Sorshe Ilish and an Award (Hilsa in hot Mustard Sauce)

7:49 AM



The last couple of days have been very busy (especially the weekend) with the puja preparations. It’s a customary ritual in all Indian households to clean the house before any big festival. This is not only to welcome the God or Goddess associated with the festival but also for the guests who come over to share the happiness. Along with that I had to go for a little puja shopping for the kid. the little one badly needed some warm clothes to accompany us on the late night pandal hopping. Also when the festivities would be over winter will be knocking at our doors with all its gorgeous colours. So the whole weekend went in a blur with all the scrubbing, wiping, cleaning and washing and left me exhausted (am not done yet). The little bit of shopping was really therapeutic but left my legs desperately looking for a hot soak.

In between all these I received a beautiful award from Kamini. She is one of those bloggers whom I love to visit everyday. Her beautiful cheery space with all its warmth inspires me and I dream of decorating my house like hers. If you haven’t visit her yet then trust me you are missing something.

The idea of this award is you have to spill atleast seven things about you. I have already done this before which you can find out HERE. But there is one more thing that I would like to share. Now a day I don’t know why but I have become very impatient. I cant relax unless I finish the work in hand…be it the craft project, the DIY schemes, the food photography for my blog, whatever I do unless its done I feel tensed. Even these days once I sow the seeds I feel impatient and check everyday wishing it had flowered overnight. Don’t know whom to blame my hectic schedule or the whole day running after the baby but am annoyed all the time.

Now the tagging part. Here I go
Kamalika of Silence Sings
Soma of Ecurry

Let the number be 9, allow me that friends…I am curious to see what they have to say about themselves.

Now to the recipe. This is the most common Hilsa recipe and is cooked most in all Bengali households. I have posted a very lighter version (Hilsa with veggies in a light mustard gravy) of this recipe before and today am posting the dish with all its glory where big chunky Hilsa stakes are cooked in a hot chili and nigella seed flavoured thick mustard gravy. Again Baba managed to send a big fish to us through a friend, Before the Hilsa season is over. This time the fish was not pre fried rather was smeared generously with salt, turmeric and mustard oil. The fish weighed almost 1.5 Kgs and tasted heavenly and this time I dint invite friends to share this (with an evil grin) with us.

Here is the recipe:
Sorshe Ilish
(serves 2)

Ingredients:
Hilsa stakes: 4 pieces
Mustard Paste: 2 tbsp
Nigella seeds: 1/3 tsp
Hot Green chilies: 3 (or more as per taste)
mustard oil: 2-3 tbsp+1 tbsp
Salt

Turmeric
Method:
The Hilsa fish is always washed first and then cut into pieces. This is done so that no aroma is lost. So take the 4 pieces and rub them with salt and turmeric. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Mix the mustard paste to ¾ cup water and set side.

(to make mustard paste use your mixie or a morter and pestle. Just pour the desired amount of seeds with little water (to cover) and make paste. Don’t over mix or it will turn slight bitter. If using a mixer-grinder you will have to make bigger quantity, say 6-7 tbsp. I generally make that and store the remaining in an airtight container. It stays good for upto 2 weeks)

Heat the mustard oil in a pan or kadhai and lightly fry the fish pieces (1-2 minutes). Drain and keep aside.
In the same oil add the slit green chillies and nigella seeds. Once they splutter carefully pour the mustard mix. Be careful not to add the black husk of the seeds. Add salt and turmeric and let it come to a boil.

Carefully place the Hilsa pieces so that the gravy covers them. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on medium flame.

Turn after 3-4 minutes and let the gravy thicken. Check the seasoning and if needed add more slit green chillies. (here the green chilies I get are not very hot so sometimes I also have to add little red chili powder. If you face the same problem add chili powder but traditionally this is meant to be cooked only with fresh green chilies. This literally brings out the delicate flavour of Hilsa combined with the mustard paste. Alternatively if the chilies are very hot then don’t cut them rather with a heavy knife smash the chilies and add to the gravy. This gives a very good flavour without making it hot).

Once the water is absorbed and you have very thick gravy pour the 1 tsp oil over it. Mix well and serve hot over a bed of steamed white rice.
For a change we enjoyed our meal on banana leaf that day.


A Homemaker's Note:
1. this dish could be cooked with rohu, carp, sardine or any other big fish steaks. in case of other fishes fry them till brown. 


2. Vegetarians can make a similar dish with egg plant and bori (wadi/sundried lentil dumplings). In Bengali this dish is called bori-begune'r jhal.  







Wish you all very happy puja! 


Events: Sending this to DMBLGIT;November'10 at Aparna's My Diverse Kitchen.

Tags:
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