Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shorshe Ilish or Hilsa Fish with Mustard

Today I prepared this popular bengali dish 'shorshe ilish'... with Saba (mackeral) as hilsa is not available in hawaii!!

It is very simple and fast. Just take ~1 pound/ 500 grams of mackeral or hilsa fish and cut into medium size pieces (1 inch wide)... rub a bit of salt and turmeric on them after washing and set aside... now take 2 tsp of light brown (off white) mustard seeds and a little bit of salt and 1-2 green chillies and grind them to a fine paste, adding water during the process... Chop a large white onion and saute lightly in 1 tbs olive oil.. now place the fish pieces on onions (no need to stir).... Mix the mustard paste with 1/2 cup of water and drizzle on top of the fish... Sprinkle chopped green onions (at least 2-3).. Now cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, covered.... Turn over the fish pieces, so that both sides get cooked.. Cook on medium/slow heat (make sure that it does not stick to the bottom)... There will be a faint aroma or mustard and the fish will look cooked, the onions slightly turned yellow because of the turmeric in the fish!! Check for salt, and if needed add more!! If you like 'hot' food you can add red chilli powder as well, or increase the number of chillies in the mustard paste.

Remove from heat and garnish with lots of chopped coriendar, lemon wedeges etc. Serve with basmati rice or thai red rice... goes very well with Daal (lentil soup)!!

1 comment:

paulsaab said...

I am curious about how 'shorshe ilish' will go with onion.

Onion and ilish do not go together in 'original' recipes, so far I can tell.

Ilish can go with yogurt, mustard, black pepper (this preparation is called sada ilish), kalonji (but not white cumin, unless it is the sada ilish preparation), green chilies, red chilies, posto (poppy seeds), eggplant, pumpkin, pui shaak, opo squash.

Ilish does not go with ginger, garlic and onion; cilantro, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, and none of the strong flavoring agents natural or otherwise.

Ilish usually stands on its own, flavoring other things that go with it, but it is not to be flavored itself by other spices. Period.