Hilsa is the king of all fishes and a very popular item in Bengal. Known for its mind boggling essence and mouth watering taste it is an export item.In countries like USA, UK, Australia where Bengalees have migrated for the sake of profession , Hilsa can be obtained in retail stores.Hilsa has got a deep rooted relation with the Bengali culture, tradition for long years.
Ingredients: Hilsa fish ( 1 big sized carefully chopped into medium pieces), mustard seeds(50gms. soaked and then grinded in a mixer grinder), poppy seeds[khus khus/posto](15gms.), mustard oil for frying fish, turmeric powder(3-4 teaspoons), green chillis(3-4 pcs.), salt according to taste.
Procedure: Procurement of this fresh water fish is very important.One should see by the gills to judge the freshness of the fish. Very carefully the scales should be removed and then the fish should be chopped without rupturing the bile duct(else the fish will be bitter in taste).The chopped pieces should be washed under running water.Marinate the fish with turmeric powder and salt. Start frying the fishes one by one in mustard oil in a container.Care should be taken that the fishes should never be deep fried but slightly fried on both the sides.While frying Hilsa emits its own essence which specializes and distinguishes itself from other sweet water fishes.Keep that aside.The grinded mustard seed paste not be allowed to stand for a long time, else it may turn bitter.Heat mustard oil in a container and dash the mustard paste to it.Mix the poppy seeds paste also along with it in order to make the gravy thick.Release the already fried fish to the paste very slowly.Stir with the help of a spatula and allow the fish to mix well with the paste.Add salt and water very slowly. The resultant gravy should not be very watery but should be thick , so the water content should be very much in measured amount.Add green chillis to the mixture.Remove the entire content in a serving bowl and it's ready to be served.The entire process can be done in microwave also.
Hilsa in mustard sauce should be served with steaming rice .Best is when you are serving with basmati rice.For Bengal, the culture goes like that whenever an new family member like son in law, daughter in law steps inside the house, he/she should be given a Hilsa treat.Hilsa is the symbol of integrity , peace and affection.