Kumro diye Ilish Machh er Jhol – Bengali Style Hilsa Curry

Monsoon season is one the most celebrated seasons in Bengal because it brings with it the hilsa fish which can easily be called a Bengali’s true love. So when fresh hilsa hits the market we couldnot resist ourselves and gave in to the temptation for a simple thin soup like recipe that  mom always cooked. This ‘jhol’ consisting brinjals and chunks of pumpkin guarantees a satisfying lunch for a Bengali, and even others, on a monsoon afternoon.


  • Hilsa piece – 6 pcs
  • Pumpkin slices – 6
  • Brinjal – 1, cut lengthwise
  • Green chilli – as per taste
  • Kalojire/ Kalonji Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, Turmeric – as per taste
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Mustard Oil

Smear the fishes with salt and turmeric and then fry on both side for 30 seconds each. In Bengali, we call it ‘Santlano’.


Add some more oil in the pan, then add slit green chilli and kalonji seeds.


Add the pumpkin slices with a pinch of salt and turmeric and fry for a minute.


Next goes the brinjal and fry for 1 more minute. Next add salt, turmeric and cumin powder and stir.


Add two cups of water and let it boil. Next add the fishes and mix carefully.


Cook over low flame till the vegetables are cooked thoroughly. Adjust the seasoning.


Remove from heat, then add some fresh green chilli. Keep on standing time for 10 minutes. Serve with plain rice.