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Ilish Borishali

Ilish is the national fish of Bangladesh a tropical fish and mostly loved among the peoples of Bengal and Orissa. Extremely delicious but it has full of tiny bones which require trained eating habits to handle. Ilish is mainly a sea fish but they come to large river to lay eggs and they are caught before they swim back to river. In Bangladesh ilish is mainly caught in the Megna, Godavari but fish from the Padma is considered the tastiest one. In India the Rupnarayan which is mostly known as Kolaghat ilish, Ganges, Mahanadi is among the tasty breeds. You will found more than thousand dishes of ilish both in Bangladesh and India, among the many today I am sharing one dish from Bangladesh district of Borishal. I have no idea that whether it is an authentic traditional dish of the state or not as because it is a recipe from my aunt and she got it from one of her in-laws. Whether it is an authentic recipe of the state or not but it is awesomely delicious, very easy to cook and I am taking all the responsibility of this statement.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
Serves 4 to 5

Ilish/ Hilsa shad  4 to 5 big pieces
Kalojeera/ Nigella sativa/ kalonji ½  tsp ( whole)
Kalojeera/kalonji  paste ½ tsp
Ginger paste ½ tsp
Turmeric powder  1 tsp
Green chilly  paste  ½ tsp
Green chilly 3 to 4 silted
Coconut milk   1 cup thick and ½ cup thin 
Mustard oil  ½ cup
Salt to taste

  Methods of Cooking
 Marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric powder. Leave it for 5 minutes. Then heat oil in a pan and fry the fish till little golden in both side. Then keep aside. Now in that oil add the kalojeera and let it splutter. Then add the kalojeera paste, ginger paste, turmeric powder and green chilly paste sauté a little. Then add the coconut milk let it boil then add the fried fish pieces and salt.Mix with soft hands. Cover and cook for 5 minutes when the gravy thickens, drizzle a spoonful of mustard oil and add the silted green chilly. Put off the flame. Cover and give 10 minutes standing time then serve with hot rice. Those who don’t love mustard or can’t have sorshe ilish (mustard ilish) it due to health problem they can try this preparation the effect of the fish is like sorshe ilish.

Happy Cooking!


  1. Hi Sutapa,

    Looks Delicious !!!

    Neat presentation:))

    Keep on Dear ..

    Welcome to my

  2. A friend of mine would smuggle illish from Bangladesh into India during his travels.. sometimes he would bring it fried sometimes raw .. I do understand his passion though. I love it soo much:)

    Love the dish!

  3. Hi Sutapa ,

    Looks delicious !!!

    And Do collect your

    SunShine Blog Award at

    EnjoYYYY !!!!


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