Hilsa Fish in mustard paste gravy (Shorshe Ilish)

Hello everybody !!

This is the second post in my mini Hilsa recipe series. Hilsa is cooked in many different ways, but one recipe which is most associated with this fish is the mustard paste gravy. This recipe is very famous, widely popular almost like a cult favorite Bengali dish due to the fact that it is so easy to prepare and tastes heavenly.

Yes it is a reality that Bengalis almost reach heavens when they have a nice delicious Ilish 😀 😀 we are that crazy about this fish 😛

So lets get started !!


Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Clean the fish well. Marinate the pieces with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.

In a blender add 1teaspoon white mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds (optional), a pinch of salt, 2 chopped green chillies and 2 to 3 tablespoon water. Prepare a smooth mustard paste.

Cooking Time : 10 to 15 minutes

Ingredients :

  • Hilsa Fish – 2 pieces
  • Mustard paste – 4 tablespoon
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 4, 2 slitted for garnish, 2 chopped for mustard paste
  • Tomato – 1 small, finely chopped
  • Mustard oil – 5 to 6 tablespoon, keep 1 tablespoon separately for garnish
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste


Recipe :

  1. Heat mustard oil in a deep bottom frying pan.
  2. When the oil completely heats up, add the marinated Hilsa pieces into the oil. Lower the flame to medium.
  3. Stir fry the fish pieces until both sides turn golden. Once done remove from oil and keep aside.
  4. In the same oil, add black cumin seeds. Wait till they start to crackle.
  5. Now add pinch of salt. Lower the flame to minimum. Add tomatoes. Cover the pan with a lid.
  6. Wait until the tomatoes start turning mushy. Add turmeric powder and stir the tomatoes in medium flame until they are mashed.
  7. You can add 1 cup warm water. Mix with the tomatoes.
  8. Now place the fried Hilsa pieces into the gravy. Cover the pan with a lid again and let it cook in medium flame.
  9. Change side of the fish pieces in between. Wait until the gravy becomes thick.
  10. Lower the flame to minimum again. Add mustard paste. Mix everything well.
  11. Let everything cook for not more than a minute. (The mustard paste will taste bitter if you over boil it)
  12. Turn the flame off. Garnish with slitted green chillies. Drizzle mustard oil on top. Cover with a lid and give the dish some standing time.

Serve Hilsa Fish in mustard paste gravy hot with rice.



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