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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ilish (Hilsa) macher matha diye chalkumro


The folks in East Bengal is noted for creating interesting food out of stuff which others will easily throw away. Fish is no exception and Bongs will eat almost every part of the fish. So once you are done with having Hilsa Bhape and Hilsa Jhol it’s time to put the fish’s head to good use.


  1. White gourd (also known as Ash Gourd) finely chopped
  2. One head of Hilsa halved and cleaned.
  3. One small onion chopped
  4. Two fat cloves of garlic finely chopped
  5. One teaspoon whole cumin seed
  6. 2/3 Dry red chilies
  7. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  8. Turmeric powder
  9. Mustard oil
  10. Salt
  11. Sugar


When you buy the fish ensure that they cut it in half (symmetrically). Smear the fish head with salt and turmeric and keep aside.

Heat mustard oil in a kadai or wok till it smokes and fry the fish head till golden brown. Remove it from the oil and keep it aside.In the same oil add whole cumin seeds and broken red chilies.Sauté for a while.

Once you start getting the fragrance of the added spices, add chopped onions and garlic. Fry it for about 3-4 minutes. Now add the fried fish head, turmeric powder, coriander powder. Cook it for a while.

Now add chopped white gourd, salt, sugar. Give it a nice mix. You don't have to add any water as it will be released by the gourd itself. Cover and cook till the gourd is soft.  At this point you can remove the lid and cook it uncovered till all the water released from the gourd is dried.

This dish is served with plain white rice.

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