Saturday, 9 May 2015

Kochu Pata Diye Macher Paturi (Fish Steamed in Colocasia Leaf)

There are days when we get bored of having the same recipes over and over again and feel like breaking the monotony with something new, something experimental for the palate. Well it was one of those days for me. While picking up my groceries from the supermarket last week I was wondering which vegetables to get so that I can prepare something different. I was pretty bored with the usual brinjals, pumpkins, potatoes and cauliflowers. Suddenly a rack with bunches of neatly tied Kochu Pata or Colocasia Leaves caught my attention.

Colocasia leaves are very common in all parts of Maharashtra and comes very cheap. Its used in a very popular Maharashtrian dish known as Alu Vadi or patra which is Colocasia leaves stuffed with gram flour mixture rolled and deep fried or steamed. I used to see the local village ladies sell the leaves by the road side most of the days on my way back from office but never paid any heed. But that day when I saw the leaves it immediately reminded me of a recipe I read in a blog. By chance I had come upon Purabi Naha's blog Cosmopolitan Currymania.

She had a recipe of Colocasia leaf wrapped paneer roll in her blog which had really piqued my interest. If we could make a paneer paturi with these leaves why not try to make the traditional fish paturi with them? So I immediately got those leaves bagged and tagged. The tag read RS.6. There were in total 6 leaves which meant it was 1 rupee a leaf which was quite cheap considering a supermarket standard. Later also I had got 2 bunches of these leaves at Rs.10 only!

Now the next thing was I didnt have a proper fish which was suitable for traditional paturi - no Ilish, Koi or Bhetki. All I had was Rohu. What the heck I thought, anyway I was making an experimental dish so why not be experimental with the fish as well? So Rohu and Colocasia leaves it was for my Macher Paturi. Now let me clarify I like the simple jeera bata (cumin paste) paturi much much more than the one prepared with mustard paste. Much lighter on the stomach and very healthy. Also much more flavorful than the musrard paste one.You can check out my Koi Macher Paturi (Climbing Perch Wrap) also.

This dish was made in the exact same way as the Koi macher paturi.

Due to the presence of Calcium Oxalate in the Colocasia leaves it can cause an itching sensation if ever had uncooked similar to the usual Taro. So make sure you properly steam ir fry it before eating.

Once I tasted them I knew I have hit a jackpot!Who would have thought that Colosia leaves paturi can taste so interesting. It made me forget my sorrow of not getting Lau shak in this part of the country. These nice and fresh green Colosia leaves would come to my rescue everytime I craved for macher paturi.My wholehearted thanks to Purabi for inspiring me to experiment.
Now the recipe:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes  

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2

Cuisine: Bengali

  • Rui Mach (Rohu )- 4 pieces (peti)
  • Tender Kochu Pata (Colocasia leaves) -  2 Big leaves 
  • Fresh Jeera Paste (Cumin Paste) -  4 tbsp
  • Green Chilli - 4 (withing the paturi) + 1 (in Jeera Paste)
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil - 3 tsp

1. Clean the fish. Choose peti for best result. If you have any other portion that will also do. 

2. Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt for 10 minutes

3. Fry the fish lightly in mustard oil and keep aside.

4. Wash the leaves and pat dry. Place the glossy side face down and with a sharp thin knife carefully remove the mid vein partially. Keep enough of the vein so that the leaf holds together. 

5. Soak Jeera for 20 minutes and then grind it with a pinch of salt and one green chilli into fine paste. Add a pinch of turmeric to it. Make sure the paste is very fine.

6. Take 1 leaf glossy side up. Brush some mustard oil on the leaf

If you have small leaves take two leaves at a time. Place one on the other in opposite direction ( Suppose the first leaf tip faces you so when you place the next one it should face away from you.)

7. Smear the fish with the Jeera paste and place it in the middle on the glossy side of one of the leaf. One fish on one leaf. If using peti then two petis one on top of another in one leaf. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

8. Drizzle 1 tbsp of mustard oil on each fish. Place a green chilli on top of it

9. Wrap the fish well so that no part remains exposed. Tie it well with a thread. Prepare the other fishes in the same way

10. Take necessary amount of rice and water in a pressure cooker. Place the wrapped fish inside. Steam the rice till cooked.

In a serving dish, serve the Fish Paturis( still wrapped) over a small bed of the flavoury rice. When you 
eat it you need to open the knot and take out the fish from the leaf. Mix the leaf and spices with the 
rice, add a pinch of salt if required and enjoy it along with the fish.

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