Search this blog

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ilish Machh Begun Diye ....Patla Shorsher Jhol

A light mustard gravy of Hilsa Fish with Brinjal

A trip to Kolkata during Ilish season always and always culminates with a Big Box of raw Ilish smeared with Oil, Salt and Turmeric, wrapped to Perfection in foil and again re-wrapped in cloth napkin, plastic to prevent the leakages. A hundred NOs and objection will fall on deaf ears of the FATHER who despite being all of eighty is determined to make a trip to the fish market to buy this delicacy for his fish loving daughter. The daughter, despite the vehement NOs and the sulk expressing her displeasure in having to carry this 'additional burden', will beam with joy as well as an exasperated smile directed at the stubborn FATHER, once she reaches her destination and opens the layered packing (perfected by who else but the MOTHER). 

Seeing the freshness of the fish, the utmost desire would be to replicate her MOTHER's perfect 'patla shorsher jhol begun diye' (a light, low on spice gravy of fish with brinjal pieces).... 

Ingredients :
Ilish - 1kg + is the ideal size (a smaller sized Ilish would be more suitable for Ilish Machh Bhaja)
One medium sized brinjal cut into semi-circular slices 
Mustard Oil
Kalo jeera
Red chili powder -depend on the heat tolerance
Kashmiri Mirch for the colour - 1/2 tsp
Mustard paste (made with a mix of yellow & black mustard seeds, green chili and salt) passed through the sieve to retain only the smooth paste.
Green chilies

Procedure :
1. The Ilish pieces and the brinjal pieces need to be smeared with turmeric and salt
2. Pan fry the fish v.v lightly
3. Lightly fry the brinjal pieces
4. In a kadhai, take a tbsp of mustard oil and heat till smoking hot.
5. Throw in kalo jeera (kalonji) and some green chilies
6. Add a paste of turmeric-red chili-kashmiri mirch into the oil and fry for a minute
7. If a thick strong mustard gravy is desired, use the mustard paste without passing through a sieve. I wanted a light gravy. So I passed the paste through a sieve (chhankni) and added water. Now pour either the thick mustard paste or the watery mustard paste into the kadhai. 
8. Cook on medium flame. Once it comes to a boil, slide in the brinjal pieces. 
After the brinjal is almost done, add the fish pieces into the kadhai and cover for a minute or till it comes to a boil. Add water as per the desired gravy consistency. Let the gravy come to a boil. Throw in a few slit green chilies. Take the kadhai off the gas.
9. Serve with steamed rice