250 gms prepared banana flower
200 gms wax gourd (potol) (diced small)
125 gms onions (coarsely chopped)
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
8 green chillies
125 gms yellow & black mustard (equal quantities)
1 tsp sugar
cup mustard oil
2 tbsp water
½ tsp salt
5 banana leaves
1. To prepare the banana flower, peel off the red covering sheaths of the spadex and pick out the yellow flowers.
2. Remove the stamens from the centre and the tough calyx at the bottom. Chop the tender flower petals and soak them in water with a teaspoon of turmeric for an hour. Drain and squeeze out the water.
3. Take the prepared banana flower and mix it with the diced wax gourd, coarsely chopped onion, chilli powder, turmeric, 6 green chillies slit down the middle, and a paste made with the yellow and black mustard, 2 green chillies, sugar and salt and 2 tablespoons of water and mustard oil.
4. From 5 banana leaves cut 10 pieces to fit your griddle (tawa). A non-stick pan serves well to make paturi. Place 5 layers of leaf and put the banana flower mixture in the middle, cover with another 5 layers and fold them under the banana flower mixture.
5. Bring the bottom leaves over the top leaves to make a packet and tie it with thread to keep it together. Place the greased griddle (tawa) on high heat and grill the packet until the leaves burn off one by one to the last leaf.
6. Flip the packet carefully and repeat the process. Leave in the packet till it is ready to serve. Reheat and serve in the packet—to be cut at the table.
The Calcutta cookbook: Minakshi Dasgupta
Publisher: Penguin India