The flavour of kalo jeere / nigella seeds along with the green chillies is enough to bring out the beautiful and light flavour of the Ilish.
Simmer it as long as you want to. The more the time, the better the jhol soaks up the beautiful flavour of the Ilish. And vice versa.
I do not usually add tomatoes to this jhol.
But when I get the beautiful, local grown tomatoes ... the roundish ones .... I do add one to this.
Just one small tomato is enough to bring some required sourness to this jhol to perfectly balance the flavours.
If you get the hybrid, longish variety, you can skip the addition of it totally.
And yes, no sugar in this jhol.
Can't type much.
So straight to the recipe.
Pieces of the Ilish - 3, lightly fried
Potato / Aloo - 1 medium, cut lengthwise
Brinjals / Begun - 1 small, cut lengthwise
Tomato - 1, cut lengthwise
Kalo jeere / Nigella seeds - ½ tsp
Fresh green chillies - 2, broken
Haldi / Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp ( less if you prefer )
Water - enough for the jhol of your desired consistency
Heat the oil in a deep kadahi.
Add the kalo jeere + green chillies.
Immediately add the potatoes and stir them well on high heat for around a minute.
Lower heat and add the haldi, a little salt and water.
Cover and cook till the potatoes are half done.
Now add the brinjal pieces. If needed add some more water.
Check for proper salt.
Cover and cook till the vegetables are done.
Remove cover and add the tomatoes.
Cover and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
Remove cover and add some more water, if needed.
Now add the fish and cover again.
Simmer for around 10 minutes or more.
The gravy should get enough time to soak up the flavours of the fish.
A fresh squirt of lemin juice and some green chillies to go with it, this makes for a perfect, light, monsoon lunch.