Monday, June 24, 2013

Sorshe Elish - Hilsa in Mustard Gravy

Life is so unpredictable. At one moment you are performing acrobatic stunts and the next moment you are dead. Day before yesterday we went to the Dayton Airshow in which we witnessed live crash of a plane that killed two, one was the famous wing walker Jane Wicker and another was the pilot. It feels so weird to think that we have captured her last moments in our camera and the plane crashed so suddenly in front of our eyes that it took me few moments coming to terms with the accident. I have never witnessed a mishap before and I pray to God I don't see another. It is a saddening experience watching someone hale and hearty dying instantaneously. The memory of the accident is still giving me goose bumps. All our lives we make plans for this and that forgetting that any moment we could be snapped out of life.

I am not in the best of my mind to write anything cheerful today. This recipe was waiting in my draft for last one week. It is one of the very popular Hilsa preparations relished all over the Bengal. This recipe has lot of variants but this one cooked by my mother is my all-time favorite. Hope you will find it delightful.

Ingredients:                                                    Cooking time: 20 minutes

ü  8 pieces of hilsa

ü  1 onion (julienned)

ü  1 1/2 tbsp. mustard seeds

ü  1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds

ü  1 tsp. turmeric powder

ü  1 tsp. dry red chilli powder

ü  Salt to taste

ü  2 tbsp. yogurt, beaten

ü  4-5 green chillies (split)

ü  Generous amount of mustard oil


1) Grind mustard seeds and poppy seeds into smooth paste. (You may boil the poppy seeds in microwave for 2 minutes before grinding. It will make the grinding process easier.)

2) Heat mustard oil in a wok and when oil heats up, add onion and fry till onion turns golden brown in color.

3) Add mustard and poppy paste diluted in few tablespoons of water. Add turmeric powder and dry red chilli powder. Sauté. Add yogurt and stir around for 1 minute.

4) Add salt and 1 cup of water and bring the gravy to a boil.

5) Gently put the hilsa pieces into the wok, add green chillies and cook covered on low medium heat for 8-10 minutes till fish is cooked.

6) Serve warm with steamed rice.

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