Gourmet Traveller

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS

“Learning from chefs like Neil Perry, Corey Costello and Richard Purdue, Luke and Sam Bourke have flourished into leaders in their kitchens,” says Nathan Lovett, CEO of the National Indigenous Culinary Institute.

Maache’r Paturi

SERVES 4 // PREP TIME 45 MINS // COOK 20 MINS (PLUS FERMENTING)

“This recipe is very traditional Bengali,” says Ahana Dutt. “It’s normally just a piece of fish coated in a coconut and green-chilli mustard paste, and wrapped in banana leaf. I’ve done a modern take.” Start this recipe 3 days ahead to make the green-peppercorn mustard.

“Ahana is the Firedoor linchpin, keeping the kitchen gently humming with her level-headed approach and innate ability to keep cool under pressure,” says Firedoor co-owner and head chef Lennox Hastie.

200 gm frozen shredded fresh coconut (see note)
4 x 200-250gm skinless Murray cod or pearl perch fillets
4 banana leaves, large enough to wrap the fish
50 ml mustard oil

GREEN-PEPPERCORN MUSTARD

100 gm black or brown mustard seeds
100 gm yellow mustard seeds
1½ tbsp green peppercorns, rinsed, drained
1 tbsp raw sugar
1¼ tsp salt
100 ml verjus
1 tbsp buttermilk

SALTED CHILLI

50 gm green birdseye chillies, trimmed
¼ tsp salt (2% of the chillies by weight)

CORIANDER OIL

2 bunches coriander, leaves picked
200 ml neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil

1 For the green-peppercorn mustard, soak mustard seeds and peppercorns in a bowl of water overnight. The next day, strain and rinse under cold water, then drain well. Transfer to a high-powered blender. Add sugar, salt and verjus, and blend to a smooth paste (1 minute). Stir in the buttermilk. Transfer to a sterilised jar, cover loosely with a piece of muslin and set aside at room temperature for 2 days (see note). Makes 3 cups.

2 For the salted chilli, pound the chillies and salt with a mortar and pestle (or blitz in a small food processor or spice grinder) to a smooth paste. Set aside.

3 Blend coconut and 400ml water until smooth. Strain through a nut milk filter bag or muslin into a bowl, gently squeezing until all the liquid is extracted. Refrigerate until needed (discard coconut flesh).

4 For the coriander oil, blend the coriander and oil in a high-powered blender until very smooth (6-8 minutes). Strain through muslin or a coffee filter. (The leaves should form a paste that you can compost; the oil should be bright green.)

Cut banana leaves, if necessary, into pieces large enough to wrap fish. Coat both sides of fish with 1½ tbsp green-peppercorn mustard. Top each with 1 tsp salted chilli. Place fish on dull side of banana leaf and wrap into a parcel (see note), securing with kitchen string. Heat a lidded barbecue or chargrill pan over medium-high heat and brush each parcel with ½ tsp mustard oil. Cook 2 fish parcels (2 minutes), then close barbecue lid or cover pan with a large, heatproof metal bowl and continue cooking (4 minutes). Remove lid,

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