It is a known fact that Bengalis cannot do without their mustard paste. Although, contrary to popular notion, there are many Bongs who do not prefer mustard. Well, all that aside, no celebratory meal is complete with a shorshe or mustard-based curry. Fish wrapped in banana leaf is needless to say, is quite a celebration in itself. Bengali bhetki paturi is typically Calcutta Bhetki, or the local barramundi cooked inside a banana leaf parcel with a thick mustard-based sauce.

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What kinds of fish can be used to make fish paturi?

Well, since this post is about Bengali bhetki paturi, so yes, we generally use Bhetki fish fillet for this recipe. It is the most commonly used fish for a paturi, especially in wedding menus. Having said that, in monsoon, we often indulge in ilish macher paturi. You can also make prawns in banana leaf parcels. Chingri or prawns barely take any time to cook. So that would definitely change. Instead of Bhetki or Barramundi, you can also use any kind of white fish fillets like Basa or the local Pangas.

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Key points to remember while making Bengali Bhetki Paturi

  • Use fresh banana leaves
  • You have to soften the banana leaves over an open flame to soften them. Only then you can fold and wrap the fish. If you do not have a gas stove or a flame, use a candle or a blow torch.
  • The fillet has to be at least 1 to 1.5 cm thick.
  • You can make this with only yellow mustard or use both yellow and black mustard. In case you are using black mustard, you have to strain the mustard paste.
  • Mustard paste is very pungent. Hence I like to mellow it a bit by using poppyseed paste. Coconut paste gives it a lovely texture too.
  • Mustard oil is a must for this. You cannot make it in any other oil.

You cannot miss these steps of unwrapping a Paturi –

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Bengali Bhetki Paturi | Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaf

Bengali Bhetki Paturi is any white fish cooked with mustard paste and other spices inside a banana leaf parcel.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Fish Recipes, Main Course
Cuisine Bangladeshi, Bengali, Indian
Servings 4 persons

Ingredients
  

  • 4 nos Bhetki fish fillet or any white fish fillet
  • 2 tbsp black mustard paste see notes
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard paste see notes
  • 1 tbsp poppy seed paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut paste see notes
  • 3-4 tbsp mustard oil
  • 4 nos green chillies
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

For banana parcel

  • 4 square banana leaves
  • 4 long strings

Instructions
 

  • Rub salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder on the fish and keep them aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, take the mustard pastes, turmeric powder, salt, poppy seed paste, coconut paste and 1 tbsp mustard oil. Mix them.
  • Now prepare the banana leaves by running them over an open flame.
  • Smear each fish fillet with the mustard paste and place on a banana leaf square. Make sure you have enough paste to cover the fish from both sides.
  • Place one green chilli over the mustard paste. Drizzle a tsp of mustard oil on each fish fillet.
  • Then wrap the banana leaf into a square and tie it. with a string. If there are any cracks, use a second banana leaf over it.
  • Take a frying pan and heat 1 tbsp mustard oil. Place the banana leaf parcels on that. Cover with a lid and cook on low fire for 10 minutes on each side.
  • After that, remove and serve with steamed rice.

Notes

  1. To make a mustard paste, take 2 tbsp of mustard seeds (yellow and black separately) and soak in water for 10 minutes. Then grind each one with little water and mustard oil very well. In the case of black mustard paste, you have to strain it further to discard the black husk. You can make this only with yellow mustard paste also. 
  2. Instead of coconut paste, you can use freshly grated coconut.
  3. While grinding mustard, you can add a couple of green chillies for an extra kick. 
Keyword bengali bhetki macher paturi, bengali bhetki paturi, bhekti macher paturi, bhetki paturi, fish paturi, fish wrapped in banana leaf, steamed fish recipe