Kumro patai Ilish is a traditional Bengali way of cooking Hilsa where we make the fish parcels with edible leaves (here pumpkin). Having a bit of charred, mustard coated edible leaves with rice along with bits and pieces of Hilsa is a divine experience on its own. The popular version of Paturi where we use banana leaves to make the parcels is a bit different from this recipe. Here we use coconut with mustard, which compliments as an ingredient to the pumpkin leaves and adds a beautiful texture and taste to the dish. My recipe is inspired by Moumita’s blog. But I made certain changes as per my taste and experience of cooking with Ilish. I hope you’ll like the recipe and give it a try. 🙂
Kumro patai Ilish/Hilsa Paturi in Pumpkin leaves
- Ilish/Hilsa fish- 7 pieces
- Fresh grated coconut- ¾ cup
- Mustard paste- ¼ cup
You can mix yellow and black mustard seeds in equal proportion. If you want, you can use only yellow mustard seeds or black mustard seeds for the paste also or use 20g ready made mustard powder (cookme/sunrise) available in the market.
- Green chilies- 5-6 (adjust according to your tolerance)
- Turmeric powder- ¾ tsp
- Nigella seeds/Kalojire/Kalonji- ½ tsp
- Mustard oil- 3-4 tbsp + more for greasing the pumpkin leaves
- Pumpkin leaves/Kumro pata- 14
Make a coarse paste of coconut and green chillies by using a food processor, add 2 tbsp of water while making this paste. Keep aside.
In a bowl, add coconut paste, mustard paste, turmeric powder, kalojire/nigella seeds, salt and Mustard oil. Mix well, adjust the consistency of this paste by adding some water into it. I added 2 tbsp of water, this mustard-coconut paste should be medium thick, not watery, so add water carefully. Keep aside.
Boil some water in a saucepan, and deep each pumpkin leaves into it. Just dip for a few seconds and keep aside. You can do this with the help of a tong.
Grease the darker side of the pumpkin leaves with mustard oil, you can use a pastry brush for this.
Now to make the fish parcels dip hilsa pieces into the mustard-coconut paste, one at a time. Take 2 pumpkin leaves, keep the greased sides up, place the coated piece of Hilsa in the middle and fold the leaves from every side towards the centre. You can add slitted green chilli with this (optional). Tie with cotton thread. Continue the same process for every piece of fish.
Grease a nonstick frying pan with mustard oil. Place the fish parcels/paturi on the frying pan. Cook for 20 minutes on low flame. Flip the parcels gently in between and add some mustard oil in the pan (add the oil from the sides of the parcels) after first 10 minutes of cooking. Let the parcels turn dark green in colour so that the leaves can cook thoroughly.
Remove from heat. Your delicious Kumro patai Ilish is ready to devour.
Discard the cotton threads before serving. Serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy the Hilsa and soft mustard slathered pumpkin leaves both with rice!
The same recipe can be cooked with bottle gourd leaves (lau pata).