Peacetime Patra-Ni-Macchi

Coconut, coriander and mint steamed fish in banana leaves for wild nights in

Thanks for the lovely wishes. But I am not going all Earth Mother yet people!

Life hasn’t changed very much since the big discovery. The first three things that came to mind were stretch marks, weight gain and childcare (in no particular order).

I immediately invited hubby and and myself over to our Parsi neighbour’s for dinner. A shoe entrepreneur and mother of two tiny tearaways, she is grand dame of the great art of parenting delegation.

While we talked shoes and nannies, her daughter clambered all over me. As we moved on to discussing Parsi recipes I started being pelted with cashewnut missiles, which landed all over my freshly-washed hair.

My neighbour carried on unnerved. This is war, I wanted to scream and hurl a few almonds myself.

Instead, I turned and gave hubby a nervous look, is it too late?

He responded with a pale smile, I told you so.

Thankfully bedtime arrived and we were left in wonderful silence to enjoy dinner. My neighbour kindly lent me her mother’s 101 Parsi Cookbook. I recreated the oil free Patra Ni Macchi we ate – fish marinated in coconut and herbs steamed in banana leaf parcels – for a raucous dinner with friends at home later.

That, thankfully, I could cope with.Â

Feeds 6:

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  • 6 fish fillets (I used rainbow trout, pomfret works well too)
  • 6 tbsp grated coconut (I use the fresh frozen version available in Oriental stores)
  • 50gm fresh coriander leaves
  • 6 green chillies
  • 25gm fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 large banana leavesÂ

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Cut each fish fillet into half and wash well. Repeat this process with the banana leaves, taking care not to split the delicate stuff.

Grind all the rest of the ingredients together into a paste and add salt to taste.Â

Place each fish fillet on a banana leaf and smother the top with the chutney paste. Then wrap it like a gift parcel and set aside. You don’t need to tie it with thread because the steaming process later seals the parcel shut anyway.

When you’re ready to eat, steam each banana leaf parcel for 7-10 minutes. The fish should be moist but cooked through. I worked out how many minutes by opening one parcel to check first.

This is a wonderful way to impress guests alongside a Dhansak. Or simply serve with Khichdi for a super healthy meal.

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    This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Fish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.