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 would do the wonder and Ilish Macher Shorshe Bata diye Jhal, Bhapa Ilish ( Steamed Hilsa) and Doi Ilish are commonest examples of Ilish preparations which require no frying. 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.
Coming to Doi Ilish, it is a signature Bengali delicacy. 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. I have already given the recipe of Rehu Fish Chunks cooked in Curd known as Doi Maach here. I love 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 and I prefer to store Ilish in my fridge and 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. Making Hilsa involves a Big ME nowadays given I don’t prefer to give Ilish to the little one and Mehebub is not here in Kolkata with us as he has opted for a foreign assignment.
- Hilsa Fish (Ilish Mach): 4-5 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 in halfway 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.
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!