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%Ilish Macher Ambol

Ilish Macher Tok aka Ilish Macher Tawk


Ilish Macher Tok is a signature Bengali style runny Fish Chutney prepared with mainly Hilsa Head and tail. This dish is characterized by the balance of sweet and sour flavors.


Units Scale
  • 3 Hilsa Chunk (mainly head and tail)
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamarind Paste
  • 100g Jaggery
  • 1/2 Tsp. Bengali Five Spices/ Panchphoron
  • 2 Dry Red Chili
  • 1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil


  1. Wash Hilsa chunks.
  2. Cut the Fish head into halves and make a few slits on the tail.
  3. Marinade with Turmeric Powder and Salt.
  4. Mix tamarind paste with one cup of boiling water and leave the mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a strainer separate the fibers and keep the tamarind water aside.
  6. Now heat Oil in a Pan and fry fish chunks from both sides.
  7. Strain from oil and keep aside.
  8. Temper remaining Oil with Bengali Five Spices and Red Chili.
  9. Add Tamarind water followed by 2 Cups of water.
  10. Add Jaggery and salt to taste and bring it to boil.
  11. Once boiling starts, add fried fish chunks and cook for 5 minutes by covering the pan with a lid.
  12. This dish should have sufficient liquid at the end. Hence, adjust the water as much as required.
  13. Switch off the flame and wait till the Ilish Macher Tok comes to room temperature.
  14. You may fridge it or can serve it at room temperature with steamed rice at the end of the meal.


  • This dish is mainly prepared with the head and tail of Hilsa fish, however, I at times add one or two pieces from the mid portion of the fish. This is completely optional.
  • I have used around 200g of fish.
  • In my family, I have always seen the Ilish macher tok cooked with Jaggery instead of Sugar. You may use an equal quantity of sugar as well. However, I prefer using Jaggery for the earthy Flavor.
    Bengali Five spices are available in departmental stores.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Chutney
  • Cuisine: Bengali


  • Serving Size: 75g
  • Calories: 191
  • Sugar: 20.8g
  • Sodium: 1592mg
  • Fat: 6.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Protein: 9.7g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

Keywords: ilish macher tok, ilish mathar tok, bengali ilish mach recipe, debjanir rannaghar

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