Imagine a fish that is coated in coconut chutney, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed, this dish is one of the hallmarks ofParsicuisine – influenced by the fine blend of Gujarati and Persian cooking. No Parsi celebration is complete without their most famous and mouthwatering dish Patra ni Machhi, which literally means fish in leaves, and in this case refers to pomfret wrapped in a banana leaf. It is an absolute standard on every Parsi festive menu and must come from the community”s seafaring and coastal days.
Parsis are a community of Zoroastrians who made their home in the western borders of South Asia (Gujarat and Sindh in India) somewhere during the 10th century.Parsis are famously known for their enjoyment of life and have a saying:“Khanar pinar ne khodai apnar.” God gives in abundance to those who eat and drink.But you don’t have to been a Parsi to fall in love with a dish as flavorful and refreshing.
Though very similar to the Paturi or Patrapoda that we make minus the Mustard and plus a few other ingredients. To us the spice would be predominantly Mustard paste while to a Parsi it would be a green chutney consisting of predominantly coriander leaves, coconut. While the Paturi is made of Bhetki or Hilsa, the Patra ni Machchhi is made of Pomfret,Either a Bengali Paturi , Odia Patra Poda or a Parsi Patrani Machchhi…all these are subtly flavoured fish delicacies of their respective communities.
Coming back to the Patra ni Machchi, the preparation is made by marinating the fish in a coating of spicy green coconut chutney and wrapping it in banana leaves. The fish is steamed to ensure that the flavors and juices of the fish and chutney are sealed in the banana leaves packet.Going with the theme of Microwave Cooking for our 30th Foodie Monday Blog Hop , nothing seems more appropriate than this Patra ni Macchi recipe which calls for it to be filleted and stuffed, then parcelled in banana leaf and steamed.
Now a days intense time pressures do not allow the slow way of cooking practiced in earlier days. One device that has defied the clock in the Kitchen is the microwave oven. Now is it possible to cook delicious Indian food in microwaves? Yes, it is very much possible to do your everyday cooking in Microwave. Unlike the conventional Indian food, microwave cooked food is low calorie. The process of cooking the food is clean and efficient. One can serve the food in the same vessel one cooked food in saving us a lot of chores and time.