Hilsa fish in light gravy (Ilish Macher Jhol)

Hilsa (Ilish in Bengali), the most quintessential Bengali fish is still counted to be the poster boy of Bengali cuisine and culture withstanding the onslaught of modernity. Undoubtedly one of the most exotic fishes ever to be come out from the water of Bengal (East Bengal to be precise), make stuff for legends. A few years back, I have shared with you recipe of Bhapa Ilish or Smoked Hilsa which is one of the richest treatments that can be meted with ‘Ilish’. In comparison, the present recipe describes a light gravy with flavours of Brinjal and pinch of Kalonji. The best part of this recipe is that, Ilish flourishes in taste in the light gravy as the latter acts as the perfect foil for the former. It further proves that Hilsa imposes its uniqueness both in the rich must mustrad gravy as much as it does in light soup like ‘jhol’.

Hilsa fish in light gravy (Ilish Macher Jhol)

Ingredients to serve 2 /4 :

  1. Hilsa fish – 4 pieces
  2. Potato – 1
  3. Brinjal/ Eggplant – ½
  4. Slit green chilli – 2-3
  5. Nigella seeds (Kalonji) – ¼ teaspoon
  6. Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Mustard oil – 4 tbspoon

Procedure :

Remove the scales, clean and wash the Hilsa pieces.

Coat the fish with salt and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile peel and cut the potato into long & thick slices. Also cut the eggplant into thick and long slices.

Heat oil in a kadai over medium flame and fry both side of the fishes into it. Remove them from oil and keep aside.

Now add nigella seeds and green chillies into the remaining oil.

Add the vegetables and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining turmeric powder while frying the vegetables.

Then add 1 cup of water. Also add some salt to it.

As the water starts boiling put the fried fish pieces into the gravy.

Put the gas of as the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

Serve with plain rice.

Note :

  1. Don’t over fry the fish otherwise it will turn hard and lose its taste.
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