Kumro Ilish – Hilsa with Pumpkin

Again a bengali ( or better say, BANGAL ) delicacy, kumro ilish is a prominent feature in our menu during hilsa season. While, there is nothing to say about hilsa, pumpkin adds a little sweetness to the dish and helps bring out the flavor of the hilsa even better. BTW, I never fry the hilsa, always try to cook it in the gravy itself. This way the flavor of the fish is infused into the gravy.


  • Hilsa Fish – 8 pcs
  • Cubed Pumpkin – 1 bowl
  • Green Chillies – 4
  • Coriander leaves – a bunch, chopped
  • Turmeric, Salt – as required
  • Kalonji / Onion Seed / Kalojeere – a pinch
  • Mustard Oil – 5 tbsp

Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric and salt and keep aside.

Heat good amount of mustard oil in a pan. Add sliced green chillies and a pinch of kalonji / onion seed into it and let it splutter. Now add the pumpkin cubes and fry a little.

Add salt and turmeric mixed in water and add to the pumpkins. Pumpkins should be coated thoroughly with spice mixture.

Add the marinated fish and mix well with the pumpkins.

Add 2 cups of hot water and let it simmer for 15 minutes or till the pumpkins are soft and a bit mushy. Oil should be visible as well.

Serve hot with plain rice.