Thursday, 12 April 2012

Patra ni machhi

A big thanks to Kay Tuli for this superb recipe . Made it as you had written , and it was fantastic !

Patra ni machhi is a traditional Parsee dish prepare by steaming fish coated with a thick green chutney after being wrapped in a banana leaf . The banana leaf is heated over fire for a few minutes . This softens the leaf and makes it more pliable and easy to wrap the fish in . The wrapped ' packet ' is then heated on a girdle and baked in the oven ( 160C ) for about 15 minutes or steamed for the same amount of time , till done.
The banana leaf when heated infuses the fish with it's aromas enhancing the flavors of this delicious festive dish .

1large Pomfret/surmai cut into 5-6 pieces......(you can try with any other sea fish--but these 2 are preferred)
wash well & anoint with a teaspoon of turmeric & juice of a lemon & keep aside while you prepare the green chutney

Grind thick l ingredients a watery chutney will not adhere to the fish pieces.
1/4 Coconut (or 2tbsps dessicated coconut --but fresh wins handsdown anytime!)
8 Green Chillies.
3 Cloves Garlic (more if preferred)
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera
Handful Chopped Dhania leaves
Few Sprigs Mint ( optional )
1Teaspoon jaggery(can use sugar instead)
walnut sized knob of tamarind/juice of a lemon(clean tamarind of strings n seeds before adding..)
  GRIND to a fine paste in a grinder.

You may feel free to adjust the above ingredients for the chutney as per your taste .
Take a lrage banana leaf--hold it over a gas flame and let it soften a bit 2-3  minutes.Place it on a clean work surface and gently press the centre rib--flattening it.Cut large squares of the banana leaves-large enough to wrap each fish piece in. Oil one side of the leaf .

Coat the fish piece by piece liberally with the thick chutney .Wrap each piece in the oiled square of banana leaf , neatly tuck the edge in and tie the parcel with thread / secure with a toothpick .

Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan and gently fry each parcel for just a brief spell till the banana leaf colour turns dark.
After all the parcels have been lightly fried just so the colour changes to dark green collect them and place them either in a colander and steam in a cooker for 15minutes OR  place on a tray and bake in the oven 15-mins till done.(150deg centigrade seems fine)

At the time of serving,open up the parcels but do NOT remove the banana leaves serve the fish exposed in the banana leaf parcels .This in my eyes is one of the finest delicacies from a Parsee kitchen .

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