How A MasterChef Runner-Up Used Marigold For A Fish Recipe

MasterChef India 7 runner-up Dyuti Banerjee posted a recipe which may influence you to take edible flowers seriously this summer. Banerjee used a marigold coconut cream base for a Bengal fish recipe featuring ‘pabda maach’ or butter catfish which is a staple in Bengali cuisine and is widely used for its soft, tender texture. Moreover, Banerjee also used butterfly peaflower to infuse her rice with a light purple colour. 

“We have so many native flowers and I think genda phool is a really underrated flower and it’s produced itn such abundance here. It offers a really good colour and a terrific fragrance and flowers and fish is a really unique flavour combination,” Banerjee shares in the video. 

Marigold flower petals, also known as ‘poor man’s saffron’, has a light citrusy flavour and pairs best with peppery recipes. It can be infused into oils, vinegar, or dairy-based sauces to infuse them with a floral essence and a vibrant, orange-ish hue. Banerjee also used the popular butter pea flower which is typically used as a natural colouring agent. The chef brewed and strained butterfly pea flower-infused water to cook her Kanakchur rice (the slender, aromatic rice often used as khoi in the GI-tagged Joynagar'er Moa).

Banerjee is currently hosting a ten-course, Spring Whimsy menu, curated around the spirit of a Bangali bhoj, featuring Bengal’s seasonal produce. The pop-up which is in collaboration with Amar Khamar, which is a social enterprise committed to digitally connecting small-scale farmers with urban consumers, and is also spotlighting folk rice varieties, spices, pulses and honey.

Besides the Pabda in Marigold Coconut Cream with Purple Kanakchur Rice, dishes like Shaak Bhaat Arancini with Mooshoori Mousse, fusion bitters like Tettow Uramaki, panta cold soup and payesh tres leches are some of the highlights from the event which is being hosted at Annaja Food Stories, near Kolkata’s Hindustan Road.