Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ilish Maach Bhape/Sorshe Ilish

Hilsa Fish remains an eternal favorite among food lovers. Fish rules the platter of any Indian household, and scores much higher than chicken and mutton.Varied recipes of fish continue to rule the hearts of quintessential Bengali gourmets. Bhetki, Koi, Rui or Catfish, Prawn, Lobsters, and Hilsa remain the perennial favorites among the numerous varieties of fish. Hilsa or 'Ilish' as it is commonly known as, is one of the most liked variety of fish, and there are plenty of dishes available with this fish. Hilsa is not just a fish, but a symbol of Bengali culture. Hilsa is found plentiful in the rivers-Padma, Meghna, Yamuna and Ganges, however, most of this sweet-tasting fish is caught from the sea. Most of the Hilsa dishes are cooked in mustard oil.

Among all other hilsa delicacies, Ilish Maach Bhape or Sorshe Ilish remains my priority:)
Here is a simple and easy way to prepare this recipe at home:

Hilsa fish-(chop it into pieces for better results)
Mustard Paste
Mustard Oil
Turmeric Powder
Green Chilli
Salt to taste

Preparation: First, wash the fish pieces properly and mix a paste of mustard paste, salt, mustard oil and turmeric with it. Then keep the fish pieces in an air-tight container for some time. Pour some mustard oil on top of those pieces and sprinkle 4/5 green chillies. Then take 2/3 cups of water in a hollow fry pan or container and place the air-tight container in it. Keep the flame low and place something on top of this container, so that the lid doesn't fall off. Bring it to boil for around 10-12 mins and remove it from flame. Your delicious smoked hilsa is now ready to eat! Serve it with smoking hot rice or nan bread.