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Bengali Recipes: Daab Chingri and Paturi

By Subhash Jana
February 04, 2020 13:17 IST
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You don't need to visit Kolkata to enjoy Bengali food. Subhash Jana, executive chef at Swissotel Kolkata shares two traditional recipes that you can easily make at home. 

Fish Paturi

Chef tip: Bhetki Macher Paturi is Bengali-style barramundi fish cooked in banana leaf. The bhetki fish pieces are marinated in a spiced mustard paste, wrapped in banana leaf individually and then slow-cooked till tender. The word 'paturi' means leaf in Bengali. Generally we Bengalis make paturi using ilish (hilsa fish), bhetki (barramundi fish) and chingri (prawn). This is a delicious recipe with the bhetki fish. Try savouring this Bengali Bhetki Macher Paturi along with plain steamed rice. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 bhetki fish, fillets cut to 4*2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut, grated + for garnish
  • 7 green chillies, slit
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 banana leaf, cut into  10*8 rectangles
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt as required

Method: 

  • Mix fish pieces with half tsp turmeric powder and salt in a bowl.
  • In a grinder, make a paste of mustard seeds, poppy seeds and green chillies by adding a little bit of water.
  • Take the grated coconut in a bowl. Add the mustard seeds paste, a bit of salt and remaining turmeric powder. Make a fine mixture with a fork. Cover and keep it in the fridge for an hour.
  • Remove the fish from the fridge and mix with a tsp of mustard oil. Stir gently, warm the banana leaves over an open flame for 30 seconds, make sure it does not get burnt.
  • Place the banana leaves (glossy side up) over a plate, rub a little mustard oil on it. Now spread a tsp of marinated paste in the center of the banana leaf, place one piece of fish on the paste and put another tsp of paste on the top of fish. Then place a green chili on top of it. Fold the banana leaf to make it a square parcel and tie with a thread so that it doesn't open while cooking. Repeat the process for all the fish pieces.
  • Take a non-stick pan and grease some oil on it and place the fish pieces on it (you can place 4 - 5 pieces at a time according to the size of your pan), close the pan with a heavy lid and cook on medium heat for 8-9 minutes on each side. When one batch is done, remove them and place in a casserole to keep the paturi hot. Again, repeat the same process to cook the rest of the fish.

Daab Chingri

Ingredients:

  • 750 gm prawns
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp panch phoron (five spices)
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1½ tsp turmeric
  • 20 gm wheat dough
  • 1 large tender coconut
  • 3 tbsp mustard paste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt as required

Method:

  • Chop garlic, green chillies and onion. Scrape out the coconut flesh and put it in a grinder. Grind well to get a paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium flame and add panch phoron in it. Add the chopped green chillies, onions and garlic cloves.
  • Take it out in a large bowl and add mustard paste, turmeric, salt and coconut paste.
  • In the mixture, add raw prawns and mix everything well.
  • Cut the bottom of the coconut shell evenly to make it stand properly inside a pressure cooker.
  • Place the prawn mixture in the shell and cover the top with wheat dough. Add some water in the pressure cooker and place the coconut shell inside it. (Note: The level of water should be about half the height of the coconut shell.) Put the cooker lid on and let it cook over medium flame until you hear 3 whistles. After removing it from the flame, let the dish be inside the cooker for 10 more minutes. Take it out and remove the wheat dough seal. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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