Thanks to the Sunday cleaning of the refrigerator, I realized I have 8 pieces of “Leja” piece of Ilish Mach (Hilsa fishtail) available with me! Naturally, I started thinking immediately what to do with the box full of Leja I stored! My solution was quite simple though; I utilized the Leja pieces to make Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta (Ilish Macher Bhorta)! A dish, I have seen on youtube a few days back. Though it is needless to say that I found the videos really interesting but never thought to make the Ilish Macher Bhorta in recent future! Then you know, things happen at times which are not planned and fortunately this unplanned venture of mine turned amazing for our Sunday Lunch.
It was typical lazy Sunday midmorning and after my 2nd cup of coffee, I was set to cook the weekend lunch. Both Pasta and Mehebub were decided to continue with their sleep. Mehebub made the “Dim-Pauruti” breakfast though. My plan was quite simple for Sunday lunch. Our cook already made the Rice, Daal, Aloo Posto and Chutney and my plan was to make some Bhapa Ilish to complete the meal.
I told my house-help to defrost the Ilish chunks we purchased the day before and also to clean the fridge. She, however, came up with a weird news! She told me we are having 8 pieces of “Leja” (Fishtail) available! This reminded me I only cooked the fish body (without head and tail) in last few instances! Her question was quite simple, “who is going to eat all the Leja! Are we going to throw those!” I told her to not even think about throwing the precious Ilish Mach! I finally had one more cup of coffee and decided to make “Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Bhorta!”
Mawa Ghat is Bangladesh’s one of the biggest Ferry Ghat in Bangladesh and around 19-20 Km from the Country’s capital, Dhaka. The Ferry service is naturally over Padma River and the place especially the areas adjacent to the Ghat is famous for the roadside Bengali Food including the Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta or Ilish Macher Bhorta. The dish is quite a youtube sensation these days!
Bangladesh undoubtedly is famous for their amazing and versatile spread of Bhorta or Mashes.You name is they have it basically. I personally am a fan of Bangladeshi food, which is one of the richest parts of general Bengali Cuisine.
Coming to the Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta, a mash prepared with the tail of Hilsa, and believe me a completely different take on our favorite Ilish Mach. Even tastewise, it will surprise you for sure! By the way, the cooking process is tedious and it took me an hour of laborious and tedious “Mach Bacha” (separating the bone from the fish meat) to finally coming up with the Bangladeshi delicacy, Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta.
I never visited Mawa Ghat so far, naturally, the recipe is what I have seen on youtube. However, it is needless to say that I very much wanted to visit the place just for the love of Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta.
You need very basic ingredients to make the Ilish Macher Bhorta. You can use other body portion of Ilish to make it as well, however, Lej is mostly used given we don’t put Lej while cooking the Bhapa, Doi Ilish or any other dish with Ilish Mach.
- Ilish Macher Leja/ Tail of Hilsa Fish: 4-5 (try to use the tail from big fish to reduce the labor)
- Onion: 5
- Green Chilli: 2-3
- Coriander Leave: a few
- Lemon Juice: 1 Tbsp.
- Whole Red Chili: 5-10 (depending on how hot you want your Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta)
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tbsp.
- Red Chilli Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to Taste
- Mustard Oil: 3 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp.
- Wash and clean Ilish Macher Lej or Fishtail.
- Rub Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder:, and Salt to the chunks and leave for 15 minutes before frying.
- Heat 3 Tbsp. Oil in a pan and fry fish chunks till those turn crisp.
- Keep the oil remain in the pan as it is.
- Switch the flame off and wait till the fried fishes cooled down completely.
- Now take the Fried Fishtail and with patience remove all the bones from it so that you are having the meat separated.
- Now thin slice the Onions.
- Dry Roast the Red Chillis till those start emit the pungent aroma and switch the flame off.
- Once cooled down, make a coarse powder of the Roasted Red Chilli (refer the picture for consistency).
- Take the sliced Onion in a plate and start mixing those with Roasted Red Chilli Powder and some Salt till the onion started releasing moisture.
- Add lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
- Now add the Fish paste and mix again.
- Finally, add chopped Green Chilli, Chopped Coriander leaves 1 Tbsp. of raw mustard Oil and the remaining oil from the pan and mix again to complete the Bhorta.
- Serve Ilish Macher Bhorta with steamed rice.
A few more Bhorta Recipe apart from Ilish Macher Bhorta from Debjanir Rannaghar:
Have you tried The Ilish Macher Bhorta recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
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. In Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.