Monday, September 06, 2010

Recipe: Bengali inspired Mustard fish in Banana Leaves

When I picked up fish from INA market the other day, I thought I would try my luck to check if the veggie guys stocked banana leaves (I'm still considering a traditional banana leaf plated dinner for our harvest festival on the 8th of September). They produced some leaves from their inner chamber and I decided to buy one and try steaming fish in banana leaves for the first time.

I did slip up a bit, but this recipe contains the corrections and pointers on what to watch out for.

I did not follow any recipe, just went with what I felt like I wanted in there, but it did taste quite good.

Ingredients:
1-2 Banana Leaves
1 kilo of boneless fish fillets - cut into equal sizes
(the fish has to be cut into equal pieces so that they cook at a uniform rate, my slightly thinner pieces dried out a bit)
Couple of tablespoons kasundi - (Bengali mustard paste available readymade in some markets)
Finely chopped or ground green chillies to taste
1-2 tbsp mustard oil 
salt to taste
I used some pinches of sumac to increase sourness of the marinade, you can add aamchoor or vinegar if you like, but dont make the marinade too watery.

Method:
Mix all ingredients for the marinade and form an emulsion.
Leave the fish in the marinade for at least half an hour.
Prep the Banana Leaves
Then wrap fish pieces individually in strips of banana leaves and form little parcels.
Steam the parcels for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish fillets.
You can also microwave them for 7-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish fillets.
If microwaving them, use more marinade as the microwave tends to dehydrate the fish while cooking.
Serve hot with rice and dhal. Husband loved it with rotis and dhal.

I also had a few pieces of fish left over, once the plaintain leaves were used up. I just sauteed them on a medium flame and this too, tasted awesome.


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