Patra Ni Macchi Recipe, A Parsi Steamed Fish Delicacy To Try

In the culinary melting pot of India, Parsi cuisine stands out as a delightful amalgamation of flavours, influenced by Persian, Gujarati, and British cooking. A community known for their love of good food, the Parsis have gifted us with a rich gastronomic heritage that includes iconic dishes like Dhansak, Salli Boti, and of course Patra ni Macchi, a dish that showcases the community's culinary prowess.

Patra ni Macchi, which literally translates to "fish wrapped in leaves," is a Parsi delicacy that exemplifies the harmonious blend of flavours and aromas characteristic of the cuisine. The dish consists of succulent fish fillets, typically pomfret or surmai, marinated in a delectable mixture of fresh herbs, spices, and tangy lemon juice. The fish is then wrapped in banana leaves, creating a seal that locks in the flavours and imparts a unique aroma during the cooking process.

The significance of Patra ni Macchi extends beyond its exquisite taste. Traditionally, this dish holds a special place in Parsi culture and is often prepared for auspicious occasions such as weddings and festivals. The careful preparation, the use of aromatic ingredients, and the gentle cooking technique make it a symbol of love and celebration within the Parsi community.

Although the final product is a dramatic unveiling of perfectly steamed fish, it’s actually quite simple to recreate in your kitchen.


  • 4 fish fillets (pomfret or surmai)
  • 1 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 4-5 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Banana leaves for wrapping


  • Start by cleaning and washing the fish fillets thoroughly. Pat them dry with a paper towel and set them aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, grated coconut, lime juice, garlic paste, ginger paste, sugar, and salt. Mix well to form a smooth and fragrant marinade.
  • Coat each fish fillet generously with the marinade, ensuring that it covers all sides. Allow the fish to marinate for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavours to infuse.
  • While the fish is marinating, prepare the banana leaves. Carefully cut them into rectangular pieces large enough to wrap each fish fillet.
  • Gently heat the banana leaves over an open flame for a few seconds to make them pliable. This step helps prevent the leaves from tearing during the wrapping process.
  • Place each marinated fish fillet in the centre of a banana leaf piece and fold the leaf over to enclose the fish. Secure the edges with toothpicks or string, creating a neat parcel.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) or prepare a steamer for cooking the fish.
  • If using an oven, arrange the wrapped fish parcels on a baking tray and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and tender.
  • If using a steamer, place the wrapped fish parcels in the steamer basket and steam for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked to perfection.
  • Once cooked, carefully remove the fish parcels from the oven or steamer. Unwrap them gently, taking care not to lose any precious juices trapped within.
  • Serve the Patra ni Macchi hot, accompanied by fragrant steamed rice and perhaps a dollop of tangy chutney. Allow the flavours to dance on your palate as you savour this Parsi delight.