While strict Hindus are traditionally vegetarian, in Kolkata they also eat fish. It’s fascinating to see how the religion has adapted to region, insofar as the local Bengali Brahmins like to classify fish as the fruit of the sea. This dish is classic Kolkatan, complex and exotic yet simple to make. It’s so easy that many Bengalis in their homes love to cook it, yet you will also now find it in restaurants. It looks great and is vibrant with colour… Bengali home cooking at its best.
1kg white fish
4 tbsp of mustard paste
4 tbspn mustard oil
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp red chilli
¾ green chilies
250gms grated coconut
1. Cook the rice while preparing the fish parcels.
2. Grind the chopped green chillies and the grated coconut to a fine paste. Add the mustard paste and mustard oil. And salt to taste. The consistency needs to be thick for coating.
Cut the banana leaf into 4×6’’ squares. Place the fish fillet on the leaf, coat liberally with the mustard paste and fold the leaf over to make a closed parcel. Secure this with a string. Then boil it or steam it for 20 minutes. Serve it with rice.