Aam Sorshe Ilish -Hilsa with raw mango and mustard

11:23 PM

It's that time again.

It's that time again to smell the petrichor, to forget umbrellas and then chase the rain with your hair flying in all directions, to snuggle on the bed when the thunder storm roars outside, to splash in the muddy puddle with the kids and not feeling guilty about it, To feel melancholic under the overcast sky, to have moods wings and follow the rainbow for happiness, to walk aimlessly drenching in the untimely drizzle, to make paper boats and see it whirl down the drain,  to gulp endless cup of masala tea and still feel thirsty...
And if you are a Bengali then to put a potful of bubbling khichuri on the stove and scour the market for the best Hilsa available.

Yes! It's monsoon again and we have a lot of catching up with our lives. It's time to slow down and smell the fresh moist air and follow our hearts-even only for a day.

The other day Baba got a good Ilish from market but I wasn't happy the way the fish monger cut it. Every time we buy Ilish from him I have to fight with him. He doesn't understand why a piece of Hilsa has to be photogenic and why with two small kids I would go for big steaks not small ones. My argument that we love Hilsa has always fallen on deaf ears and he always wins by saying tahole du piece khaben (Then you eat two pieces).

Well, that happens when your fish monger knows you from your high school days...He thinks he knows best and I don;t know how to get a good photo of my Hilsa curry.

As promised on instagram here is the aam sorshe Ilish (Hilsa with raw mango and mustard). Very unusual combo for most people but for us hailing from Midnapore cooking Hilsa with some kind of souring agent is as normal as Sorshe Ilish. We love our Ilish Macher Tawk with tamarind, Aamra Ilish with hogg plum. I cooked this dish exactly like how I cook Amra Ilish that got published last year on Ananda Bazar Patrika. am adding a link to that also putting the recipe in Notes*

Aam sorshe Ilish

Hilsa steaks: 4 pieces
Raw mango: 1/4 of a medium mango (50 gms or little more depending on the tartness)
Mustard Paste: 2 tbsp (I used yellow and black mustard in 1:2 ratio)
Nigella seeds: 1/3 tsp
Mustard oil: 3 tbsp+more to add on top
Green chillies: 4-6 or more

Sprinkle salt and turmeric on the Hilsa and keep aside for 20 minutes.
Peel and cut the mango in small pieces.
Mix the mustard paste in 2/3 cup water.
Heat mustard oil and when it starts to smoke add the fish pieces and fry them for a minute on each side. Take out and keep aside.

In the same oil add nigella seeds and slit green chillies. Be careful it will splutter so use a splutter gourd. Wait for a minute and then add the raw mangoes, salt and 1 tbsp water. Stir and cover. Keep the flame on lowest and let the mango get cooked in the steam. stir in between. It will take close to 7-8 minutes for it to become soft and mushy. Please make sure they dont burn at the bottom or it will turn bitter in taste.

Mix it with your spatula to get a paste out of it and then add the mustard paste. I prefer to pour it from the top so that the mustard husks dont get in the curry.
Add turmeric, salt and more chilies if you prefer and bring it to a boil. Add in the fish and if you prefer pour some more mustard oil from top, this gives a nice mustard kick.
Let it cook on medium till the gravy thickens. 
Serve hot with steamed white rice with a vegetable sides of your choice.

A Homemaker's Notes:
Aamra Ilish with all other ingredients same as above swap the mango with 5-6 Hogg plum. Peel and Pressure cook it with 1/2 cup water till they are soft and mushy. Dont mash, the water would be tart enough.

After you add the nigella and chillies add the hogg plum water along with the hogg plums. bring it to a boil and follow the rest of the recipe as above.

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