Ilish machh er jhaal

Ilish season is here but unfortunately fish market is yet to be flooded with ilish. Blame it to the no show of rain in kolkata but we bengalis are craving for our share of ilish during monsoon and coming back from the market empty handed. Whatever is available is over priced and that too they are mostly from the cold storage. Atleast you will be easily identify that the fishes are that too fresh. However the bong self inside us pushed us to buy a pair of ilish ( jora ilish as we call it in bengali) this weekend and I have tried this Ilish machh er jhaal recipe after a while.

Ilish machh er jhaal


  • Ilish or hilsa fish – 8-10 pieces
  • Green chilli –  6
  • Curd – 2 tbsp
  • poppy seed paste – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard paste – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut milk , thin – 1 cup
  • Salt, turmeric, red chilli powder – as required
  • Kalojire / kalonji seeds – a fat pinch
  • Mustard oil


Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes.

Heat mustard oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces lightly in batches. Keep aside.

In the same oil, add the kalojire and 2 slitted green chilli.

When it starts emitting the aroma, add the poppy seed paste. I have ground two green chilli while making the poppy seed paste.

Fry oil till oil starts coming out. In the mran time beat the curd with salt, turmeric and red chilli powder with little water.

Add this to the pan and mix well. Let it boil for some time.

Next goes the coconut milk. Mix it thoroughly and let it boil for 1 minute on high heat.

Finally add the mustard paste and incorporate it nicely. Adjust the seasoning and then add a cup of hot water to it.

Once it starts boiling, carefully add the fried fish pieces and place it properly.

Let it boil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Wait till the gravy reaches the required consistency and you are done. You may add a spoonful of raw mustard pil if you like.

Garnish with the remaining green chilli and serve with plain rice.

Ilish machh er jhaal

Ilish machh er jhaal Ilish machh er jhaal

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