Shorshe-Ilisher Jhal (Hisla Fish in Mustard Gravy)

In my earlier post of ‘Sabji dea Ilisher Jhol’, I have mentioned that Hilsa Fish can be cooked in many ways. The most popular and easy versions are ‘Bhapa Shorshe Ilish’ and ‘Shorshe-Ilisher Jhal’. In this recipe also I cook the raw fish in the mustard-poppy seed paste. I like to use poppy seeds in the paste. You can always discard it. ‘Jhal’ in Bengali cuisine mainly refers to a curry which is mustard paste based. This ‘Shorshe-Ilisher Jhal’ also not exception! So let’s see how to make this traditional yet easy and tasty dish …….

  • Servings: 8-piece
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: bengali
  • Passive Time: 15 mins
  • Course: main course
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins


8 Ilish Mach or Hilsha Fish – pieces
¾ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Chillie Powder – (Optional)
3 tsps Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Poppy Seed
3 tsps Mustard Oil
¼ tsp Kalo Jeera or Nigella Seeds
3 – 4 Green Chillie
To taste Salt


  1. Marinate the fish pieces with ½ tsp of turmeric and a little salt.
  2. Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds in lukewarm water for 15 minutes and then grind it into a smooth paste adding 2 green chillies.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or kadai and temper the oil with nigella seeds and 2-3 green chillies. Add 1 cup of water and let it boil.
  4. When the water starts boiling add mustard poppy seed paste. Mix well.
  5. Add marinated fish pieces.
  6. Next add turmeric powder and red chillie powder. Adjust salt. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  7. When the fish pieces are cooked through drizzle tsp of mustard oil. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes with the lid on. The raw aroma of mustard oil when infused with the fish and gravy gives a very nice flavour.
  8. Serve with hot steamed rice.


2 thoughts on “Shorshe-Ilisher Jhal (Hisla Fish in Mustard Gravy)

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