Cotton thread for tyingnylon/synthetic will meltheat
Step 1: Prepare banana leaves for the parcel
Use your kitchen scissors to cut the banana leaves along the mid riff. Cut pieces of 8cm X 8cm each. (Be gentle, else leaves would split into strips which you do not want)
To soften the leaves, run them over low flame on the gas (be careful not to burn the leaves). As an alternate, lightly heat a tawa and press the leaves on it with a kitchen towel to complete this step. (This step is a must)
Gently clean the leaves on both sides using a damp cloth to get rid of any dust.
Store the leaves in the refrigerator to avoid drying out
Step 2: Marinate the fish
Wash the fish fillet in running water and dry it using a clean kitchen towel. Gently slice the fish fillet into pieces of approximately 30g each.
Season the fish with 1 tsp salt + ½ tsp turmeric powder + 1 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and leave aside for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Make the mustard paste
Soak mustard seeds for 30 minutes and strain it.
In a chutney blender, add the strained mustard seeds + 5 green chilies + ½ tsp salt + ½ tsp sugar and blend it to a fine paste. Add little water if needed.
Add freshly grated coconut + 1 tsp water and blend again.
Pour the mixture in a bowl. Add 2 tbsp mustard oil + 2 tbsp beaten yogurt. Using cut and fold method, to bring together all ingredients
Step 4: Coat the fish
Add marinated fish pieces to the mustard mix and coat well. Do not add water released from fish (if any)
Make sure the paste is thick enough and covers the fish from all sides
Step 5: Make the parcels
Take a piece of banana leaf and lightly brush the centre with some mustard oil
Take 1 piece of fish coated in mustard paste and place it in the centre
Add 1 slit green chili on top (this is for flavour and will not add to the heat)
Fold the banana leaf to make a small parcel (gently pull the left flap over and cover the fish, pull over the right flap; pull together flaps from bottom and top). Make sure there is no dripping mustard paste from the parcels
Tie the parcel (like a gift pack) using the cotton thread; secure it well
Follow these steps to make parcels with all pieces of fish
Step 6: Cooking
Heat a non-stick pan/ tawa
Lightly grease it with 1 tbsp oil
Place the fish parcels on the tawa. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame
Flip the parcels and cook again for 10 minutes
Remove from pan and rest the parcels for 5-7 minutes before serving
Cut off the thread, unwrap and enjoy Bhetki Paturi with plain steamed rice.