Monday, December 28, 2009

Ilish Macher Tak - Hilsa in Sour Gravy

Ilish Mach is my all time favourite. Fried ilish mach…aha what a taste and that special aroma. When the fish is fresh from the market, I mostly think about Ilish bhapa. Bhapa ilish is easy to prepare but some people don’t like it. I was very disappointed that day when someone said bhapa ilish is horrible to taste. From that day I make sure to cook this only for those who can relish it.

Today as I read the Mourola macher recipe by Ushnish, I was relishing the taste of it in my mind. I love mourola mach. Reading it I felt I shall post my ilish macher tak I had cooked some days back.

This is a simple recipe where the taste of ilish dominates. For the sour taste you need tamarind and to go with it is haldi powder.


Ilish pieces: 6-8
Tamarind: the size of a ping pong ball (soak in water)
Haldi powder
Red chili powder: a pinch
Dry red chili: 2 or even 1 if you don’t like some heat
Egg Plant: 1 big size (optional) I didn’t have egg plant so didn’t add it.


Wash the ilish pieces.
Rub them with haldi powder and salt.
Soak the tamarind in water. You can use tamarind paste.
Heat oil in a kadhai. Fry the fish pieces, very lightly. Take them out and keep it aside.
If you have egg plant you can slice them into longish pieces and keep the aside. I did not have egg plant so didn’t add it.
Break the red chili into half and put it in the oil. If you are adding egg plant pieces, its time to throw them in and give it a stir. Add salt, haldi powder and a pinch of red chili powder and stir. Don’t fry the egg plants too much. Before it takes the dark pinkish colour add the tamarind juice and let it boil.
Add sugar as per your taste. It takes very little time for the egg plant to cook.
When the egg plant becomes soft add the ilish pieces. Let the gravy boil for a minute or two.
Now its ready to be served.
Ilish macher tak has a thin gravy which goes very well with rice and dal.

Ilish mach gives out oil so use very little oil for frying. If the ilish has given out its oil you can pour it out, add it to a little portion of the rice while eating. Add salt and get a different taste. For those who have not eaten this oil with bhat (cooked rice) they may not like the taste. A Bangal (those from East Bengal) likes it.

Wish you all A Happy New Year


  1. hey Gauri ...your pictures made me salivate..i was just talking about tok fish with somebody....great dish..

  2. wow...................girl u are making me drool..............totally delicious....keep rocking.

  3. Hey Dea..!!
    Hope you had wonderful holidays...
    Oh My!!!! Fish curry looks fabulously yummy ..ooh i m hungry..

  4. Thanks Sangeeta,
    Nice words...feel good...

    ...and keep smiling...

  5. Prasu, so sweet a comment.


    ...and keep smiling...

  6. Hi Sarah,

    Hope you too enjoyed your holidays...and what a compliment dear...

    ...and keep smiling...

  7. Dear Didibhai
    I have never made Ilish machher tak..I think I will make now. I have some Ilish ( real good one), which I was thinking of fermenting with salt ( nona Ilish). But I will try this one. May be I have missed out a great dish
    Happy New year

  8. Hi Gauri,

    Ilish maach is my all time favourite too. Especially shorshe ilish. This preparation of yours is so invting. Great click too!!!

    Wish u a very happy new year!

  9. Ushnishda, how did you enjoy your Ilish macher tak? Cook, eat and be merry and share more of your recipes :-

    ...and keep smiling...

  10. Hi Arundhati, thanks for visiting my small space.As for sorshe ilish, that's the favourite of many, me too. Please visit again.
    My best wishes for the New Year.

    ...and keep smiling...

  11. Thanks for stopping by.

    ...and keep smiling...