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Pomfret Paturi
(Pomfret fish fillets wrapped in Banana leaves)

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Contributed by:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Housewife
Chennai

Pomfret Paturi

Ingredients

Black Pomfret - 1 (1 kg approx.)(De-skinned and de-boned)
Mustard seeds - 2 tbsp
Fresh coconut (scraped) - 2 cups
Green chilli - 2-3
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp (approx)
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 2 tbsp
Banana / Plaintain Leaves (tender) - 4-5 (large)
Cotton thread - to secure the wraps

Method of Preparation

1. Cut fish fillets into 8 pieces i.e. 4 from each fillet. Wash thoroughly with water, pat dry
    with kitchen towel and keep aside.
2. Take mustard seeds, coconut, green chillies, salt and turmeric powder in a mixie jar and
    grind to a fine paste. Add water if necessary, but keep it to minimum as we need a
    semisolid paste.
3. Add chopped coriander leaves and 2 tsp of mustard oil to the paste and mix.
4. Rub this mixture onto the pat dried fish fillets. Keep aside for 1.5-2 hrs.
5. Remove the centre vein of the banana leaves and make eight 12"x6"(approx.) pieces.
    Wash and dry with a kitchen towel.
6. Mix the marinated fish once again.
7. Place 1 tsp of the marinade on one piece of banana leaf. Place one of the fillets and
    top with another teaspoonful of marinade.
8. Add 1/2 tsp (or as desired) of mustard oil on top and wrap the fish from all sides with
    the leaf. Secure with a cotton thread by winding a number of times. Keep the parcel aside.
9. Repeat the same procedure with all the pieces of fish.
10. Preheat tandoor till red hot.
11. Bake all the parcels for 6-7 minutes or till the banana leaves burn and give out an aroma.
12. Switch off and leave the fish parcels inside the tandoor for 10-12 minutes.
13. Take out, cut open the parcels and serve hot with steamed rice.

Notes & Tips

1. If the leaves are mature, they will crack at the folds and the marinade will leak out. Hence, only tender and flexible leaves are to be used. If the leaves still crack, you can use another piece of leaf to repair the parcel. Also, handle the parcels very gently.

2. You can alter the masala as per taste e.g you could use jeera powder and garam masala or simply ginger and green chilli paste, instead of mustard. Coconut is, however, must as it gives volume to the marinade, and goes well with mustard as well as garam masala and green masala.

3. If the masala is too watery to handle, while making the parcel, you can sprinkle 2-3 pinches of wholewheat flour to absorb the excess water, and leave for 5 minutes.