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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Patra Ni Macchi ( Navroz Collaboration with ADollopOfThat & DelishPotporri )

The Parsi New Year Navroz or Nowruz literally means a new day or new light ! Celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Shehenshai calendar, it almost always falls on March 21st according to the Gregorian calendar. And just like everyone else, Parsis celebrate the day with new clothes and some great food. Of course there is the mandatory visit to the Fire Temple and the laying of the festive table with various items that symbolize the Parsi way to life. A copy of the Gathas, a lit lamp that symbolizes fire, a bowl with live goldfish, sprouted wheat, silver coins, painted eggs, flowers and sweets along with seven food items are some of the things that one can expect to find in every Parsi home on this day. Each one of these things is supposed to hold some kind of significance in life.

For the rest of us, it can be just about the food. While it does sound cliched, almost everyone thinks that Parsis are synonymous with great food. Of course they are but that is not all. Parsis are actually a very intelligent breed with an added sense of humor ( did anyone say Cyrus Broacha ) and immense business acumen ( Tata, Godrej, Wadia and so on.....). For an ethnic group with a population that does not even breach 6 digits, they sure have a way of making themselves seen and heard !

Getting back to the food (thank God for that), there are some favorites that feature on the Navroz menu every year. Prawn Patio, Ravo, Mithu dahi, Sev, Patra ni Macchi, Sali Chicken, Faludah are some of delicacies that are simple and yet sure to make one drool.

And simplicity was what I was looking for when I zeroed in on the 'Patri Ni Macchi' which literally means fish wrapped in leaves. Yup, it is a Pomfret or Ravas smeared in simple spices and very little oil, wrapped up carefully in tender banana leaves and steamed till done. That's it. Simple, rite ? But wait the best part is yet to come ! As one unfolds the leaves, a tantalizing aroma starts tickling the nostrils and as if one cue, the mouth starts watering. The final blow to the senses comes when one takes a bite of the succulent flesh. It can only be described as 'heady'. Trust me, I am not going to be thinking about grilled or fried fish for a long time.

But save some of that drool for there is more delicious to be sampled. Check out  Parinaaz's  and Saswati's !

Read on for the recipe of 'Patra Ni Macchi' -

Preparation Time - 40 mins

Ingredients -
  • 6 pieces of rawas (fillets)
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 banana leaves

For the green chutney -
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut 
  • 1-2 green chilis
  • 1 cup coriander leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 pinch sugar (optional)
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash the fish pieces and dry with a paper towel. Add 1 tsp lime juice and salt to taste. Mix and let it stand for 20 mins.

Take all the ingredients mentioned under 'green chutney' into a mixer jar. Make a smooth paste using as little water as possible. Mix the lime juice into this paste.

Wash the banana leaves and dry them. Remove the stiff middle spine and cut into decent sized squares for wrapping the fish.

Brush a little oil on each leaf. Place a teaspoon of the chutney in the center and a fillet over it. Heap the fish fillet with more of the green chutney till it is completely smeared with a thick layer.

Fold each leaf individually and tie it up with a string. Repeat the process for each fillet.

Cooking - Get a steamer ready . Place the parcels inside it and steam for 20 to 25  mins.

Transfer to the serving dish and remove the strings.

Serve with the banana leaves. (To be opened just before eating)

And before you set off to buy fish, just take a few minutes to go through these two delicious recipes !! Maybe it will save you another trip to the market ;)

Check out the delicious Mithu Dahi by Parinaaz on 'A Dollop Of That!'

and the luscious Lagan Nu Custard by Saswati on 'Delish Potpourri'.


  1. Yum, yum, yum (goes to look for banana leaves) Thank you girls for making Navroze so so special for me, you are THE bestest! and oh, Navroze Mubarak!

    1. A Happy Navroze to you too dear :) ! I wish i could send you some banana leaves :(


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