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Gandharaj Lebu Diye Ilish Paturi/ Lemony Hilsa Shad

Ilish fish is one of the most popular fish in Bengal. Ilish is also known as lllishi in Sindhi, pallu macchi in Telegu and hilsa shad in English, an oily fish rich in essential fatty acids omega 3. I think a rich elegant Bengali festive meal is never complete until you serve at least one grand dish of ilish. Gandharaj lebu diye Ilish paturi is one of my Durga puja special recipes to make your festive experience more delicious. This recipe is very close to traditional recipe but with the twist of gandharaj lebu (lime) flavor. The inspiration came from a fellow blogger and a wonderful foodie Mr.Ushnish Ghosh while we are discussing about a cooking hilsa with lemon juice in FB. I use gandharaj lebu a type of lemon which has a very intoxicating flavor and give a subtle refreshing feel to this dish but if you can’t get it go with lime or lemon whatever is available. I am sure you will love this flavorful creamy rich dish of ilish.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Serves 4

4 big pieces of Ilish fish/ hilsa shad
4 tbsp mustard seed 
3 tbsp poppy seed
¼ cup grated coconut 
½ tsp kalojeera/ kalonji/ nigella sativa
3 green chilly (use more or less according to taste) 
½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1tsp black salt
½ cup mustard oil
½ tsp gandharaj lebu zest/ lemon or lime zest
3 gandharaj lebu patta/ lemon or lime leaves
1 to 2 tsp gandharaj lebu ras/ lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp of fresh cream
Salt to taste

Cooking Methods

Take mustard seed, poppy seed, grated coconut, kalojeera, green chili, red chili powder, black pepper powder, black salt, salt, turmeric powder in your blender and make a smooth paste. Take it to a bowl and mix with mustard oil and gandharaj lebu (lime) zest. Marinate the fish with this mixture and set aside for 10 minutes. Now heat and grease the skillet with mustard oil place the marinated fish piece and pour the excess masala over the fish. Put the flame low cover and cook till the fish is done. When the fish is well cooked add fresh cream and gandharaj lebu (lemon/lime) juice. Then break the gandharaj lebu leaves (lemon/ lime) in to two and just slightly mix them in such a way so that you can bring them out later. Put off the flame and cover with a lid and give 10 minutes standing time so the fresh flavors of lemon mix with the masala and the fish. While serving take off the leaves and serve with steamed hot rice.

Happy Cooking!


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