Hilsa or Ilish or Tenualosa ilisha is presumably the most well-liked fish from Bengal. Associated to the Herring household, the fish just isn’t solely consumed within the Indian subcontinent, but in addition extensively consumed in Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, in addition to in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. The feel of the fish is somewhat oily, which makes it splendid for each braising and frying. In Bengal, no a part of the fish goes to waste – the pinnacle usually is cooked right into a ghonto with Colocasia leaves and stems, the tail finish usually leads to a tawk or awmbol, and the fish itself is commonly simply fried until the pores and skin is crisp and brown and is commonly served with the oil its cooked in, a number of inexperienced chillies and sizzling rice.
In Aaheli at The Peerless Inn, Kolkata, the hilsa usually is widely known all via the month of July, all the best way until September, with a specifically curated Hilsa competition that options the fish in numerous avatars. “We introduced within the Dhumrogondho ilish, or deboned and smoked hilsa, to those that love the fish however are afraid of the tiny bones in it,” stated Debasree Roy Sarkar, President, Company Improvement, Peerless Resorts Ltd. “Ever since we launched it proper at first of our journey, it was an enormous hit, and 27 years down the road, friends nonetheless like it. We even have a hilsa thaali, the place we attempt to incorporate a full set of dishes from the begin to end that will all have the fish in some format – whether or not it is the pinnacle or the roe.”
The Query of Sustainability and Hilsa
The previous few years noticed a drastic fall within the variety of hilsa within the rivers of Bengal. Overfishing, and using smaller-mesh internet resulted in an enormous variety of juvenile hilsa being caught, which additional resulted within the drastic discount of full-sized hilsa within the catch. However, dealing with that, many inns and eating places took an lively resolution to not purchase hilsa beneath a sure weight. “We choose the Gangetic Hilsa, no less than 1.5 kilo, by weight. Its not low-cost, however we all know its recent and is not juvenile, and tastes nice” famous Debasree. She is amongst a rising variety of hoteliers from Bengal who’ve taken this resolution retaining in thoughts the customers in addition to the sustainability issue.
How you can Make Shorshe Ilish
The pungency of freshly floor mustard seeds pairs fantastically with the gentle, buttery fish, and the trace of inexperienced chillies add to the warmth. The recipe made within the Banerjee family is stored so simple as potential, however the high quality of the substances is the important thing right here. Recent, good high quality hilsa, minimize in massive chunks, is gently simmered in a mustard-laden gravy, then served with steaming sizzling rice, ideally a medium-grained one, however not too aromatic, as a result of that takes away from the flavours of the hilsa.
750 gm. Hilsa fish (minimize into 6-7 items)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
4 massive inexperienced chillies
100 ml. mustard oil + a number of drops to complete
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
Salt to style
Soak the mustard seeds in heat water for no less than 1 hour, ideally 2. Pressure and make a paste with 1/4th teaspoon salt and 1 massive inexperienced chilli. The paste shouldn’t be runny, so its splendid to make use of a sil or mortar or pestle to make this paste.
Apply salt and turmeric powder on hilsa fish. Put aside.
Reserve 2 tablespoon of the mustard oil. Warmth the remaining oil. Fry the hilsa on each side over medium excessive warmth until gentle golden (about 30-35 seconds per aspect). Take away and put them apart.
To the remaining mustard oil, add 1 tablespoon of the fried hilsa oil, and warmth it over excessive warmth until the oil is admittedly sizzling however not smoking. Add the nigella seeds, decrease the warmth to a simmer, and instantly add the mustard paste and 1/4th teaspoon turmeric, adopted by 1 cup water.
As soon as the water begins boiling, add the fish and inexperienced chillies. You possibly can slit a few them so as to add to the warmth. Then, add salt to style. Stir all the pieces up, cowl and prepare dinner over simmering warmth for 8-10 minutes. Add a number of drops of uncooked mustard oil, then cowl and switch off the warmth. Let it prepare dinner in its personal steam for an additional 5 minutes, then serve with sizzling rice.