Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney: Parsi Patra ni Maachi

While vacationing in Dahanu a couple of years back, and driving back to Gujarat from the Maharashtra state. I saw fisher women selling promfrets, pronounced locally as pamplets on the roadside. Dahanu is a coastal town and a municipal council in Palghar district in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is located 110 km from Mumbai city.

They had freezers in their lovely home to store their catch.  However the fresh fish would be sold within 2 hours and if you wanted any pamplet or prawns you better rush there in the morning.

These fishermen and fisher women live along the coast line of Dahanu with their houses on the beaches. Living a simple life they make a living catching the ocean bounty. I talked with the mother and father whose son was coming to USA to study. Now that’s progress !

Patra ni Maachi chutney is very easy to make. With fresh cilantro, lemon juice and other ingredients.  The same chutney can be used to make chutney sandwiches at a later time.

Banana leaves are found in US in many Indian, Korean and Chinese Stores. The word “Patra” literally means “Leaf” in gujarati. “Maachi” means “Fish”. So do not be intimidated by the strange words, translated, the dish is  Fish wrapped in Banana Leaf with delicious Chutney.

I have found  pamplets in US in HMarts, called by a different name – plammuro. These are a bit yellow and not as white as found in India. They do have the same look, taste, texture and feel.

Some wiki facts:

Pomfret
Brama brama.jpg
Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Percoidei
Superfamily: Percoidea
Family: Bramidae
Genera[1]
Brama
Eumegistus
Pteraclis
Pterycombus
Taractes
Taractichthys
Xenobrama

Pomfrets are perciform fishes belonging to the family Bramidae. The family includes about 20 species.

They are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the largest species, the Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama, grows up to 1 m (3.3 ft) long. Fish meat is white in color.

Several species are important food sources for humans, especially Brama brama in the South Asia. The earlier form of the pomfret’s name was pamflet, a word which probably ultimately comes from Portuguese pampo, referring to various fish such as the blue butterfish (Stromateus fiatola). This fish also called as ‘Maanji’ (ಮಾಂಜಿ) in Tulu and paplet in Urdu, Marathi and Nawayathi.

  • Several species of butterfishes in the genus Pampus are also known as “pomfrets”.
  • Some species of pomfrets are also known as monchong, specifically in Hawaiian cuisine.
  • Above referenced from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I found a substitute fish here in the US called “Palmunaro” in H-MART. They are similar to pamplet from India.

  Recipe for Patra ni Maachi with Leeli Chutney.

  • 2 large Pomfrets weighing together 900 gms. (other fish like Salmon can be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Grind together for chutney:

  • 10 green chilies
  • 3 cups washed and chopped Cilantro (Kothmir)
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Banana leaves or Foil
  1. Remove head of fish if desired and cut each fish into 6 slices.
  2. Cut large enough portions of banana leaves or foil to wrap each slice of fish.
  3. Hold each piece of banana leaf over a flame a few seconds to soften leaf and center rib.
  4. Grease one side of each portion of leaf or foil.
  5. Using about 1.5 teaspoons salt per fish, rub salt into each slice of fish.
  6. Coat each slice of fish with chutney.
  7. Lay a slice of fish on the greased side of piece of banana leaf or foil and roll it up.
  8. Tie with thread.
  9. Do the same with other slices of fish and steam or bake for 30 minutes or till fish is cooked.

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VIDEO : https://youtu.be/8ymliZBw7QU

A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves.

Parsiana August 7, 2016 – A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves. By Farrokh Jijina.

Pickled Lady’s Fingers, Daal Madrasi and Coffee Jelly.

Parsiana August 7, 2016 - A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves. By Farrokh Jijina.

RE-Print of Original Gujarati Volumes available as a paperbacks in new glossy paper. Printed in USA. Click below to purchase:

Vividh Vani by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia RE-PRINT
Article – http://www.parsicuisine.com/reprinting-culinary-heritage/

Check out ENGLISH Translations done by Rita Kapadia HERE.

White Pumpkin Preserve

White Pumpkin Preserve “Kohra no Murambo”

“Kohra (White Pumpkin)  Murambo (Preserve)” recipe is included in the cookbook .

White Pumpkin Preserve is flavored with hints of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg with an amber caramel color which come from hours of gently simmering the grated pumpkin.

Truly,  this Kohra no Murambo is a labor of love in the finest traditions of the Parsis.  Kohru is white or orange pumpkin found in USA. Hence, I prefer to name it White Pumpkin Preserve in keeping with the traditions of the new land we have made our homes in.

The native Indians brought gifts of the autumn harvest to the Thanksgiving feast held with the Pilgrims. The Autumn Harvest of Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Butternut Squash, Green Beans, Peas, Cranberries, Potatoes, Corn, Apples, Pears, included varieties of Gourds and Pumpkins.

White Pumpkin Preserve for your Thanksgiving Table
White Pumpkin Preserve for your Thanksgiving Table

WHITE PUMPKIN MURUMBO (Pumpkin preserve or jam)

Ingredients

2 1/4 lb. round white pumpkin

Sugar Weigh grated pumpkin together with its water then weigh sugar equal to half the weight of the pumpkin.

4 inches cinnamon stick

3/4 tsp. mixed cardamom and nutmeg powder

Peel pumpkin, remove seed section then grate pumpkin.

Weigh grated pumpkin together with its water then weigh sugar equal to half the weight of the pumpkin.

Put sugar grated pumpkin and pumpkin water together with cinnamon stick in a large pan.

Heat on stove and bring mixture to the boil. Lower heat cover and cook 10 minutes.

Uncover pan and continue cooking on medium heat till all the liquid has evaporated and pumpkin is golden brown.

Sprinkle cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix. Cool thoroughly and store in air tight jars.

It keeps for several weeks. Refrigerate for longer storage.

Mango Murraba (Parsi Murambo) Recipe

Celebrate  with this glorious Mango Murraba anyday. #mangoseasonison #ilovemangoes #mangoisthekingoffruits #mangolove #mango

Ingredients

1 kg semi-ripe mangoes (any variety, but for best results and taste, either alphonso, or, even better still, the `bottle’ mango, `batli keri’. Best to use are small green, totally unripe mangoes. But then add more jaggery, according to taste.)

White or red pumpkin can be substituted.

Peaches can be substituted.

200 gms jaggery (more, if mangoes very raw and sour. Can use sugar to substitute for jaggery, but the flavor will not be the same. If using sugar, I would suggest palm or cane sugar or raw sugar.)

1-inch piece of cinnamon

2 cups water (approximately)

Salt to taste (coarse salt or rock salt)

5 Cloves (optional)

2 Bay leaves (optional)

5 Black peppercorns(optional)

5 Cardamoms (optional)

Method

  1. Peel the mangoes, remove the seed and slice lengthwise. (Depending upon size of the mango, you can halve the lengthwise slices, as per requirement. Mango should be in chunky pieces, do not slice too thin.)

  2. Pour water in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add jaggery, cloves (optional), cinnamon, bay leaves (optional), peppercorns(optional), and cardamoms (optional) and cook over a medium flame, stirring occasionally. Once the jaggery has melted, add salt, mangoes, and cook over a low flame, stirring occasionally, being careful not to break the mango slices. Cook till a syrupy consistency is achieved, then remove from heat and cool completely.

  3. Serve as an accompaniment to papeta-ma-ghosh.

  4. The mango murabba (murambo)  can be stored in glass jars and refrigerated for one month.

  5. This is a yummy and fairly healthy snack for children, spread out on toast and butter instead of jam.

  6. Substitute Peaches or Apricots, pumpkin for variety !

Now, let’s party @ Fiesta Friday 

Pickled Mango Bafenu

Recipe #1

Ingredients

3 ripe mangoes whole
½ vinegar
½ cup jaggery, grated
1 tbsp garlic paste
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1-1/2 tsps mustard powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps. Oil

Method

Take 3 ripe mangoes, wash and put into pressure cooker with a little water.  When the whistle blows turn it off and cool.  Open and cool the mangoes thoroughly.
Meanwhile, mix all the other ingredients well.  Apply to the mangoes well and store in a wide mouth jar.  Keep for 5-6 days and then enjoy with dal and chawal.

Recipe #2

Here is a Quick and easy recipe for Bafaenu, in the event some friends find the earlier recipe too cumbersome and elaborate. However, this Bafaenu may not stay well for as long as the Bafaenu from the first recipe. It would last at the very least for four to six months; though I have known it to stay well for much longer. You may also refrigerate the pickle after the first four, if you so desire.

INGREDIENTS:

25 ripe but firm mangoes about the size of your palm,

2 kg approx (2 Ser) jaggery;

900 gms (1/2 seer) mustard powder, preferably ground at home;

260 gms kilo (1/4 seer) garlic coarse paste;

750ml (1 seer) vinegar, preferably Sugar cane vinegar;

250 ml (1 pav) a *cooking oil of your choice;

60 Gms (5 Tola) salt;

Coarsely ground:

60 Gms (1 chatak) Red Chili powder;

60 Gms (1 chatak) turmeric powder;

METHOD:

Wash the mangoes, towel dry, and boil;

When fully cooked and soft, remove the mangoes from the vessel;

Spread them out to dry;

Mix the mustard in half the quantity of vinegar and whip;

Let the mustard mature in the vinegar;

Once the mustard is mature add the rest of the vinegar and the turmeric powder, and chili powder;

The mangoes should by now be dry, check for any remaining moisture (the slightest moisture will cause fungus to form and ruin the pickle);

Place the mangoes in a jar Of China clay or in a glass jar;

Sprinkle all the jaggery in small bits over the mangoes as you place them in the jar

Pour the vinegar mixture over the mangoes, sprinkle the salt and pour the oil over it;

DO NOT MIX OR STIR IN ANY FORM WHATSOEVER. It is likely to break the mangoes and destroy the pickle;

Close the bottle with an air-tight lid;

Tie a piece of cheese clothes or Muslin cloth on the lid;

For a few days, open the jar Every 2 days and bring the bottom-most mangoes to the top;

Thus evenly marinating and pickling the mangoes;

Then let it rest for a further 15 days to complete the pickling process.

The pickle is now ready to eat.

Please DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HASTEN THE PROCESS by using a stove to cook the mangoes in the vinegar marinade.

This will destroy the vinegar marinade and may even turn bitter.

  • Then they used home drawn unrefined peanut oil.

Wedding Pickle, Lagan nu Achar

Wedding Pickle

Lagan nu Achaar is a Pickle made from fresh carrots, ginger, garlic, raisins, apricots, spices, sugar, jaggery and balsamic vinegar. Sweet and Savory this pickle is a great condiment on the table.

Recipe available in my cookbook "Pickles, Chutney, Masala and Preserves"

Pickled Cranberry Apple Sauce Recipe

Goes with any meal. Serve with

Mashed Potatoes

Roast Turkey

Vegetables in different styles

Stuffing

or my famous Chicken Cutlets  for that extra punch!

Recipe

Ingredients:

For the pickled cranberries:

  • 1 cup  cranberries

  • 1 cup white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup salt

  • Combine Cranberries, White Vinegar and salt in a glass bottle.

  • Cover and pickle for a week.

For the sauce:

  • 14 oz Jellied Cranberry Sauce from Ocean Spray

  • 1 cup chopped Apples

  • 1/2 cup Sugar

Method:

  1. In a non stick pan add the pickled cranberries and chopped apples, sugar and Jellied Cranberry sauce.

  2. Boil for about 15 minutes till thick.

  3. Serve hot.

Goes well with Roast Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Stuffing.

Cranberry Apple Sauce
Cranberry Apple Sauce

Chutney and Salmon with a new twist

Ingredients

  • 6 – 8 Salmon Fillets
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Olive Oil as needed
  • Baking Dish
  • Prepared Creamy Coconut Chutney

Method – Assemble the Baked Salmon Dish:

  1. Spread Olive oil in a baking dish.
  2. Mix turmeric, red pepper and salt over 4 salmon fillets.
  3. Spread a thick layer of chutney in the baking dish.
  4. Place the salmon fillets on this chutney.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the salmon fillets.
  6. Spread more chutney on top.
  7. Bake on 350 degress F for 25 minutes or until done.
  8. Layer the prepared chutney with marinated salmon

This chutney may be used on Patra ni Maachi, Salmon Baked Fish, Sandwiches, Potato Pattice and as a condiment.

Creamy Coconut Chutney
Creamy Coconut Chutney

Cucumber Pickle made fresh from Summer Cucumbers

Made fresh from Summer Cucumbers, which are a plenty here in USA 🙂

With 5 large ones and the heat of the summer, I knew these cukes would go bad soon. After 5 minutes of wondering what to do with the whole batch, I thought of making a pickle/pani nu achar with the cucumbers. Guess what it was delicious. My hubby and son gobbled it up so fast, next thing I know Jim brings more cucumbers and asks for the same pickle to be made again.

Serve pickle as a condiment, use in Sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 5 large cucumbers peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder (Hing)
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • 1 large airtight jar

Method

  1. Put the cucumber slices in the airtight jar. Make sure the jar is bone dry.
  2. Mix all the spices into the vinegar and pour over the cucumbers.
  3. Let pickle marinate for 5 days if you can. (Mine got gobbled up in the first week)

Get Cookbook: Pickles, Preserves and Chutneys by Rita Kapadia  

* Dill can be Substituted

A traditional and very easy Mango Pickle (Pani nu Achaar) is made with raw green mangoes and this recipe can be used with raw green mangoes.

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Famous Parsi Fish with Green Chutney, Patra ni Machhi

A very popular recipe of the Parsi Cuisine.

Patra ni Machhi

 

Recipe

Ingredients
4 banana leaves

1 kg fish

Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 tsp salt

Chutney:

1 grated coconut

6 green chillies

50 gm coriander leaves with stems

1 tbsp mint leaves

1 tsp ground cumin seeds

1 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

Method
Marinate the fish in lime juice and salt for 30 minutes.

Coat the fish pieces on both sides with the chutney.

Wrap the fish pieces in banana leaves and secure with string.

Steam bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

For the chutney:

Combine all the chutney ingredients and grind until a smooth paste is formed.

Other Patra ni Maachi Recipes

Coconut

Split coconut on wooden board, close-up
Split coconut on wooden board, close-up

Hindi Name: Nariyal

Almost all parts of the coconut palm are useful. Fruit of the coconut palm can be eaten or used in preparation of sweet, chips and savory dishes.

Oil and milk derived from this fruit that are widely used in cooking. Water found enclosed inside the coconut shell is considered one of the best summer coolers.

Squash the stress with coconuts. The water, the flesh, the oil or the butter, all of the coconut is trending and for good reason. Coconuts contain medium chain fats that improve our metal health and infuse positive energy. The scent of the coconut is known to have a psychological effect that helps diminish anxiety and slows our heart rate. The sweet, pleasant fragrance of the coconut augments alertness and tones down the ‘fight or flight’ response when faced with a stressful situation. Amazing, isn’t it?

Nutritional Value

Consumption of coconut speeds up metabolism and helps prevent obesity.

Coconuts are very rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants thus helping in lowering cholesterol levels.

Coconut has a low glycemic index.

Coconut is a very good energy giving food because it is not stored in the body as fat, but is utilized by the body to release energy.

Did you know?
The trunk of the tree is used in making small bridges and boats.

Jaggery, Gur, Mollasses

Three Blocks of Jagerry (Pure Cane Sugar)
Three Blocks of Jagerry (Pure Cane Sugar)

Jaggery, Gur, Mollasses


Hindi Name:
Gur

Unrefined sugar, found in solid or powdered form, used in desserts as a substitute for sugar. Its color varies from golden brown to dark brown. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes across India. It keeps your body warm and is great to ward off common cold and cough.

Usage

Jaggery is used as an ingredient in many Indian and Sri Lankan recipes. It is used very commonly in Gujarati cuisine. It is also used to make toffees, cakes and desserts. In earlier times, most Indians preferred to use jaggery instead of refined sugar. Even now its used commonly in rural households. In villages, the animals are fed with jaggery to boost energy, right after they give birth. It is also given to the cattle for a sweeter milk production.

Health Benefits

1.Its best health benefit is that, it is a very good energy source. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that absorbs in the bloodstream instantly and gives energy faster. Jaggery on the other hand is a complex carbohydrate that gives energy to the body gradually and for a longer time.

2.Jaggery does not alter the blood sugar level and is therefore preferred over refined sugar in case of diabetes.

3.Jaggery helps in controlling the body weight by reducing water retention.

4.Jaggery is a very good cleansing agent, that pulls our dust and unwanted particles from the body. It cleans the respiratory tracts, lungs, stomach intestines and food pipe. It is for this reason that the jaggery consumption is recommended to people working in heavily polluted areas like coal mines or paint factories.

5.It is also a good digestive agent if had after a heavy meal.

6.Jaggery is rich in iron and helps anemic patients.

Did you know?
When the use of cement was not common as a building material, jaggery mixed with lime, sand and clay was used to interlock bricks.

Patrani Ni Machi

Patrani machi is a Parsi steamed fish preparation. Fish coated in a coconut chutney mixture, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.

Ingredients
4 banana leaves

1 kg fish

Juice of 1 lemon

3/4 tsp salt

Chutney:

1 grated coconut

6 green chillies

50 gm coriander leaves with stems

1 tbsp mint leaves

1 tsp ground cumin seeds

1 tsp sugar

Salt to taste

Method
Marinate the fish in lime juice and salt for 30 minutes.

Coat the fish pieces on both sides with the chutney.

Wrap the fish pieces in banana leaves and secure with string.

Steam bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

For the chutney:

Combine all the chutney ingredients and grind until a smooth paste is formed.

Other Patra ni Maachi Recipe

Creamy Coconut Chutney

Creamy Coconut Chutney

This chutney may be used on Patra ni Maachi, Salmon Baked Fish, Sandwiches, Potato Pattice and as a condiment.

Ingredients:

4 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 cup cream of coconut
2 small bunches Coriander
4 green Chilies
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Salt
I lime, juice of
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves Garlic roasted
1/4 black pepper
3 chopped green chillies
1 tsp vinegar (white)

Method

Grind all the above ingredients either in a chopper or blender with enough water, to make a smooth paste.

Taste to your liking adding more sugar and/or lemon juice, add salt to your taste.