We love ourselves some steamed fish and the flavours are just so much more compact and beautiful when they come wrapped in banana leaves. Now, many cultures have traditionally used these leaves in their cooking, so we’re exploring some of them today.
Look out for the dishes and where you can find them in Delhi.
Bhetki is a fish that just naturally works wonders as filets and fingers. The Bhetki Paturi is a quintessentially Bengali dish, which is basically a filet of bhetki encased in a mix of mustard, salt, green chilly paste and lots of mustard oil for flavour. The fish and marinade is then wrapped in a banana leaf, tied with a string and steamed. The flavourful fish is then eaten with hot rice (we suggest you use your fingers to lick off that plate).
We’ve had a perfectly done Bekti Maacher Paturi at Oh! Calcutta Nehru Place and Cyber Hub. This one might be slightly pricy, so you can try the one at Bong Appetite too. They do Hilsa, King Prawns and Bhetki.
Molecule Air Bar does a molecular gastro version with blackened fish wrapped in banana leaf which comes along with a Kasundi Mustard Gel.
Patra Ni Machhi
A Parsi delicacy, this is of a similar make but with a whole lot of different ingredients. Marinate the fish in spices and salt, and add that devastatingly stunning green chutney made of coconut and coriander. Most use pomfret for this dish.
Catch the one at SodaBottleOpenerWala that comes with a spring of coriander and lemon slices. We also dig the Rustom’s Parsi Bhonu version that does tilapia fish with a sweet, sour and spicy chutney.
Pandan is an aromatic leaf that is used in Asian cooking, that smells slightly like kewra (The aromatic compound is the same). Chefs use differing spices inside the parcel; for instance, some like a red Thai curry, whereas you can also make in a Hoisin and pepper style.
You can try the Pandan Fish Parcel at Rred Hot that has a spice marinated fish inside the aromatic leaf.
The Keralite meen pollichathu is a pretty typical dish loaded with spices and again, steamed in a banana leaf. The dish is a perfect mix of traditional and healthy, and here’s where we’ve tried and tested it.
The Pollichathu at Mahabelly is available in fish as well as prawn. The roasted fish is absolutely delectable and we usually go for the prawn variant and Rasam Mary, alongwith. The Pearl Spot at The Toddy Shop is grilled to perfection with other traditional spices.
Asian Steamed Fish
We recently tried the banana leaf wrapped fish from Boom Food and were pleasantly surprised with the white mustard sauce and rice inside. Like all effective comfort food, this is compact, filling and just right for one person.
If you don’t want to actually get out of bed, then you can also get steamed fish home delivered from Asia Central that does a really piping kind with a Thai paste and herbs.
Ziu also has a stunning Thai banana leaf sea bass called Abbpla that is marinated fish with lemongrass and chilli.
Photos Courtesy Of: Wikimedia Commons