A renowned Bengali dish is Lau Patay Ilish Paturi, which involves cooking Hilsa fish, also known as Ilish Mach, with a blend of spices inside a bundle of Bottle Gourd Greens until it reaches the ideal level of tenderness.
"I will not eat the green momma; I will only eat the Ilish Mach" my five-year-old told while having the Lau Patay Ilish Paturi. Pasta, in general, is a non-fussy eater and she is a true foodie. However, Greens are something she tries to avoid as much as possible. Needless to say, I try to incorporate greens as part of her diet differently. Though initially, she opposed having the green, however, after a small portion she finished the green (Read Lau Pata aka Bottle Gourd Green) as well along with the fish.
Now that the Ilish season is here, I have started making our regular dose of Ilish Macher everything. By everything I literally mean everything. The entire family including the 5 years old dynamite loves Ilish Mach in any form. Personally speaking, I love to cook Ilish more than eating it. The main reason is nothing but the least amount of spices needed in making typical Ilish delicacies. When the fish is good, you do not need spices to suppress the flavor of Hilsa.
Paturi is a popular dish in Bengal that features either animal protein, vegetables, or milk protein. The main ingredient is typically combined with a paste made from mustard, coconut, and poppy seeds, along with mustard oil and green chili. The mixture is then wrapped in an edible leaf, such as banana leaf, or an inedible leaf like bottle gourd or pumpkin leaf, before being steamed.
Lau Patay Ilish Paturi and ingredients
As the name suggests this particular type is prepared by wrapping the fish with a bottle gourd Leaf. This means once ready along with the fish you can also eat the wrapper aka the green. In fact, the edible green makes the dish more delectable. I prefer making it instead of making the Paturi with Banana leaf. The steamed green tastes amazing with the steamed rice and so is the fish infused with the flavor of the green. Paturi is an amazing Bengali delicacy, however, when cooked using edible greens it turns better.
If Lau pata aka Bottle gourd green is not available you may use pumpkin green or Kumro shag. Instead, you can make it with Banana leaf. However, if using the banana leaf, discard the leaf while eating the paturi. This dish is also known as Lau Patay Ilish Bhapa. Bhapa stands for steaming.
It is advised to acquire Ilish mach, also known as Hilsa, that weighs more than 1 kg and avoid buying "khoka Ilish" or small Hilsa. This is necessary to ensure that there will be enough Hilsa available for the generations to come. I am willing to sacrifice consuming less Hilsa if it means being responsible and preserving the species. Let us eat Ilish responsibly to maintain its sustainability.
Here's how I make Lau Patay Ilish Paturi!Print
Paraphrase A renowned Bengali cuisine, the Lau Patay Ilish Paturi involves cooking Hilsa fish, also known as Ilish Mach, with an assortment of spices in a packet of Bottle Gourd Greens until it reaches a state of flawlessness.
- 600g Ilish Mach/ Hilsa Fish (6 Pieces)
- 300g Lau Pata/ Bottle Gourd Green (6 big leaves)
- 12 Green Chili
- 1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard Seed
- 1 Tbsp. Black Mustard Seed
- 1 Tbsp. Poppy Seed
- 100g Coconut (½ Cup)
- 50g Plain Curd
- 2 Tsp. Salt or to taste
- 1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 4 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- Wash Hilsa chunks and marinate with ½ Tsp. Salt and Turmeric Powder.
- Soak Yellow and Black Mustard Seed in warm water for 15 minutes.
- Soak Poppy seed in warm water as well with a little salt for 15 minutes.
- Make a thick paste of the Mustard seeds, Poppyseed, and Coconut along with 4-5 green chilies and also salt and a little turmeric powder.
- Add 3 Tbsp. Mustard Oil and also plain curd to the mixture and mix to make a smooth paste.
- Wash and clean the Bottle Gourd Leaves and keep that whole.
- Place one leaf on a plate and smear 1 Tbsp. Spice mix.
- Place one marinated fish over the mixture and pour another Tbsp. mixture over it.
- Top it with one green chili and ¼ Tsp. Mustard oil.
- Fold the leaf from the sides as shown in the picture and tie it with a thread.
- Instead of thread, you may use a toothpick to seal the Paturi.
- Following the same process make the rest of the Paturi.
- In a flat pan heat 2 Tbsp. Oil.
- Place all the paturi and cover the pan with a lid.
- Keep the flame on the lower side and cook one side for 10 minutes.
- Flip the foils over and cook from the other side for 10 minutes.
- Switch the flame off and serve it hot after cutting the thread with steamed rice.
- As the Paturi is prepared with edible greens, do not discard the green and have it with rice.
- This dish calls for a round cut of fish; however if the fish is too big, you may cut into triangular pieces.
- Wash greens thoroughly before steaming.
- Instead of Mustard seed, you may use readily available mustard paste or Kasundi.
- You may use a microwave to make this dish as well. If using the same, cook on 60% for 10 minutes and then flip over and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Fish
- Method: Steaming
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Serving Size: 130g
- Calories: 399
- Sugar: 3.6g
- Sodium: 531mg
- Fat: 26g
- Saturated Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: 10.6g
- Fiber: 5.5g
- Protein: 32.3g
- Cholesterol: 49mg
Hilsa dishes/ Ilish Mach Recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Sada Ilish (Also known as Ilisher PaniKhola or Ilish Pani Khola)
- Kasundi Ilish (Hilsa cooked with Bengali Mustard Sauce Kasundi)
- Ilish Macher Tok (Also known as Ilish Macher Ambol)
- Bhapa Ilish (Also known as Steamed Hilsa Fish or Ilish Bhapa)
- Doi Ilish (Also known as Bengali Hilsa Curry with Yogurt)
- Ilish Shukto (Also known as Ilish Mach Shuktuni)
- Ilish Pulao (Also known as Bengali Hilsa Pulao)
- Nona Ilish Bhorta (also known as Nona Ilish Bhuna)
- Ilish Macher Sorshe bata diye Jhal (Also known as Hilsa Fish in Mustard Gravy)
- Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta (Also known as Ilish Macher Bhorta)
- Ilish Macher Korma (Also known as Bangladeshi Hilsa Korma)
- Bori Begun Aloo diye Ilish Macher Tel Jhol (Also known as Ilish Macher Jhol)
Have you tried the Lau Patay Ilish Paturi recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on email@example.com. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.