Friday, 22 August 2008

Ilish Maacher Patla Jhol / Hilsa in thin gravy & a Meme

This jhol is made by my Nakakima (aunt) ... and is as simple a dish as she is a person. Innocent as a child and absolutely non-political (joint family or otherwise) she would always love to be around us kids. And loved every joke of ours. A complete misfit everywhere ... the family had elders to look into every matter ... from cooking to everything else. And we kids definitely did not need an elder in our escapades. But the best thing about my kakima is she never ever pretended to be smart or outspoken ... which is why I have always loved her. :-)

Sometimes she would make this jhol with aloo and baingan pieces ... a very thin gravy
It is only years later ... after I started to cook .... I realised that since the Ilish has such a distinct flavour of its own .... we really do not need anything too overwhelming to cook it. It would only spoil the whole dish.

I got my first Ilish of this season. And started off with nostalgia. :-)

Need : Ilish pieces (marinated in salt and haldi powder and lightly fried in mustard oil), aloo peeled and cubed, brinjal cubed in a little bigger size than the aloo, sliced onion,whole red chillies, paanch phoron, roasted jeera powder, haldi powder, mustard oil and salt to taste.

How to : Heat oil. Add the paanch phoron and red chillies. Then add the sliced onions and fry for sometime.

Add the vegetables and the haldi powder water. Add salt.
Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Remove cover and add the fish pieces and a little roasted jeera powder. Cover and simmer for some more time.

Goes great with hot, steamed rice. :-)

I have been tagged by dear Jaya . And am doing this only for the dear person that she is.
Thanks for thinking of me Jaya.
Am really curious about who comes up with these things.
As I start off, am already bristling at that word in the first line .... Rule. Rule? Sigh. Ok ... go ahead .... rule.
now as per Rule ,
Pick up the nearest book
Goto Page 123
Now Find the fifth sentence
post next three sentence
Tag 5 People and acknowledge the person who tagged you
1st line .. errr Rule .... it does not mention which way .... left or right. I have my huge bookcase on my left ... and the small bookracks on the wall on my right. Ok girl ....think.
If I reach out to my left I will have more the numbers of books to choose from than on the right. Crichton and Mary Higgins, Conan Doyle and Khashoggi, even Sukumar Ray and soooooo many more .... all bore their eyes on me. Ruuuuuuun. So I reach out to my right.

Jerome K. and James Herriot dominate. But then Twain and Jack London are vying for attention too. And there goes Victor Hugo ... smirk,smirk ... coz my hand falls on the hunch. Eeeeeek!

But Rule .... Rule .... don't forget the next Rule.
2nd Rule I go to page 123.

3rd Rule ..... Ok .... sigh .... I do find a sentence ..... 5th sentence .... by now am wishing for a lifer.
4th Rule ... "post next three sentence " .... well .... help me somebody!
The creator of this 'book' meme has possibly never heard of singulars and plurals. Lord ... give me the strength .... lightly to bear ..... Ok .... ok ... almost done ... get going.
Here goes .... ".... of the eleventh century,the slated obelisk of the fifteenth, the round and naked keep of the castle, the square and embroidered tower of the church, the great and the small, the massive and the light. The eye was long bewildered amidst this labyrinth of heights and depths in which there was nothing but had its originality, its reason, its genius, its beauty, nothing but issued from the hand of art, from the humblest dwelling, with its painted and carved wooden front, elliptical doorway and overhanging stories, to the royal Louvre , which then had a colonnade of towers. But when the eye began to reduce this tumult of edifices to some kind of order, the principal masses that stood out from among them were these."
I wonder even more ..... who is going to get what out of this???? Is anybody at all going to read the above lines? And if at all somebody has so much time .... will they bother to even wonder what comes after this ????

5th Rule ..... heee heee heee, haaa haa haaa, my turn now to play spoilsport. I have to get back for making me type with one finger after all. ;-p

I have already acknowledged dear Jaya.

And am saving 5 more people this torture. Besides ... rules are meant to be broken :-))

So long folks !!!! :-)


  1. nice recipe..still to bengali fish curry,..:-)hppy bloggin...

  2. Yum...I love ilish. Nice blog you have. Hope you don't mind, I have added you to my blogroll.
    Happy Cooking!!

  3. lovely...mouth watering this is, thanks so much for reminding the simplicity of our culture, cooking, living habits...!

  4. Sharmila,
    rules are meant to be broken !LOL..
    I enjoyed reading it, and Good you saved 5 more person from the torture ! LOL..well at least what I couldn't You did , I am Glad for this .
    are hain Ilish macher Jhol looks so great , sotti ilish mach hole aro Kicho chayi ki , na ..
    hugs and smiles

  5. Thanks notyet. :-)

    Welcome Sanhita! And thanks! :-)

    Thanks Joyeeta! cooking and eating Bengali food is a luxury for me now ... and I indulge whenever I get a chance... read 'get fish' :-)

    Thank God at least you have a sense of humour Jaya :-)
    My only intention is 'no chaining / spamming'. :-)See ... nobody reads a book meme :-))
    Sotti ... ilish maach pele aar kicchu chaai na ... kintu ekhane ilish pawa khub mushkil ... ei bochor pelam .. er age 2 bochor paini :-)

  6. mukhe jol eshe gelo...:-D

  7. I keep coming back here:-)

    to say I have added u to my links.

  8. Nice of you Soma.Thank you. :-)
    Do keep visiting. :-)

  9. Soma tomar blog e jete parchi na keno?

  10. Amar kakimar recipe Arnab. :p
    Thanks for leaving a line here. :-)

  11. I was looking for maacher jhol and this was perfect along with the accompanying storyline .
    Tried it out and it was easy and delicious and reminded me of home :)
    Will surely try out some other of your yummy recipes .
    Keep up the good work!!

  12. Thanks for letting me know Rumna! Am glad you liked the recipe. :-)
    Do keep visiting.

  13. nice recipe .... this is known as begun jhol in my family . The only diffrence is that we dont add potato , onion and jeera powder.

  14. Thanks Manidipa! That is the fun of traditional recipes ... every family has its own variation that goes on to be traditional. :-)

  15. Dear Sharmila
    Ilish Machh PaNch Phodon, Jeere Gurho and onion... sounds great, never had before. I am scheduling it for tomorrow lunch. Need to take an excurssion from Kalojeere kachalanka sombora diye Ilish machhe-r Morich PoDa Holud jhol.
    Cant wait to read other recipes but must restrain.
    Thanks and regards

  16. Dear Sharmila
    The Patla jhol was a great hit in today's lunch, every one liked it. Actually onion, panch PhoDon combination, I often use in Musuri dal. The roasted jeera Gurho made the difference. Will upload a snap that I cooked.
    I think I will spare the Ilish and try other fish , Rui and small ones pabda, Tangra etc.
    Let me see which one is next, I will ask my wife to chose one.



  17. Dear Mr.Ghosh ... am so glad you liked it. And thanks for coming back and leaving lines to let me know. Much appreciate it. :-)

    It was not too long before that I had no interest in such forons and absolutely hated jeera ... powder or otherwise.
    But I guess as we grow older we start to understand the different flavours of every dish and temperings. :-)

  18. nibedita chakrabortyMonday, October 12, 2009

    Dear Sharmila,
    though I am a vegetarian (despite being a bengali) I have to cook fish for my family. This recepie of yours looked quite interesting and I am trying it for today's dinner.
    Nibedita Chakraborty

  19. Glad you like it Nibedita. And thanks for letting me know. :-)

  20. Dear Sharmilla,
    M new to ur yummilicous site...came across it while curiously browsing Ushnish's blog for bong recipes.
    I find bengoli food very diff n palatable wit the choice of spices ppl use. M also a fan of Maacher Jhol which I had at a restaurant in Mumbai..fingerlicking fabs.
    Will be regular here...n try to learn from u.
    Till then happy cooking.
    also chk my new blog whr i write wit my kiddo


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!