Last Saturday Mehebub went to the bajar came back with another Ilish mach. Needless to say, I was happy. I ended on cooking something which is not a regular with Hilsa, Doodh Ilish. Hilsa fish in milk gravy is not something I cook whenever there is Hilsa at home. After all, I have choices such as quintessential Shorshe Ilish or Doi Ilish or Paturi; the famous Ilish preparations where we mostly use Mustard paste or Yogurt. If not, a simple Ilish Macher Tel Jhol is the choice. However, there are times when there's no mustard at home, neither is yogurt and the little one specifically requests for a subtle curry instead of rustic Tel Jhol.
I would have cooked Ilish Paikhola which is Mehebub's favorite. A light curry cooked with onion and mustard oil. However, knowing Pasta, an onion curry should not be the one. I then decided to cook a curry of Hilsa fish with Milk though not following my Doodh Mach recipe that I cook with Rui Mach or Katla.
Doodh Ilish, a simple Hilsa Curry
Ilish Mach does not call for overpowering spices. The fish itself is so powerful and loaded with flavors that using excess spices is not something I prefer. Hence, I discarded the Doodh Mach recipe. The spices or ingredients I use while cooking Katla or Rui Mach with Milk would not go with Hilsa Fish. It has to be subtle, just the way Pasta requested.
Hilsa Fish Curry with Milk
I had around 250ml full-cream milk at home and there was half of the Hilsa from a 1.5 Kg fish, For this recipe, I used:
- Ginger Paste
- Nigella Seed
- a lot of green chilies
- little turmeric powder
- a pinch of red chili powder
- salt and
- mustard oil
The trick is to cook the fish with milk in a way that there is not curding of the milk. Apart from that, I have used green chilies in three ways: chopped, slit, and a rough paste. All three added a different layer of flavor to the dish.
FAQ Dudh Ilish
It for sure is considering the ingredients used. However, it is not as popular as Ilish macher Shorshe jhal or Ilish paturi or Ilish Macher Begun diye jhol or Doi ilish.
Other recipes are available as well. My version is a light milk-based hilsa curry cooked with minimum spices and dominated with green chilies.
Doodh Ilish is a light milk-based curry cooked with Hilsa fish and a few selected spices. This is a comforting Ilish mach recipe and for sure is easy to cook.
- 750g Hilsa fish / Ilish Mach (cut into 4-5 pieces)
- 250ml Full-cream milk
- 10 Green Chillies
- 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- 1 Tsp. Nigella Seed
- 1 Tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Salt or to taste
- 6 Tbsp. Mustard Oil (extra oil for frying the fish and then separating to serve as ilisher tel)
- Take clean Hilsa chunks and marinate with ½ Tsp. each of Turmeric Powder, Salt and also 2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil.
- Chop 2 Green Chillies, slit 3 green chillies and make a rough paste of the 2 chillies and keep remaining as it is.
- Leave the fishes for 15 minutes before cooking.
- Now heat 4 Tbsp. Mustard Oil in a pan and lightly fry the fish for 30 seconds on each side and strain from the oil.
- This step is very helpful and helps in the non-curdling of milk.
- Transfer the oil in a bowl after frying 2-3 green chillies. This oil will be served separately with rice. This is called Ilisher Tel.
- Now heat 4 Tbep. Mustard Oil in the same pan.
- Sprinkle ½ Tsp. each of Turmeric Powder and salt into the pan having oil.
- Temper it with Nigella seed followed by 2-3 whole green chillies.
- Now add ginger paste and cook for a minute.
- Cook the tempering for 1 minute.
- Keep the flame low.
- Now add the milk in room temperature.
- Add Both chopped and slit green chillies and give a thorough mix.
- Add 250ml water as well.
- At this point add sugar and adjust salt if needed.
- Bring this mixture to a boil and cook till it thickens to ⅔.
- Now add lightly fried fish and cook for 5 minutes.
- At this point add Green Chili paste/ crusher green chillies and cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add 1 Tbsp. Mustard oil and give the curry a mix.
- Switch the flame off after one minute of cooking.
- Serve it hot with steamed rice.
- I mostly use extra oil while frying Hilsa and serve this oil separately with rice. This is called Ilish Macher Tel. if you wish to make it, fry the fish and strain the oil from the pan. Add fresh oil and cook the curry.
- Mustard Oil is a must.
- You can cook this without frying the fishes however while cooking with milk, fried fishes are ideal as those help in non-curdeling of milk.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: cooking
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Serving Size: 150g
- Calories: 444
- Sugar: 5.3g
- Sodium: 1183mg
- Fat: 25.8g
- Saturated Fat: 5.1g
- Carbohydrates: 7.4g
- Fiber: 1.1g
- Protein: 43.4g
- Cholesterol: 72mg
Keywords: Doodh Ilish recipe, Hilsa fish curry recipe, Bengali Ilish Mach recipe, Ilish Macher jhol recipe, Debjanir rannaghar
Doodh Ilish Recipe Video
Ilish Mach Recipes
- Ilish Beguner Jhol (Hilsa Fish and Eggplant Curry)
- Kumro diye Ilish Macher Jhol (Hilsa fish curry with Pumpkin)
- Ilish Mach er Dim Bhuna (also known as Ilish Mach er Dim er Jhuri)
- Barishali Ilish (also known as Ilish Barishali)
- Lau Patay Ilish Paturi (also known as Lau Patay Ilish Bhapa)
- Sada Ilish (also known as Ilisher Panikhola)
- Kasundi Ilish (Hilsa cooked with Bengali Mustard Sauce Kasundi)
- Madhabi Mukherjee's Ilish Macher Matha diye Badhakopi from Gateway Hotel's Ilish Festival!
- Ilish Macher Tok (also known as Ilish Macher Tawk)
- Ilish Shukto! The journey from Debjanir Rannaghar to Taj Bengal's Kitchen......
- My take on Nona Ilish & Nona Ilish Bhorta/ Bhuna Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Mawa Ghater Ilish Macher Lejar Bhorta (also known as Ilish Macher Bhorta)
- Ilish Macher Korma
- Bori Begun Aloo diye Ilish Macher Tel Jhol
- Ilish Pulao (also known as Bengali Hilsa Pulao Recipe)
- Doi Ilish, a classical Bengali Curd based Hilsa Curry
- Masoor Daler Patla Khichuri aar Ilish Mach Bhaja
- Bhapa Ilish (also known as Steamed Hilsa Fish or Ilish Bhapa)
- Ilish Macher Sorshe bata diye Jhal (also known as Hilsa Fish in Mustard Grav or Ilish er Shorshe Jhal or Shorshe Ilish)
Have you tried the easy Doodh Ilish recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
I would love to see a picture if you are making it following my recipe which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and share it through Instagram as well. and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.