Cooking in banana leaves is considered beneficial for health, besides tasting good. I'm an experiment freak and have had excellent results so far. When Ma called a couple of days back to share her recipe, I was eager to try. I got a banana leaf from my garden and started. The dish turned out delicious. I prepared it in my favorite steamer, handed down from my grandmother. My husband lent a hand with cooking so that made it extra special too.
Steamed fish in mustard sauce
Here's what you need and how you do it :
4 pieces hilsa /shad fish
1 large banana leaf (washed thoroughly and left to dry, and the central rib removed before use)
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds (soaked in lukewarm water for half hour)
1 tbsp poppy seeds (soaked in lukewarm water for half hour)
5-6 cashew nuts (soaked in lukewarm water for half hour)
4-5 almonds (soaked in lukewarm water for half hour)
2 green chillies
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp mustard oil
Marinate the fish pieces in salt, turmeric powder and 1 tsp mustard oil and set aside for half an hour. Grind yellow mustard, poppy seeds, cashew, almonds, green chillies with little water into a thick paste. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp mustard oil and salt (to taste) and mix well. Coat the marinated fish pieces with the paste.
Lightly brush the washed and dry banana leaves with oil and warm it over the flame. This softens the leaves. Cutting them into pieces and folding becomes easier.
Each coated piece is transferred to a separate banana leaf piece, topped with a green chilly, wrapped carefully and secured with a thread. These folded pieces go into the steamer for about 15-20 minutes. Once done, the pieces are lifted out gently and served with steaming rice.
Do let me know how it turned out for you.