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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Narkel dudh diye Sorshe Ilish (Hilsa fish curry with Mustard & Coconut Milk)

      After long time, I'm posting a Bengali fish recipe here. As many of you know Fish and Bengalis are synonymous. Without fish I think Bengali meals are incomplete. But the most beloved fish of all Bengalis is Hilsa fish or Ilish. In every special occassion, it is cooked at homes. Hilsa is not available throughout the year. It tastes the best during Monsoon season. Bengalis don't care about the price when it comes to Hilsa, even though it is one of the expensive fish of all. You won't believe the price is right now 800 Rs./Kg(the price can go higher also), after one month or so the price will go down to 400-500 Rs/Kg, not less than that. But Bengalis have to have this fish how expensive it gets. The reason behind is simple, it's the tastiest fish of all.

      Hilsa is a sea-fish, which comes to the river to lay eggs and then fishermen catch them. It's also the National fish of Bangladesh and the main river of Bangladesh, Padma has the best quality of Hilsa fish. It has very thin bones and you require a sharp eye to debone it and enjoy. In Bengal, Hilsa/Ilish is cooked in numerous ways. It is enjoyed cooked, baked inside plaintain leaf, fried, even hilsa fish roes are very delicious. It can be cooked in very less oil, as this fish itself is very oily and is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. I'll recommend all fish lovers to try this fish at least once. If it is not available at your place, then can substitute with Shad, which is very close to its taste. But Bangladeshi Hilsas are the best.
       This recipe of Hilsa is very popular and beloved and are made during any special occassion. Fish pieces are cooked in mustard seed paste and freshly grated coconut. I added extra coconut milk for gravy, which I have learnt it from my friend. Coconut milk gave the gravy a super yummy taste.

You Need :
Hilsa/Ilish/Shad fish fillets : 4-5 pieces
Freshly grated Coconut : half of a coconut
Coconut milk/cream : 1 cup
Yellow Mustard seed : 1 tblsp. (grind to make spice paste)
Black mustard seed : 1/2 tblsp. (for tempering)
Green chilli : 2-3
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp. + some to marinate the fish fillets
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil(preferably) : 2 tblsp. for cooking + enough oil for frying the fish
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Marinate the fish fillets with little salt and turmeric powder. keep aside for at least 1/2 an hour. Make a paste of mustard seed and 1 or 2 green chilli( as per your chilli-tolerance level) with very little water added.
  • Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry the fish pieces until light brown from both sides. Fry in medium flame, this way fish will be soft. Keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tblsp. oil in a pan, temper with 1/2 tblsp. black mustard seed and 1-2 whole green chilli, then add mustard seed-green chilli paste with 2 tblsp. of water. Add turmeric powder and stir for a minute until water evaporates. Then add freshly grated coconut and mix well. 
  • Now add coconut milk, season with salt and add the fried fish pieces in there. Cover with lid and let it boil in medium flame for about 10 minutes, so that fish can absorb the gravy. When gravy thickens a bit, remove from flame.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves if you want, but not necessary.
  • Enjoy with steamed white rice...........................
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 / by / 8 Comments


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