Ilish Macher Paturi (Hilsa cooked in Banana Leaf)

12:11 PM

Before all Bengalis jump in their feet and come running to ask me where I got Ilish in winter let me clarify that this post was long overdue and am clearing my draft folder. I cooked and relished it when got these freshest and tastiest Ilish flown from Kolkata, courtesy my beloved father. Somehow could not post the recipe then. Most probably the Christmas cookie mania in my blog wiped all other food from my mind. 

Paturi is a cooking process in which leaf wrapped marinated fish , cottage cheese or vegetables are cooked. The final cooking is done wither by steaming or by roasting the leaf wrapped envelops on griddle. I already have posted one Paturi recipe so am not discussing anymore about this cooking process. If you are interested in the background please go here. The spices remain more or less same that are generally used in cooking hilsa the traditional ways but the cooking process brings in a lot of different flavour and taste. 

If you follow the minimalist Approach of Bengali cooking closely you will se that by charring, grilling, boiling and steaming how different foods are being plated with almost same spices. For instance go to this recipe of mine where I cooked the Hilsa with a light soup like jhol, then this Bhapa Ilsih or the steamed version or this Hilsa in thick mustard gravy or Sorshe Ilish, where almost same spices are used to result in a thick spicy coating gravy. Even in this dish the spices are more or less same but by the quantity and cooking process it gets a total new avatar with a light charred flavour.

This is a very versatile and effortless recpe. Once you get the idea of how much spices yyou like to balance the dish half of your work is done. Then all you need is to mix everything and roast. Isn’t it simple? The biggest hurdle I had was to acquire some banana leaf. Hubby had to go all the way to Madiwala to get these, but then I lured him with nothing less than hot and spicy Ilish Paturi. 

I can still remember the divine meal we had that day with another very earthy rural Bengali dish of Ol makha (Mashed Elephant Yam), which is nothing but mashed Elephant yam(boiled) mixed with salt, chopped green chillies, chopped onion, kasundi (Bengali mustard sauce) and scraped coconut. Finished with little mustard oil poured on top. Simple but Yum!

This is a very versatile recipe in the sense that any white fish that cooks fast could be prepared this way. So go ahead and cook with any white fish. Here is my quick recipe:

Ilish Paturi


Hilsa steaks: 4 pieces

Mustard paste: 21/2 tbsp

Green chilies: 5-6; depending on how hot you want it to be

Mustard oil: 3+1 tsbp

Salt: as per taste


Banana leaf

Cotton thread


Crush 2-3 green chilies in a mortar and pestle or grind them together with the mustard seeds.

In a wide plate take the mustard paste, salt, turmeric and some chopped chilies. Keep aside 1 tsp mustard oil for roasting the fish and mix the rest in this. Check the taste.

Add the Hilsa steaks in this spice mixture and rub to coat them thoroughly.  Cover and keep aside for minimum 20-30 minutes.

In the mean time cut 4 big pieces from the banana leaf. Lightly roast it on open flame to make it soft and foldable.

Grease the leaves with few drops of oil and place one fish steak on each. Divide the spice to coat both sides of the fish properly. Pour little more mustard oil on top and place one slit green chilly.

Wrap it and secure with the cotton thread.

Heat a tawa or pan with little mustard oil and place the fish parcels on it. Cover with a dome shaped lid or a big bowl. Cook on low heat till all the sides of the parcel turn black (approx. 10 minutes). Let it stand for 5 minutes.

You can also cook it in Oven. To do that preheat the oven at 190C and cook the envelops for 20 minutes or till the leaves turn black.

For other cooking method please see the NOTE below.

Open the packets and serve hot with steamed white rice.

A Homemaker's Note:
There are several cooking process of this dish. once you make the envelops you can either
1. do the way I roasted them on a griddle.

2. can bake them in the Oven.

3. can pressure cook them

4. can steam the packets in a bamboo or idli steamer. 

5. you can also cook it by placing the packets on the slow embers of burnt wood and covering it with same. This is a very common process in rural Bengal. Sometimes cow dung cakes are also burnt and are used to give the final finish to the paturi this way.
Prawn Paturi in pumpkin leaf recipe HERE.
6. My Dida sometimes used to place the envelops in bhater handi (Rice cooked in big, kind of flat vessel) when it was just done. To do this you need to cut the fish pieces very small and then proceed to make envelops and put them inside the hot rice vessel and cover the packets again with hot rice. Let it stand there for 20 minutes and during this time don't open the lid. The steam works on the leaf and the fish inside is cooked beautifully. but you need to cook a big quantity of rice (min 3-4 persons).

7. In a similar process you can make chhana'r paturi or cottage cheese.

Bengali fish, authentic bengali fish, traditional paturi, how to cook bengali fish, how to cook bengali paturi, various ways of hmaking bangali paturi, machher paturi, macher paturi, sorshe paturi, ilish paturi, bhetki paturi.chanar paturi, fulkopir paturi, chingri paturi, banana leaf in cooking. fish roasted in banana leaf, fish steamed in banana leaf, wrapped fish, spicy fish wraps, bengali fish wraps, how to make patui, bengali paturi step by step recipe, best way to cook paturi, perfect method for cooking hilsa paturi, roasted hilsa, various ways of cooking Hilsa, how to cook spicy hilsa, hilsa recipe, bengali hilsa recipe, the most authentic bengali recipes, best bengali recipes, best recipes for bengali fish curry.kumro pata, chalkumro pata, patay mora ilish, leaf wrapped hilsa, 

You Might Also Like


  1. I am running around the house and jumping all over drooling over this paturi :) This is one of the recipes that gets me off my feet.
    Lovely recipe and drool worthy clicks :)


  2. mouthwatering n yummmmmmm...amazing clicks

  3. Sayantani,
    ki darun hoyeche paturi ..simply splendid :-)..hugs and smiles

  4. Beautiful clicks.. wonderful presentation and yummy fish :)

  5. AAj kei ak bandhur shathe ilish paturi niye kotha hochhilo....Tobe tor method ta notun..ami shob somoy steam kore kori....tor method ta try korbo india giye...chhobi gulo darun camera kinechhish??? aar ki lense use korchhish janash....

  6. It is looks delicious. when we cook with banana leaves, the flavors infuse in them a lot.

  7. Send this back to drafts ... this is pure torture.
    Shokkal bela ei snaps ar post dekhe ki obostha hocche bujte parcho ki? Poribeshon hoye giyeche ... boshe o porbo .. kintu screen theke kichutei maachta tulte parchi na. :-(
    Darun snaps Sayantani! :-)


  9. Sayantani,
    I wish I could cook fish so well as you...if I have to show this to my son he will straight away say, look aai this is how it tastes yummy!! Absolute mouthwatering preparation Sayantani. Infact, yam preparation too sounds drooling!!

  10. I don't relish seafood....but i would eat this amazing dish...!! I wish I could get a bite!!

  11. I love this type of preparation whereby all flavors are sealed in the banana leaves and way more healthier. Yours look great dear...

  12. lovely presentation...mouthwatering n innovative..
    Tasty appetite

  13. This is just the way I steam my fish...we get banana leaves in a chinese store.Looks very tasty!

  14. delicious dish and very beautifully presented...yum yum yum!

  15. Hi Sayantani

    Ki bolbo ei winter e tomar paturi ta dekhe jibe jol eshe galo. Darun dekhte hoyeche. Chobi gulo darun hoyeche. Wrapping ta khub shundor hoyeche. Kapiye diyecho.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  16. Oh my gosh, U just made me SO homesick! This is my mom's favorite way to make fish with tons of mustard :-)
    I've gotta try this one! Thanks for sharing, REALLY!

  17. wow it looks so good,wish i could have this one...very very tempting..

  18. Sayantani, tumi je ki korcho, aeto lobhoniyo ranna post korle ki kori bolo. khete icche korche. onek din hoye geche paturi korini. tomar lekha pore aar chobi dekhe icche puron korchi.

  19. Wish i live near to u, mouthwatering dish,so tempting..

  20. heard about this look very tempting!

  21. Sayantani,
    What a post early in the morning!
    Can't concentrate in work, man!
    But no way to satisfy my tastebud in this land. Looking fwd to arrange a ticket for India :)

  22. That is such an exquisite dish - I almost always have this when we are at Oh Calcutta restaurant and love it.

    BTW, there's no link to the jhol recipe you mention, right at the beginning of your post...

  23. @Satrupa, thanks sweetie. make it with any other fish.

    @Sanyukta, Jaya, Kulsum, sincerely I dint like the pics much but thanks for your support.

    @Kamalika, toke comment e details diechire.

    @notyet, Prema, Swathi, indeed banana leaves add a special aroma.

    @sharmila, kache thakle die astam ak bati tomake.

    @Jsha, thank you

    @Peeti, I dont believe this someone who makes such amazing cakes can whip up anything.

  24. @Turmeric, treat n trcik, tanvi, jay. thanks a lot buddies

    @Soumya, Deepa, Prerna, thanks for your good comments.

    @Sushma, thanks for boosting my moral

    @Gauridi,tumi ar bolona. tomar hater ranna dekhlei mone hay thala nie bose pori.

    @Priya, Smitha love you all dearie.

  25. @Sanju, thanks for your comment. glad that you all liked this.

  26. Yum, a delicious dish, that makes me miss Cal even more...
    very nice pics!

  27. wow superbb dear. loved ur recipe in banana leaf. will try soon. thanks for sharing

  28. I can try this with paneer,sounds very nice,nice post!

  29. oh I love love seafood.. and that fish in banana leaf.. sounds yummiest... wow!!

  30. A total new recipe to me.. looks authentic and awesome

  31. wow,.. never i have seen a beter fish picture than this ...tooooooooo tempting.. :) wish u a very happy new year.. :)

  32. Exactly how we make it at home, we use the pressure cooker.

  33. Just like we make it at home. We use the pressure cooker.

  34. Just like we make it at home. We use the pressure cooker.

  35. Khub shundor dekhte hoye che. Aamra kalke ee ilish er paturi khelaam. Microwave e baniye. Hang my head in shame looking at your traditional method. :-(

  36. I guess the flavor is unbeatable when the fish is wrapped in banana leaf! Very interesting and tasty fish dish!

  37. Oops my comment was repeated three times wonder why,I must have done something wrong. Anyway glad you liked the pui pata posto preparation, it is very tasty. Shukno bhaat diye meke khete khub bhalo laage. It is indeed wonderful to know you have baagan bhorti pui danta. We had thrice planted kumbdo danta (pumkin plant) in a large pot in our balcony, when you do not live in a bungalow the humble balcony is all you have, so we had the shaak and phooler boda to our hearts content.

  38. This looks lovely...We just discovered a fabulous Bengali restaurant in Ahmedabad and this was the first thing we ordered...they get their fish flown in from Kolkata and it was so good...
    How do you make the mustard paste ? Do you make it at home or is it a ready one ? Do let me know...

  39. I love bengali fish preps...This looks awesome..we have a similar on ein kerala prep too...Oh gal i m drooling!!! delicious....

    and thanks a lot for the beautiful message you left :)

  40. Thanks a ton for the mustard paste recipe...Must try it out..Just got to hunt for good fish out here...

  41. ..will this stay well if you culd courier along ;) ;) faaaaaaav!!!!

    looks delectable!

    we call it pathrani machli and I have done the same with pearl spots and blogged too...

    Abt green peppers, I havnet tried making anyhing else except pickles, Sayantani.
    My hubby says to make some curry with it...still need to put on the thinking caps :)

  42. Lipsmacking...I could imagine the taste infused from banana leaves :-)Your pics are making me hungry

  43. looks perfect! I am literally drooling here... great presentation...

  44. This looks delicious....I've bookmarked this recipe and will definitely try :)

  45. I have never eaten anything cooked /wrapped in banana leaves....this is something I would love to eat...& cook too....

  46. looks so yummy...!!!! M not a big fan of paturi dishes but this one looks very tempting.Need to give it a try thanks for the recipe... :)

  47. Eхcеllent Article, it iѕ nice to fіnԁ
    іnѕightful info on thе internet, I am genuinelу
    pleaѕed to discovеr а blοg thаt is not full
    οf thе еveryday garbаge,

    Havе a lοοk at my blog Shoe Lifts
    Have a look at my weblog - Shoe Lifts

  48. Іn а future ρost, I hope to eхρlaіn somе of thе reasoning behind оur chοices.
    Great info here. I always dο еnϳoy ρеruѕing your blοg poѕts.
    Ι learned a vast amοunt fгom them.

    mу webѕіte ... Shoe Lifts
    My web site > Shoe Lifts

  49. Οn many levels, I аm more amazed by the “generic commenter”
    than by the morе obvious sρammer. Why? you ask, at leаѕt thе spammer iѕ mогe oрen and honest abοut their intentions!

    I knοw who they аre. The generic commenter iѕ а liar and a charlatan You can pгobably see that I have veгу strong towагds these tуpe οf spammers

    my blog post ... Shoe Lifts
    Feel free to visit my website :: Shoe Lifts


Popular Posts