to prepare the wraps, for that wash the banana leaves thoroughly. Soften the banana leaves over low flame by holding them some 12 inches above from the burner (this step will make banana leaf foldable). 

Now smear little mustard oil on each banana leaf and place one piece of fish on each leaf. You can add additional chillies and wrap into a neat packet, tie with a twine/ cotton thread. 

Now I followed two process here as few of my readers requested for Oven version also. So I took two wrapped parcels for Oven method. In a pre-heated Oven cook the enveloped steaks for 15 minutes on 180 Degree C. 

Remaining two were done on  greased(1tsp oil) Tawa on low flame, cover with a lid and cook for 12-15 minutes (in between do flip it for evenly cooking) till the green leaf starts showing some light brown patches.

Let it cool a bit and then unwrap the fish by remove the thread. Now serve this affectionately made ilish paturi with steamed rice.




User Comments & Tips:

  • To maintain the taste and flavour it is said that hilsa should not be washed for too long or dipped in water for longer period.
  • Hilsa always tastes best when cooked fresh instead of frozen ones.
  • Just when you unwrapped the parcel, before serving many do add a tsp of mustard oil over the fish but THIS IS COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. As many ilish lovers like me enjoys the strong pungent taste which this dish brings out the best.
  • Instead of banana leaf you can also take lao /bottle guord leaf .

34 comments:

  1. Awesome Deepasri! I tasted Hilsa for the first time a couple of weeks ago at Oh! Calcutta and loved the taste! No wonder it sells at an exorbitant rate! Nice post and presentation!

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  2. awesome clicks deepa.. like the way you have presented..

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  3. Wow Deepa really amazing dear....superb

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  4. This is my hubby's favourite..we don't get Hilsa fish here in Brazil.I usually make it with some other fish for him.

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  5. I had this at a Bengali wedding in Delhi and still remember the taste!
    Super yummy and yes with rice a match made in heaven!

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  6. Deepa, though I never tasted this dish...i am virtually drooling here..lovely pics and well explained.

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  7. wow wow & wow....darun dekhte hoyeche, jibe jal asche, beautifully explained and as usual lovely presentation and awesome clicks

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  8. this is very new to me... you have the most amazing collection of recipes here.. love it!!

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  9. Fantastic hoyeche dekhte..Sokal sokal khide peye gelo :)

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  10. Banana leaf give good flavor. Yummy taste.

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  11. erom kore torture korcho kano??? dekhe jibhe chokhe mukhe sabetei jol chole elo.

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  12. Deepa, What a fantastic post dear! Enjoyed reading... I love that banana leaf smell in foods. This dish is totally new to me. Drooling:)

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  13. Great post and fantastic preparation,makes me drool.

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  14. Irresistible and definitely flavourful, seriously i love the banana leaf smell when foods cooked in them, wish i get fresh banana leaves here.

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  15. super yummy !!!.Join me in Fast Food event - Noodles.

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  16. Delicious Fish curry Deepa. Banana leaves makes wonders.

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  17. Looks like a fish eater's delight, Deeps! The process is so well explained in pictures :)

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  18. Mukhe jol eshe gelo Deepa. Ek bochor hote chollo ami iilish mach kheye chi :( And Paturi kheye toh koto je bochor hoye geche je count bhule gechi!

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  19. erokom kore koshto ditey hoye?? ebar shottyi kola pata churi korte jete hobe je amake!

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  20. Wow...this makes me mouthwatering......wish i could grab one....looks absolutely yummy.

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  21. What a wonderful dish, very well made & presented. truly mouthwatering

    http://shwetainthekitchen.blogspot.com

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  22. Wow...darun Deepa. Kola patar illish paturi dekhei amar jibe jol aschhe. Chhobi gulo eto attractive hoyechhe je dekhei mone hochhe ekta tuleni...




    Cuisine Delights
    My Monthly Event - Spotlight : "Healthy Snacks"

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  23. Now i know what u will make for me when i come back to Bangalore.....love the recipe...

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  24. Good effort deepa. Fish is totally tempting. Nice presentation as always.

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  25. Nice photography..Fish looks so tempting when wrapped..Loved the idea..

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  26. dishes wrapped in banana leaf sure gives a pleasant flavor this must be yumm

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  27. Hi Deepa,
    Lovely presentation...Never used banana leaves in nonveg items but sonds good...like to have a try...hapy to follow you dear...:)

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  28. Even in kerala we have several recipes where fish is cooked in banana leaves and it definitely does leave a beautiful flavor on the fish. This recipe ie new to me, but I can see why your mouth is watering, looks gorgeous ;-)

    Regards,
    Manju
    http://manjuseatingdelights.blogspot.com/

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  29. Kola pata pabo kina jani na, neighbor der lau pata ache, ote salmon wrap e kore korbo. Oven ei korbo, dekhi

    Chobi gulo dekhe mone hoche oi pata tei bhaat mekhe boshe pori

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  30. Absolutely gorgeous! I love fish in banana leaves, never tried this green chili version. We have a different sort of preparation in Kerala, made in the same leaf though. I might steal this for you, looks so good.

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  31. I nrver had this and the flavours are very new to me...looks fab should try it some day...great presentatn again...we have a similar dish called meen pollichathu which uses banana leaf but tasted different

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  32. I envy you the banana leaves and the rice, the most! :-) Beautiful! I have had this at my Bengali friends' homes.

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