Cooking Fish in Banana Leaf

Reading a food blog from a “Bong” without fish recipes is like drinking decaffeinated coffee. Till now our only fish recipe was “Salmon in Mustard Sauce”. Here is another classic style of cooking fish the Bengali way (marinated in spices and mustard oil) in steam by wrapping in banana leaf. Cooking in banana leaf leaves a faint musky, smoky and pungent aroma in the fish. Luckily for us, we found frozen banana leaves in an Asian grocery store near our home. Mostly fresh water fish found in river and lakes that are flaky in nature tastes best in this style of cooking. Our choice of fish was Boal Fish (Wallago attu). In the US, an easy alternative choice could be catfish as well.

The marination for this recipe can vary greatly. We kept it really simple with just a few ingredients in the marination that was made with onion, garlic, turmeric, chili powder and mustard oil. Some people like to use mustard paste, poppy seed paste etc as well.

The only difficult part of this preparation was wrapping the fish in banana leaf. You can see in the video that we were really struggling to wrap the fish in banana leaf without letting the marination squeeze out of the bundle. Once the fish is all bundled up in the banana leaf then there’s not too much left to do. Just cook it in a pan or grill for an hour or so with occasional turning. And in case you can’t get a banana leaf, just wrap the whole thing in aluminium foil and grill it  for 30 minutes.

We received a few encouraging feedback on our posts. Many thanks to our friends for giving us valuable suggestions to improve. It looks like there are people out there who really want to try out the recipes by watching our videos but it’s a pain to go back and forth in the video to note down the ingredients. So from this post onwards we are going to summarize the ingredients in the post as well.

Ingredients Summary

Boal Fish – 1 lb (500 gms); Onion (red) – 2 (thinly sliced); Garlic – 6 cloves (grated); Whole Green Chili – 3; Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp; Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp; Salt – 1 tsp; Mustard Oil – 2 tbsp; Banana Leaf

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Awesome!!!

  2. Fish was great,my resort clients loved it very much,the problem was nothing was left for me.

  3. Looks like an awesome recipe. Can’t wait to try it out. Where can we buy boal fish ?

    • In USA you can buy boal in Bangaldeshi Stores. Please let us know how it turned out.

  4. In your wonderful Video, ‘Fish in Banana Leaf’, who was the singer and what was the name of the song. It was very soothing.

    • The singer is Rekha Bhardwaj. She is wife of the music composer of the song. It’s from the soundtrack of an indian movie called Ishqiyan.

  5. what is boal fish?

  6. Can you use red snapper or maybe Ahi or Mahi Mahi? I’m in Hawaii at the moment

  7. […] and spicyIndian Foodsindian recipesSouth Indian CookingSouth Indian FoodsSouth Indian Recipes Share 0 Tweet 0 Share 0 Share 0 Share […]

  8. […] A classic recipe of fish cooked in steam wrapped in banana leaf. […]

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