Fish is one food which you don’t get tired of eating and relishing the fine taste of it. Hilsa or Ilish is considered as the King of all fish by its divine taste and authentic Bengali preparation. We gobble every bit of it with steam rice and sometimes with fried rice or Pulao. Ilish can be cooked at any time and every time in any occasion or marriage ceremony. Though a bit expensive sometimes specially in off-seasons, people would not hesitate to buy for their family or friends. Here are 5 authentic recipes for this happening weekend.

1# Sorshe Bata Ilish Mach


Ingredients – 600 gm hilsa, 3 Tbsp mustard oil, 2 Tbsp mustard seeds, 3 tsp poppy seeds, 6 green chillies-slitm 4 Tbsp ginger paste, 1 tomato diced, 1 tsp panch phoron, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, Salt to taste

Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric.
Soak mustard and poppy seeds and grind them into a paste.
Heat mustard oil in a pan and splutter panch phoron.
Add ginger paste and mustard-poppy paste and saute.
Now add turmeric and red chilli powder.
Add the marinated fish with green chillies and salt.
Add the tomatoes. Mix well and cook on a slow flame.
Once done, serve with steamed rice.
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2# Bhapa Ilish


Ingredients – Hilsa (ilish) 1 kilogram, Salt to taste, Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon, Yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon, Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon, Green chillies 2-3, Ginger 1 inch piece, Mustard oil 3 tablespoons

Wash the fish well and clean it from inside. Cut into darne. Sprinkle salt and half of the turmeric powder. Make a smooth paste of yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds, green chillies, ginger and salt.
Take a pressure cooker. Add three cups of water and place a ring in it.
Take a pan and place the fish in it and place the pan on the ring in the pressure cooker. Add remaining turmeric powder to prepare the paste. Apply paste liberally on fish. Pour mustard oil on top. Adjust seasoning. Cover with lid and steam for eight to ten minutes.
Serve hot.
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3# Ilish Macher Jhol


Ingredient – Hilsa fish (easily available in West Bengal, but found in most parts of India throughout the year), cut into thin pieces, 1 tsp black cumin seeds (known as kalongi in Hindi and kalo jeeray in Bengali), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder / Haldi, 2 to 4 green chillies, 1 Tbsp mustard oil (or any vegetable oil), Salt to taste

Shallow fry the Hilsa fish pieces, till golden brown. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat 1 Tbsp oil, add about 1 tsp black cumin seeds and let them crackle.
Add about a cup of water to it, about 1/2 tsp haldi, salt to taste and let the water come to a boil.
Add the fried Hilsa pieces. Split the the green chillies into two or cut them into half and add to the curry.
Cook for 2 mins.
Hilsa curry is ready. Serve with steamed rice.
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4# Doi Ilish


Ingredients – 8 pieces of Ilish Mach ( Hilsa Fish), 1 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of thickly sliced onions and 1 handful thinly sliced onions for garnishing, Salt as needed, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon mustard paste, 8-10 green chillies, 1 cup yoghurt, 1 teaspoon sugar.

After washing the fish pieces, cover the fish pieces with some salt and set aside.
On a pan, heat oil. Add onions and fry until the onions turn slightly golden. Now add the salt, coriander and red chilli powder. Stir until the oil starts to float on top.
Add the fish pieces and mustard paste, and cook for a while.
Add the green chillies,and yoghurt. Sprinkle the sugar and stir for a bit. While stirring make sure the fish pieces do not break. Cook until the water of the yoghurt dries up, and the dish turns gravy.
On a separate pan fry the one handful of thinly sliced onions until the onions turn dark golden brown. Sprinkle the fried onions ( beresta) on top of the Doi Ilish when it is being served.
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5# Ilish Paturi


Ingredient – Ingredients, 500 Gm Ilish mach, 1 Cup Coconut paste, 4 Tbsp Mustard paste, 3 Tbsp Green chilli Paste, 3 Tbsp Mustard oil, 2 Tbsp Refined oil, 1\2 Tbsp Turmeric powder, 1 Banana leaf, Salt to taste.

Clean and wash the Ilish Mach and keep it aside.
Now take a bowl and prepare a mixture with the coconut paste, mustard paste, green chilli paste, mustard oil, salt and turmeric powder.
Now wash and wipe the banana leaf and cut it into square pieces of 6 inch by 6 inch so that one piece of fish can easily fit into it.
Now coat the leaf with oil from inside and keep it aside.
Then marinate the fish with previously prepared mixture of all the spices.
Now put the marinated fish on the banana leaf and wrap it tightly and tie with a string.
Heat oil in a frying pan and put the wrapped fish on it and fry until the leafs turn yellow.
Then remove the wrapped leaf from frying pan and take fish out of leafs and serve with hot rice.
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