Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pia Promina

I met Pia via the fabulous network that foodies around the world manage to forge just by being foodies. Over the years she has been a source of amazing food, food conversations and support. Here she shares a fusion recipe for Pistachio Paturi which blends the traditional with a new unique twist!

Pistachio Paturi:


I kg Rawas fillet, carefully boned, left whole
200g pistachio ground to a slightly gritty paste with water
100 g poppy seeds (khuskhus/posto) round to a fine paste with
2 red Kashmiri chillies.
A bunch of fresh dill
6-8 green chillies-split half way down vertically.
Salt to taste
200 g ghee
2 large Banana leaves.
Strong twine
½ +1/2 tbsp salt


1. Grind Pistachio to a slightly gritty paste with along with 1/2tsp salt and as much water as required to make a “spreadable” paste

2. Grind the poppy seeds along with ½ tsp salt and the red chillies to a very fine paste using as much water as required to make a "spreadable" paste.

3. Steam the banana leave to make them plaiable. Alternately, microwave the leaves for 3 mins on high. Leaves must be left whole. Cool enough to handle the leaves.

4. On a flat surface lay out one leaf and grease generously with ghee.

5. Lay down the fish fillet on the leaf. Spread the poppyseed mixture over the fish.

6. Pile on the pistachio paste on the poppy seed paste.

7. Sprinkle the dill generously on the fish and place the green chillies over it.

8. Melt 100g ghee. Pour over fish.

9. Make a parcel of the fish with the banana leaf. Wrap another banana leaf over the parcel.

10. Heat a skillet /tava hot . add 2tbs ghee.
11. Place the banana leaf on the tava. Pour some ghee over it. Let it cook till the underside is charred. Turn over very carefully, pour over the rest of the ghee and let the underside char. It should take approximately 30 mins to cook the fish.

12. Place on a serving dish cut the twine and expose the fillet.
Serve immediately with rice.

To give this dish a Parisian twist, use extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of ghee.

Pia Promina - The Chef
The daughter of Kolkata’s most legendary chef, Kewpie, Pia Promina’s love for good food was nourished very early in life, surrounded as she was by generations of cooks past. Naturally, she opted for O level cookery as her special subject in school and it came as no surprise when she topped the exam. She eagerly went on to earn her degree in Foods & Nutrition at the Maharaja Sayajirao University.It was Pia who authenticated the recipes for her mother’s best-selling cookbook, “Bangla Ranna.” She has always found time to be an integral part of Kewpie’s Kitchen; the country's most celebrated Bengali restaurant that boasts of recipes more than a 100 years old!Pia will dexterously turn out melt in the mouth bread rolls, succulent roast turkey, tempting vegetables, nectarous desserts and the most delicious spicy crabs this side of the Suez, as effortlessly as she stirs up an incomparable fish curry. Her creative adaptation to healthy, light cooking techniques is a mark of her genius, for Pia's curiosity and willingness to experiment demonstrate all the confidence of a gourmet chef. And her uncomplicated approach to ingredients and effortless ten-minute prep has earned the eternal gratitude of countless amateur cooks.


PreeOccupied said...

Pistachio Paturi! Never heard of something like this. But sounds really exotic. I am not sure we get Rawas here, but maybe I will try this with Salmon or Butter fish. Great diversion from the Iilish Paturi we Bongs are so used to having.

Thanks for sharing.

Pia said...

Use any flaky white fish fillet. In Bengal we use Bhetki (Bhekti), in Mumbai, rawas does.