Ilish a.k.a Hilsa possesses a special place in Bengali’s palate and that is irrespective of the Bangal Ghati divide! Though the taste is no doubt the reason but another aspect is the easy making process I suppose. This is surprisingly true that for many preparations it is not even required to fry Hilsa. A little steaming can do the wonder. Ilish Macher Shorshe Bata diye Jhal, Bhapa Ilish ( Steamed Hilsa) apart from Doi Ilish are commonest examples of Ilish preparations which require no frying. However, this is optional. You can also fry the fish if you wish to while cooking these dishes.
I think Ilish can be considered as part of Bachelor Cooking. if a person has an appetite for fishes but prefers fuss-free cooking, Ilish I think is the ideal choice for him/ her.
Little more about Doi Ilish:
Doi Ilish, needless to say, is a signature Bengali delicacy. Hilsa Fish chunks steamed with Doi or Curd is one of the popular fish preparations in Bengal. We mostly opt for Ilish Mach or Rui/ Katla (Rehu) for making this delicacy. I have already given the recipe of Rehu Fish Chunks cooked in Curd known as Doi Maach here.
I prefer to cook Doi Maach (or Ilish) whenever I am out of time but need to have a light fish curry. Doi Ilish is the Hilsa version of the same dish and probably more popular than Doi Maach.
Given Ilish is now available in abundant in Kolkata. these days I am storing loads of Ilish in my fridge and also cooking it as much as possible. Doi Ilish is one of the dishes I prefer to make especially whenever I have a craving for a special fish curry along with some Steamed hot rice that involves hassle-free cooking.
Here’s how I make Doi Ilish at Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Serves: 5 People
- Calories: 257
- Fat: 13.3g
- Trans fat: 2.7g
- Carbohydrates: 23.2g
- Sugar: 7.8g
- Sodium: 859mg
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 10.3g
- Cholesterol: 24mg
- Hilsa Fish (Ilish Mach): 5 Pieces (100g each)
- Green Chili: 5-6
- Plain Curd: 200g
- Mustard Oil: 2 Tbsp.
- Sugar: 1 Tbsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to taste
- Wash Fish chunks thoroughly and rub half of the Turmeric Powder and ½ Tsp. of Salt and leave fish chunks for 10 minutes.
- In a big bowl take Plain Curd and using a spoon beat the curd until smooth.
- Add Mustard Oil, Salt, Sugar and rest of the Turmeric Powder to the Curd and mix vigorously.
- Add slit Green Chilies to the Curd mixture.
- Now place Hilsa Chunks in the curd mixture and coat from both sides.
- Cover the bowl with a lid and leave it for 30 minutes with the curd marinade.
- You can use a wok to prepare the Doi Ilish or can use a microwave oven to make it. Both the processes mentioned below:
- Using Wok or Pan: Take a deep bottom Pan or Wok and pour Fish chunks along with the marinade in the pan and add around 2 Cup of water to the mixture. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium flame for around 15 minutes. Flip fish pieces and cook till you get desired consistency of the gravy.
- Using Microwave: Take a Microwave safe deep bowl and pour Fish chunks along with the marinade in the pan and add around 2 Cup of water to the mixture and Cook in High Temperature for 5 minutes and then in 40% temperature for around 15 minutes.
You may substitute Mustard Oil with vegetable oil or can absolutely ignore it. However, Mustard oil gives amazing flavor to the dish.
You may skip sugar as well.
P:S: Pictures updated in 2017!
To serve Doi Ilish!
Nothing but with some hot steamed rice and maybe a Hindi Classic Monsoon Song in the background!
How about some off-beat Ilish dishes to try out apart from the signature dishes like Doi Ilish:
Have you tried the Doi Ilish Recipe from Debjanir Rannachar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. On Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or you, in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
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