Sunday, 16 July 2017


"O Hasina zulfon Wali, Janey Jahan...
Dhoondti Hai Kafir Aankhey Kiska Nishan...
Mehfil Mehfil, Yeh Shamaa, Firti Hon Kahan...
Wow Anjana Dhoondti Hoon...
Wow Diwaana Dhoonti Hoon..."

Whenever I get to see this silvery beauty Ilish / Hilsa, I get as mad as Shammi Kapoor on screen and echo Rafi Saab on her praise. As I always say I can have ilish every day at each meal only if its sky rocketing price could be managed. We can still afford it but there are many back in India who loves it but are unable to have it given the prices going really high .... a kilogram selling at 1200-1500 rupees. It is a pinch in the pocket for a middle class Bengali. Ilish weighing less than a kilogram will not give you the right taste. What to do? In my side of the family, my parents compromised and look at the price while buying ilish for the past few years which is a normal thing to do. My mom will never buy an Ilish for 1500-2000 rupees unless it is a special day like the son's birthday or Jamai Shashti [a special day for the son-in-law] or any other occassion. Rest of the days she will buy those 750-800-900 gm weight at a little lower price but the fresh ones. Let me tell you we do not get fresh supplies anymore .... most of them frozen for 3-6 months coming from Bangladesh. In our childhood, a Bengali would take pride in saying 'Ganga-Padma r Ilish chara khabona'.... we will buy or eat an Ilish caught from the Ganges or Padma. Now they do comprise and buy the supplies from Kolaghat... what else to do? We have to have Ilish during monsoon.... it is our religion you can say. On the contrary, my husband's side of the family would go out of their way while buying Ilish or any fish or in general, food. It was not so that they did it when the son of the house got good luck for the family. My paa-in-law did it all within his limited financial sources. They ate like kings. I do not know what is right or wrong, each family has its own way of dealing with it. I personally believe we should save 60% of our earning and spend 40% of it.

We get Ilish in the island almost throughout the year that comes from Burma, caught from the Mandai river. Though they do not always satisfy my taste buds, they are just ok. They lack that oil that adds taste to an Hilsa Curry. Our very own kalojireey phoron diye Ilish Beguner Jhol... Raw pieces of Hilsa cooked with egg plants with a simple tempering of nigella seeds and slitted green chillies. It does not taste as heavenly here as it tasted back in Kolkata with Ilish from Ganga or Padma. I am still in a dilemma, should I blog on it... will it be an invasion on someone's identity.... with my limited grey matter I do not understand many of the things in the world .... unless my friends advice me what is wrong or right. I was not made to think, hahaha..... though everyone knows there are certain recipes that comes down on us for generations. Ilish Shorshe Posto or Hilsa cooked with mustard and poppyseed paste is not an unique recipe, its a common dish but its taste is out of the world. In my side of the family my mom does not mix posto with shorshe, this is my maa-in-law's recipe and I do it often while in Kolkata. The island is quite strict about Poppyseed and we cannot use it here. If you stay anywhere outside Singapore and Dubai, go ahead with this yum recipe of hilsa cooked with poppyseed-mustard seed-green chilli paste, else use only chilli-mustard paste or can we try some roasted sesame seed paste? This was also a part of a combined post done earlier that I wished to compile again as a separate post.

Ilish : 6 pieces
Black Mustard Seed : 2tsp
Poppy Seed : 1tsp[skip if you stay in Dubai or Singapore]
Green Chilli : 4-5[using generously enhances taste]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Kalojeera[nigella seeds] : 2pinches
Mustard Oil : 1tbsp

Wash the poppy seeds , drain the water through a strainer and soak in hot water for 1 hour.

Wash the mustard seeds too. Blend together mustard seeds, poppy seeds, green chilli with little salt and 1/4small cup water.[the salt helps the paste not to turn bitter].

Apply salt and turmeric to the fish pieces and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with kalojeera. Add the paste and saute at low heat for 1/2 a minute.

Add little salt and turmeric. Add 1 small cup water. Let boil for 2 minutes.

Add the fish pieces. Let boil for 2-3 minutes. Flip over, let boil for another 2 minutes. Add slitted green chillies.

Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice.


  1. any bong will die to have this... yumm

  2. Omg! Mouthwatering. I would to love some please.