Ilish — A Bengali's love | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 12, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 12, 2017

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Ilish — A Bengali's love

After all the pomp of Eid ul Azha, we are sure you are looking for a break from the rich beef and mutton dishes. Delve into the world of the ilish and try these all-time stunning recipes to cheer up your taste buds.

SMOKED ILISH (HILSA)

Although hilsa can be prepared in many different ways, the following is a smoked hilsha recipe. Its smoky flavour imparts a Bar-B-Q taste. You can prepare this recipe as your family meal, and also on special occasions.

Ingredients

10 slices hilsha fish

½ tsp turmeric powder

½  tsp red chilli powder

2 tsp tomato sauce

1tsp vinegar

1 tsp ginger paste

2 tbsp onions paste

¼ cup oil

Salt to taste

Charcoal and foil

Method

In a pan, marinate the fish with all the spices and set aside for 2-3 hours. Next, place the pan on a stove and cook it on low heat for 1 hour. When the broth dries up and releases a charred smell, take the pan off the heat. Serve in a dish with a glass lid.

Now make little bowls with foils and place on top of the fish slices. Heat the charcoal and when it becomes red hot, put it inside the foil bowls. Add a little bit of butter over the charcoal and cover with a lid. Cast off the charcoal and foil after a few minutes and your smoked hilsa is ready to serve.

ILISH PULAO

Ingredients

8 pieces hilsa fish

2 cups aromatic rice

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp ghee

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

2 tbsp onion paste

½ cup chopped onion rings

10 green chillies

3 tbsp yoghurt

4 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

Method

Clean and soak rice for 30 minutes and let the water drain completely. Wash and clean the fish and pat dry. In a bowl, marinate the fish with the spices, yoghurt and salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Heat oil in a pan, add onion paste and fry till light brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.

When the oil starts separating from the spices, add the marinated fish and cover for some time.

Now open the lid and stir carefully. Then take the pieces out and place on a plate. Stir fry rest of the spices, which were in the pan, and take the pan off the stove and keep aside. Take a large pan and heat oil in it, add sliced onions and fry till golden brown.

Now add water, salt, sugar and cooked spices, and bring to a boil. When the water has started boiling, add the rice and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take half the rice from the pan and place the fish pieces, slit green chillies, fried onions on half of the rice and cover the fish with the rest of the rice.

Cover the pan and cook on very low heat for another 10 minutes. When it is done, remove from heat and leave for 10 minutes with the lid on. Before serving, sprinkle ghee and fried onions on top.

POSTO ILISH

Ingredients

6 pieces hilsa fish

1 tbsp poppy seeds paste

¼ cup onion paste

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

4 pieces green chilli

¼ cup oil

Salt to taste 

Method

Marinate the fish with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt for about 15 minutes. Mix all the spices with a small amount of water. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Put the onion paste and fry until light brown. Now add the spices mixture and fry again for 2 minutes on medium heat. When the oil separates from the spices, add some water, marinated fish, green chilli and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the gravy turns thick and the oil separates, remove from heat and prepare to serve.

ILISH MACHER BHORTA

Ingredients

6 pieces hilsa fish

Pinch of turmeric and red chilli powder

3 medium onions, thinly sliced

¼ tsp chopped ginger

¼ tsp chopped garlic

5 dry red chillies, toasted

3 tbsp mustard oil

Salt to taste

Method

Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Now rub turmeric, chilli powder and salt on the fish pieces. Leave it for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces until light brown. Allow it to cool down. Take out the bones from the fish. Now using your hand, mix all the ingredients with the deboned fish. Mix well and serve hot with plain rice.

ILISH MACHER JHOL

Ingredients

6 pieces hilsa fish

2 raw banana

4 tbsp mustard oil

½ tsp nigella seeds, 4 green chilli

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

Method

Put the fish in a bowl and mix with ¼ teaspoons of turmeric powder and salt. Cut the raw banana longitudinally into half and then into 2-inch long pieces and soak in water with a pinch of turmeric powder. Heat oil in a pan; add the nigella seeds.

As the nigella seeds start to pop, pour in the turmeric paste, add the bananas and toss for a minute. Add the slit green chillies, and pour in 2 cups of water. Let the water boil and reduce to half. Gently add the marinated fish pieces and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on. Take it off the flame and serve with warm rice.

ILISH MACH BHAJA

Ingredients

1 kg hilsha fish

½ kg onions, julienned

12 to 15 green chillies, slit

½ cup mustard oil

Salt to taste

4 tbsp water, warm

Method

To prepare the dish, first wash and descale the hilsa fish and cut into 1-inch wide steaks with the bone in the middle. Take the onions, salt and green chillies in a pan and rub well with your fingers with the mustard oil. Make sure the onions disintegrate well to release the pungent sweetness of the onions. Pour some warm water over your fingers and carefully place the fish pieces over the onion mixture. Put over a low flame and let simmer for 10-15 minutes till the fish is tender. Serve warm with rice.

 

Food: LS Desk

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed 

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