Ilish Macher Paturi Recipe | Hilsa Paturi | Ilish Paturi

5 from 2 votes
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Ilish Macher Paturi or Ilish Paturi is a traditional Bengali dish that showcases the exquisite flavors of the hilsa fish, also known as ilish mach.

It is a popular delicacy in West Bengal and Bangladesh, where hilsa fish is abundantly available and holds a special place in the culinary traditions.

Paturi refers to the cooking technique used in this dish, where the fish is marinated in a blend of spices and wrapped in banana leaves.

It is then steamed or grilled to perfection, allowing the fish to absorb the aromatic flavors of the marinade while retaining its natural tenderness and moisture.

Ilish Paturi

Key Takeaways:

  • Ilish Paturi is a traditional Bengali dish that highlights the flavors of Hilsa fish.
  • Paturi refers to the cooking technique of marinating the fish in spices and wrapping it in banana leaves.
  • The fish is steamed or grilled, retaining its tenderness and moisture while absorbing the flavors of the marinade.
  • The marinade typically includes mustard paste, grated coconut, green chilies, and turmeric.
  • Ilish Paturi is commonly served with steamed rice and offers a unique combination of mildness, aromatics, tanginess, and sweetness.

The Ingredients:

Ilish Paturi Ingredients

  • Hilsa fish – 6 pieces (cut in thick slices and washed properly)
  • Black mustard seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri red chili powder -1/2 tablespoon
  • Grated coconut – 2 tablespoons
  • Green Chilis – 8-9 pieces
  • Red Chilis – 5 pieces
  • Mustard oil 4 tablespoons
  • Banana leaves – 6 pieces (properly washed and sun dried)

How to Make Ilish Paturi (Step by Step Images)?

1. At first, clean and pat dry the banana leaves for making small parcels. You can either sun dry them or heat them over a pan.

Dried the banana leaves

2. Make a fine paste of black mustard seeds, grated coconut, salt, and green chilis. It is better to use both black and white mustard seeds in equal proportions.

Black mustard seeds, grated coconut, salt, and green chilis paste

3. Take the mustard paste in a separate bowl and then add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and mustard oil and salt to taste. Mix well.

Mixing mustard paste with turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and mustard oil

4. Marinate the hilsa fish pieces by coating with the spices mix. Keep them aside for 10 minutes.

Marinating the hilsa fish pieces

5. Place each piece of fish on a separate banana leaf and add little bit of mustard oil, one green chili, and one red chili on it. Repeat the same process for the other pieces of fish.

Placing each piece of fish on a separate banana leaf and add little bit of mustard oil, one green chili, and one red chili on it

6. Wrap the fish pieces with the banana leaf, ensuring that it is fully covered. Use a cotton string to tie the parcel firmly.

Wrapping the fish with the banana leaf

7. Preheat a tawa on the gas stove and heat mustard oil.

Preheating a tawa and mustard oil

8. When the oil is hot, place all the banana leaf wraps side by side on the tawa and cover it with the lid.

placing all the banana wraps side by side on the tawa and covering it with the lid

9. Once one side is cooked, flip the banana leaf wraps and cook the other side.

Flipping banana wraps

10. Steam the banana leaf wraps for 5 minutes on each side. You can place a lid on the pan.

Steaming the banana leaf wraps

11. Ilish Paturi is ready and now unwrap the banana leaf.

Unwrapping the banana leaf

Pro Tips for Cooking Ilish Paturi

Here are some pro tips to help you cook delicious Ilish Macher Paturi:

Choose fresh hilsa fish: Opt for fresh hilsa fish that has a firm texture and a pleasant aroma. Fresh fish ensures better taste and texture in the final dish.

Soak banana leaves: If you’re using fresh banana leaves for wrapping the fish, soak them in warm water for a few minutes. This will make the leaves more pliable and prevent them from tearing when wrapping the fish.

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Marination time: Allow the fish to marinate for at least 10 minutes or longer. This allows the flavors of the spices to penetrate the fish, resulting in a more flavorful dish.

Mustard paste preparation: Prepare the mustard paste by grinding mustard seeds with a little water to form a smooth paste. For added flavor, you can also add a pinch of salt and a small amount of mustard oil to the paste.

Adjust spice levels: Adjust the amount of green chilies in the marinade according to your spice tolerance. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the number of chilies or remove the seeds to decrease the heat.

Wrap the fish securely: When wrapping the marinated fish in banana leaves, ensure that it is securely enclosed to prevent any leakage of juices or marinade during the cooking process. You can use toothpicks or kitchen twine to secure the package.

Cooking method: You can choose to steam or grill the wrapped fish.

Basting with oil: While cooking, baste the wrapped fish with a little oil or melted ghee. This helps to keep the fish moist and adds a lovely sheen to the final dish.

Serve hot: Serve the Ilish Macher Paturi hot, straight from the steamer or grill, to enjoy the flavors at their best. The tender and flaky hilsa fish, infused with the aromatic spices and the subtle fragrance of the banana leaves, makes for a truly delightful culinary experience.

By following these pro tips, you can enhance your cooking skills and ensure that your Ilish Macher Paturi turns out flavorful, aromatic, and absolutely delicious.

What to Serve with Ilish Paturi?

Ilish Paturi is a delectable dish that pairs well with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some options to serve alongside Ilish Paturi:

Steamed Rice: Serve Ilish Paturi with steamed white rice to complement the flavors of the fish and the spices. The fluffy rice serves as a neutral base, allowing you to fully enjoy the rich and aromatic flavors of the dish.

Remember, the choice of sides and accompaniments can vary based on personal preferences and regional traditions.

Feel free to explore and experiment with different options to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal that complements the flavors of Ilish Paturi.

How Does Ilish Paturi Taste?

Ilish Macher Paturi Taste

Ilish Paturi is known for its unique and distinct flavor profile that combines the delicate taste of Hilsa fish with the aromatic spices and the subtle sweetness of coconut. Here’s a description of how Ilish Paturi tastes:

Mild and Delicate: Hilsa fish has a mild and delicate flavor that is often described as buttery and rich. The fish itself has a tender and flaky texture, which adds to the overall taste experience.

Aromatic and Fragrant: The spices used in the marinade, such as mustard seeds, turmeric, and green chilies, infuse the fish with a fragrant aroma. The combination of spices creates a harmony of flavors that enhances the natural taste of the fish.

Umami and Tangy: The use of mustard paste in Ilish Paturi adds a unique umami flavor that is slightly pungent and tangy. It adds a delightful tanginess to the dish, balancing the richness of the fish.

Hint of Sweetness: The grated coconut and sometimes the addition of a little sugar in the marinade contribute a subtle sweetness to the dish. This sweetness provides a pleasant contrast to the savory and tangy flavors, creating a well-rounded taste.

Smoky and Grilled: The cooking method of Paturi, where the marinated fish is wrapped in banana leaves and then grilled or steamed, imparts a smoky and charred aroma. This enhances the overall taste and adds a unique element to the dish.

Overall, Ilish Paturi offers a delightful combination of mildness, aromatics, tanginess, and a hint of sweetness.

The flavors are well-balanced, allowing the natural taste of the fish to shine through while being complemented by the spices and the cooking technique.

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It is a dish that seafood enthusiasts and those who appreciate Bengali cuisine find truly satisfying and memorable.

Ilish Paturi Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Ilish Paturi, here are a few options that you might consider:

Prawn Paturi: Instead of using Hilsa fish, you can prepare a delicious prawn paturi. Marinate the prawns in a similar blend of spices and coconut, wrap them in banana leaves, and then grill or steam them. The result is a flavorful and aromatic dish with the succulent taste of prawns.

Pomfret Paturi: Pomfret fish can be used as an alternative to Hilsa in paturi preparations. The fish has a mild and delicate flavor that pairs well with the spices and coconut. Marinate the pomfret in a similar manner, wrap it in banana leaves, and cook it to perfection. The result is a tasty and satisfying dish.

Bhetki Paturi: Bhetki, also known as Barramundi or Asian Seabass, is another fish that works well in paturi preparations. Marinate the fish with a blend of spices and coconut, wrap it in banana leaves, and cook it using the same technique. Bhetki has a firm and flavorful flesh that lends itself well to the paturi cooking method.

Chicken Paturi: If you prefer a non-fish alternative, you can make a chicken paturi. Marinate chicken pieces with spices and coconut, wrap them in banana leaves, and cook them to perfection. The chicken absorbs the flavors and remains tender and juicy, offering a delicious alternative to fish-based paturi.

These alternatives provide a range of options for those who may prefer different proteins or have dietary restrictions.

They can be cooked using the same paturi technique, adapting the marinade and cooking time to suit the specific ingredient.

Recipe Card:

Ilish Paturi

Ilish Macher Paturi (Hilsa Paturi, Ilish Paturi)

By Mita Mondal
Ilish Paturi, also known as Hilsa Paturi, is a traditional Bengali dish that showcases the delicate flavors of Hilsa fish. The term "paturi" refers to the cooking technique used, where the fish is marinated in a blend of spices and then wrapped in banana leaves.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 277 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 600 grams Hilsa fish (cut into 6 pieces and cleaned properly)
  • 2 tablespoons Black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Grated coconut
  • 8 pieces Green chilies
  • 5 pieces Red Chilies
  • 4 tablespoons Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 pieces Banana leaves (properly washed and sun dried)

Instructions
 

  • Begin by cleaning and drying the banana leaves for making the parcels. You can either sun dry them or heat them over a pan.
  • Prepare a fine paste by grinding black mustard seeds, grated coconut, salt, and green chilies. It's best to use a combination of black and white mustard seeds in equal proportions.
  • Transfer the mustard paste to a separate bowl and add turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, mustard oil, and salt to taste. Mix well to create a flavorful marinade.
  • Coat the hilsa fish pieces with the marinade, ensuring they are well-covered. Allow them to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Place each piece of fish on an individual banana leaf. Add a small amount of mustard oil, one green chili, and one red chili on top of each piece. Repeat this process for the remaining fish pieces.
  • Wrap the fish pieces securely with the banana leaves, making sure they are fully covered. Use a cotton string to tie the parcels tightly.
  • Preheat a tawa (flat griddle) on the gas stove and add mustard oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the banana leaf wraps side by side on the tawa and cover it with a lid.
  • Cook the wraps on one side until they are done, then flip them over to cook the other side.
  • Steam the banana leaf wraps for approximately 5 minutes on each side. You can place a lid on the pan to create a steaming effect.
  • Carefully unwrap the banana leaves to reveal the cooked Ilish Paturi.

Video

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Notes

Freshness of the Fish: It is important to use fresh hilsa fish for the best results. Look for fish with firm texture and a pleasant aroma. Fresh fish ensures better taste and texture in the final dish.
Soaking Banana Leaves: If you're using fresh banana leaves for wrapping the fish, soak them in warm water for a few minutes. This makes the leaves more pliable and prevents them from tearing when wrapping the fish.
Marination Time: Allow the fish to marinate for at least 10 minutes or longer. This allows the flavors of the spices to penetrate the fish, resulting in a more flavorful dish.
Mustard Paste Preparation: Prepare the mustard paste by grinding mustard seeds with a little water to form a smooth paste. For added flavor, you can also add a pinch of salt and a small amount of mustard oil to the paste.
Adjusting Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of green chilies in the marinade according to your spice tolerance. If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the number of chilies or remove the seeds to decrease the heat.
Wrapping the Fish Securely: When wrapping the marinated fish in banana leaves, ensure that it is securely enclosed to prevent any leakage of juices or marinade during the cooking process. You can use toothpicks or kitchen twine to secure the package.
Cooking Method: You can choose to steam or grill the wrapped fish. Steaming will result in a more delicate and moist texture, while grilling adds a smoky and charred flavor.
Basting with Oil: While cooking, baste the wrapped fish with a little oil or melted ghee. This helps to keep the fish moist and adds a lovely sheen to the final dish.
Serving Temperature: Serve the Ilish Paturi hot, straight from the steamer or grill, to enjoy the flavors at their best. The tender and flaky hilsa fish, infused with the aromatic spices and the subtle fragrance of the banana leaves, makes for a truly delightful culinary experience.
By keeping these recipe notes in mind, you can ensure that your Ilish Paturi turns out flavorful, aromatic, and absolutely delicious.

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Ilish Macher Paturi (Hilsa Paturi, Ilish Paturi)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
277
Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
21
g
32
%
Saturated Fat
 
4
g
25
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
10
g
Cholesterol
 
60
mg
20
%
Sodium
 
688
mg
30
%
Potassium
 
408
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
19
g
38
%
Vitamin A
 
300
IU
6
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
72
mg
7
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Ilish Macher Paturi is a pack-of-flavours and slenderness. I have used only the minimum spices that can be used.

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Try to get a good size of fish and cook it in that way you will get less trouble with the bones. Otherwise, it is a dish worth trying.

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