Thursday, 16 November 2017

Ilisher Patla Jhol (Hilsa in a mildly spiced gravy)

    This is one fish that the entire state of West Bengal can vouch for.The Hilsa is also a favourite among the other eastern states of Assam ,Orrissa and Tripura too.    Beside it's taste  the Hilsa is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids ,and so adds to the nutritional value.
  The Hilsa is cooked in varying ways depending on ones preferences.Some cook it wrapped in plantain leaves,while for others ,a gravy cooked with potatoes and eggplant is the favourite.A gravy cooked in mustard paste is also an all time favourite.This fish is so loved that even the roe is cooked into many delicacies.In fact people wait year long for the monsoon months to get the taste of freshly caught Hilsa.
I am sharing here a very quick to prepare gravy of this fish,which is very mildly flavoured,allowing the distinct flavour of the fish to dominate.This recipe requires very few ingredients and can be prepared in about 10 minutes.This is best enjoyed with plain steamed rice.



































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Ingredients
1-Hilsa-about half kg
2-Coriander powder-2 to 3 teaspoons
3-Turmeric powder-1  and half teaspoon
4-Mustard oil-2 tablespoon
5-Salt (as per taste)
6-Green chillies-4(slit from the middle lengthwise)
7-Water for gravy-As required for a thin consistency
8-Kalonji or kala jeera or nigella seeds-1 teaspoon

You can also use half teaspoon of red chilli powder ,though it is optional



Method
1-Marinate the fish in salt and  half teaspoon  turmeric powder and leave for 15 minutes
2-Once the fish is marinating,dissolve 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder ,and the coriander powder in 1 tablespoon of water .If you are adding red chili powder(optional) dissolve it too with turmeric and coriander
3- Shallow fry in mustard oil,on both sides(do not fry the fish for long ,it should be slightly sauted in the oil ,and not fried hard or crisp)
4- Take out the fish from the oil and add green chilies and kalonji seeds to the oil,you can add little oil to the pan at this stage ,The oil should be enough to fry the spices
5-Add in the dissolved spice mix,made in step 2 above
6- Saute till oil oozes from the sides,
7- Then add the salt and the water for the gravy
8- Let the water come to a boil
9-Slip in the fish pieces and boil for one more minute,Switch off the flame and keep covered for at least ten minutes
10-Serve with plain steamed rice





This gravy tastes best when not too thick.So no binding agent is required for the gravy.You should get a transparent oily gravy for the perfect authentic taste.




Step by step pictorial


Marinate the fish in salt and turmeric

Shallow fry in mustard oil,on both sides

Flip over

Take out the fish from the oil and add green chilies and kalonji seeds

Add in the dissolved spice mix

Saute till oil oozes from the sides,


Then add the salt and the water for the gravy


Let the water come to a boil

Slip in the fish pieces and boil for one more minute,Switch off the flame and keep covered for at least ten minutes








Serve with plain steamed rice


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