Peacetime Patra-Ni-Macchi

Mallika Basu - Peacetime Patra-Ni-Macchi

Posted 21st October 2008

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 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.

Feeds 6:

  • 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 leaves

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.

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.

9 responses to “Peacetime Patra-Ni-Macchi”

  1. indosungod says:

    Mallika! first congrats on the news! Oh and this fish is perfect, I hear they are good for you especially now 🙂 And just ignore the outstreched hands that reach your belly, it is for rent you see.

  2. Ritika says:

    Got it mate.. no more baby talk, and will reserve the wishes for later. Shall just stick to loving your food and your smart one liners.. love ’em. Take care (Oops!)

  3. Sia says:

    wohooo… how did i miss to read this gr8 news!!!??? Congrats dear girl 🙂 i am sooooooo happy for u 😀

  4. Congrats, Mallika! Your wee one is already on his/her way to being a gourmand, I’m sure!

    This recipe looks great — any suggestions for what one could use instead of banana leaves?

    I’ll be trying your paneer mattar tonight (making my own paneer!). I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  5. veronica says:

    Honey, don’t worry about it. In order for your three things, cocoa butter and olive oil, you will lose it faster than you think, and don’t be afraid to use your family and freinds, they love you. Congrats and best wishes.

  6. Mallika says:

    Thanks ladies. Veronica – I am already lining up the friends and family using emotional blackmail…

    Ann – If you don’t have banana leaves, I would just make roomy foil parcels and bake them for 15 minutes. They would still be delicious. And still fat free.

  7. Hey, it seems I turn my back for a minute on your blog and… Wow and congratulations on your news! Yes, and why oh why do people think a pregnant woman’s tummy is public property. Good idea – pat ’em back!

    OK, I won’t bombard you with pregnancy info except (I can’t resist) – book early for Janet Balaskas’s Active Birth classes. You will get lots of practical info including breathing and yoga positions. And meet some interesting women. Trust me – I used to be an ante-natal teacher! Love xxx

  8. mandira says:

    your posts always bring a smile to my busy day Mallika. I have to get some pomfret to make this recipe soon.

  9. This is the appropriate weblog for anyone who needs to search out out about this topic. You realize a lot its virtually onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *