You must be thinking that again a recipe on ‘Mocha’! Yes it is! But trust me this one is completely different preparation altogether. This ‘Mochar Patuti’ (Banana Blossom Cooked in Banana Leaf) is a very delicate recipe and goes very well with steamed rice or you can serve this as a starter too. And this recipe is quite different from ‘Niramish Mochar Ghonto’ and ‘Chingri Mach dea Mochar Ghonto’ ‘Mocha’ or banana flower is a favourite dish in our family and cooked mostly on ‘vegetarian days’ days at our place.
‘Paturi’ is a cooking process wherein marinated fish, chicken, vegetables or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is wrapped in a banana leaf and then either grilled or steamed. A parcel is made with banana leaf and then slow cooked on steamer or pan. I first tasted this dish in a famous Bengali cuisine restaurant named 6 Ballygunj Place. I tried to make the same taste. It was close and similar but not same. You can always change the amount of ingredients as per your choice. This time, I prepared this ‘Paturi’ on last Sunday on an experimental basis and this has come out so well! So I thought of sharing the recipe with you.
I have steamed the ‘Paturi’ on a double boiler and then lightly grilled the parcels on pan to get the smokey flavour of banana leaf. Keeping the flame on medium high, cook the dish turning sides with adding a little oil, till the leaf is completely browned on both sides. You could use an oven to prepare the dish too. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees and then put the parcels on the baking tray for 12-15 minutes or till the banana parcel is brown. And those who want to cook in aluminium foil can make a parcel of it. But you would not get that smokey flavour if you cook in aluminium foil. Here goes the recipe of ‘Mochar Paturi’…. A classic Bengali recipe.
- 2 ½ cups Banana Flower – (Per Boiled and Chopped)
- 1 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Poppy Seeds
- ½ cup Coconut – (Scrapped)
- ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 4 – 5 Green Chillies
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 3 tsps Oil
- 1 Tsp Sugar
- to taste Salt – According
- For Preparing the Banana Blossom see ‘Niramish Mochar Ghonto’ or ‘Chingrimach dea Mochar Ghonto’.
- Boil the mocha with plain water. Discard the water once the mocha softens.
- Soak mustard seeds, poppy seeds, green chillies and cumin seeds in a little water. Then grind all these with scrapped coconut.
- Mix together this paste with boiled mocha (banana blossom), 1 tsp mustard oil, 1 teaspoon sugar & salt to taste. Mix well & leave it to marinate for 1 hour.
- Cut the banana leaves into approx. 20cm X 20cm squares. In order to make the banana leaf foldable, hold it over direct flame for a while or soak them in warm water for few minutes, so that you can easily fold it. Otherwise it will be brittle.
- Add 3 Tbsp of marinated mocha on each banana leaf.
- Fold the banana leaf as shown in the picture & tie it with a cotton thread. In case you are using aluminium foil (for cooking in the oven), you do not need to tie – just seal the foil and bake in oven.
- Now take a pot with some water and put on the gas. Place your colander on it. The water should not touch the colander. The parcels will be cooked in steam.
- Place all the parcels on the colander as shown in the picture. And cover it.
- After 5 minutes remove the cover you will notice that the colour of the banana leaf started changing. Turn all the parcels upside down and cover again. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Switch off the gas. And let the ‘Paturies’ in the colander for some time.
- Take a flat pan/tawa/griddle & place it on the gas. Heat 2 tsp of mustard oil till it smokes. Place the banana leaf parcels on the tawa, cover with a lid & slow cook on low fire for 2-3 minutes or till the green leaf starts showing brown patches.
- Turn the parcels and cook the other side. ‘Mochar Paturi’ is ready to be served!
- Enjoy this dish with steamed rice. .
~ When peeling the mocha, apply some cooking oil/mustard oil to your hands to prevent the sticky juices of the mocha from staining your hands or else you can follow the way I do i.e. parboiling before chopping.
~ You may also bake the ‘Mochar Paturi’ in aluminium foil in oven.