Ilish Mach/Hilsa is getting so costly these days and rarely the good ones are found in the fish market. With Ilish/Hilsa season around, it invites one, specially the Hilsa lovers, to buy and get the taste from the different preparations in one’s own kitchen.
This jhol is so simple that it hardly takes your time to cook and serve.
First and foremost rub some haldi powder and salt to the Hilsa pieces.
Next pour very little oil in the kadhai as Hilsa releases lots of oil while frying.
Tip in the pieces once the oil is hot.
Fry the Hilsa pieces very lightly.
Take it out and keep it aside.
Making of the simple gravy:
For the patla jhol of 4 pieces of fish take
2 tsp. of dhania powder
1 tsp of jeera powder
½ tsp. haldi powder
¼ tsp. red chilli powder
Salt to taste.
Mix all these dry spices in a small bowl and add about half a cup of water and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime put back the kadhai in which the fish had been fried on the gas stove.
If there is more than 1 tbsp of oil, take out the excess oil and keep it for later use.
Into this hot oil drop in 2-3 slit green chillies.
Stir for a couple of minutes.
Next drain out the soaked spices from the bowl into the kadhai.
Now cook the masala till oil starts leaving the side.
Pour enough water for the gravy.
Since this is a Patla Jhol/thin running gravy, add about 1 ½ cups of water.
Let it start boiling and once the gravy starts to get a bit thick, put in the fried fish pieces and cook for only a couple of minutes.
Now this is ready to be served.
Next pour out and serve with rice.
If the Jhol is hot then serve with rice that has been cooked earlier. If the rice is steaming hot, then the Jhol need not be ‘just cooked’. It doesn't mean, "gorom bhat, gorom macher jhol cholbena". Else that can be said, "serve the way you like".
Ilish Mach/Hilsa is very rich by itself and a simple patla jhol is good to digest. That does not mean that Hilsa cannot be cooked in different ways, for Ilish Mach is not cooked on a regular basis at home. Hilsa season is knocking on the kitchen doors and this jhol will soon get a place in my kitchen.
© gouri guha 2014