Shorshe Ilish has all the trademarks of an authentic Bengali recipe. As Poila Boishak (Bengali new year) is just around the corner, this is a good time to refresh your culinary memory. Most Bengalis consider Shorshe Ilish to be a very difficult recipe so, they usually reserve the dish for special occasions. But, this Bengali recipe is actually much more simpler than other fish curry recipes like Macchar Jhol.
Bengali new year gives you a perfect excuse to try this delicacy at home. You will be surprised to know how quickly and easily this Bengali recipe can be prepared.
Ingredients For Shorshe Ilish:
1. Ilish or Hilsa fish 10 pieces
2. Mustard seeds (shorshe) 2 tablespoons
3. Green chillies 6
4. Kalongi (Kalo Jeera) or Onion seeds ½tsp
5. Turmeric powder 1tsp
6. Red chilli powder ½tsp
7. Mustard Oil 2tbsp
8. Salt as per taste
Procedure For Shorshe Ilish:
- Soak mustard seeds in water for an hour before grinding it. Grind the mustard with 4 green chillies to form a thick paste.
- Mustard sometimes develops a bitter taste while grinding. In that case, you can add a cup of water to the paste and strain out the crushed seeds.
- Hilsa is a sweet water fish with a distinctive aroma (stench for some people). Make sure you don't over cook it.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan and shallow fry the hilsa fish in it. You need to fry it very lightly to retain the maximum amount of juices in it.
- Season the left over oil with kalongi and 2 green chillies (slit in the middle).
- Dilute turmeric powder and red chilli powder in about 2 cups of water. Pour this into the steaming oil.
- Boil the water and add the fried fish pieces.
- Cover and cook on low flame for 5 minutes so that the fish softens.
- Now, pour the mustard paste into the simmering curry.
- Cook on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Make sure that the mustard is not overcooked; it can make it bitter.
You can garnish Shorshe Ilish with chopped coriander leaves and serve it with hot steam rice.