Hirsa or Ilish or Tenuarosarisha is probably Bengal’s most popular fish. In relation to the Clupeidae, fish are not only consumed in the Indian subcontinent, but also widely in Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain. The texture of the fish is slightly oily, so it is ideal for both steamed and fried foods. In Bengal, no part of the fish is wasted-the head is often cooked gontly with colocasia leaves and stems, the ends of the tail are often tauk or ambol, and the fish itself is often fried until peeled crisp. Served with a brown, well-cooked oil, some green peppers, and hot rice.
At Kolkata’s Peerless Inn Aheli, leeches are usually celebrated throughout July and September, with specially curated leeches featuring a variety of avatar fish. Debasree Roy Sarkar, President of Corporate Development at Peerless Hotels Ltd, said: It was a big hit at the beginning of the trip and is still loved by guests 27 years later. There is also Hill Satari, which seeks to incorporate a full set of dishes from start to finish. Everything, head or egg, would have had some form of fish. “
Also read: Taal-er Bora Recipe: This sugar palm fritter from Bengal contains everything flavorful
Sustainability and Hirsa issues
In recent years, the number of Hirusa on the Bengal River has dropped significantly. Overfishing and the use of small mesh nets have resulted in the capture of large numbers of fry and a significant reduction in full-scale hilsa catches. However, in the face of it, many hotels and restaurants have made a positive decision not to buy Hilsa for a certain weight. “We like Ganges Hirsa, which weighs at least 1.5 kg. It’s not cheap, but we know it’s fresh, not young, and delicious,” says Devasley. She is seeing an increasing number of Bengal hoteliers making this decision with consumer and sustainability factors in mind.
How to make Shorshe Ilish
The pungent taste of freshly ground mustard seeds blends beautifully with the tender buttery fish, and the hints of green pepper add heat. Recipes made at home in Banerjee are kept as simple as possible, but the quality of the ingredients is key here. Cut fresh, high-quality Hirusa into large chunks, gently simmer in a gravy sauce with plenty of mustard, and enjoy with steamed rice, preferably medium-sized rice. ..
750 grams. Leech fish (cut into 6-7 pieces)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon of black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
4 big green peppers
100 ml.Finish with mustard oil + a few drops
1/2 teaspoon Nigella seeds
Salt to taste
Soak the mustard seeds in warm water for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours. Make a paste by straining with 1/4 teaspoon salt and one large green pepper. Ideally, a sill or mortar or pestle should be used to make this paste, as the paste should not be fluid.
Apply salt and turmeric powder to the Hirusa fish. Save it.
Book 2 tablespoons of mustard oil. Heat the remaining oil. Fry both sides of Hirusa on medium heat until light golden (about 30-35 seconds per side). Remove them and set them aside.
Add a tablespoon of fried hirsa oil to the remaining mustard oil and heat on high heat until the oil is really hot, but do not smoke. Add Nigella seeds, reduce heat to low, immediately add mustard paste and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, followed by 1 cup of water.
When the water starts to boil, add the fish and green pepper. You can tear some of them to add to the heat. Then add salt to taste. Stir everything, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes with boiling heat. Add a few drops of raw mustard oil, cover and turn off the heat. Cook for another 5 minutes and then enjoy with rice.