It’s one of the easiest east indian fish preparations consisting of smearing the fish with mustard paste and steaming it in a banana leaf.I used aluminium foil though because I cud not find banana leaf in here.The authentic preparation is with a kind of tropical fish called ‘Hilsa/Ilish‘, however any type of fish can be used.The key to authentic taste is the use of fresh ground mustard seeds and use of raw mustard oil.The pungency of mustard combined with flesh of the fish lends a divine taste.
- Hilsa/Ilish/Any fish of your choice -6 pieces [preferably the belly cut, about 1.5 pounds]
- 3/4 tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1.5 tsp white poppy seeds [khus-khus/posto]
- 1.5 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder [adjust to taste]
- 2 green chillies, minced
- 3 tbsp thick plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp coconut cream (optional)
- 2 tbsp raw mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash the fish pieces and pat them completely dry.Using a fork, poke the pieces on both sides,rub with lemon juice,turmeric and 1 tsp salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using a coffee grinder, dry grind both the mustard seeds and poppy seeds into a coarse powder.
- In a small bowl, mix in the powdered mustard, poppy seeds, yogurt, green chilli paste, coconut cream, red chilli powder, salt to taste and combine well.Add water if required to make a thick paste. Let sit for 45 minutes -1 hour to develop the flavors.
- Smear the fish pieces with this mustard paste.
- On a big sheet of aluminium foil, arrange the mustard smeared fish pieces.Do not stack them over one another.Once arranged, drizzle with the mustard oil and remaining mustard paste [in any] and fold over the aluminium foil to make a small parcel.
- In a steamer, steam the parcels for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is tender.
- Remove from steamer and let rest for 5-8 minutes to cool down.Do not discard the liquid/juices in the parcels,that forms a terrific sauce/gravy.
- Serve with warm steamed rice.
Sending this to Hearth n Soul Vol 23