Tok-Jhal-Mishti Ilish (Sweet n Sour Hilsha)

You all must be aware of ‘Anarosh Ilish’, where Ilish Mach or Hilsha Fish is been cooked with pineapple! Today I’ll be sharing a recipe of mine which is a fusion dish I prepared some days back… I named it as ‘Tok-Jhal-Mishti Ilish’. ‘Tok’ means sour, ‘Jhal’ means hot and ‘Mishti’ means sweet in Bengali. When these three tastes combined together, gave a very nice flavor to the dish. I had some canned fruit juices left in my refrigerator after making mock tail for last weekend get together and was thinking what could be prepared with these fruit juices! Then this idea of experiment came to my mind and tried this first time. The sweet-n-sour taste of pineapple and orange juice when blended with red chillie powder and mustard paste gave a unique flavor to the dish. I used canned juice. You can try with fresh fruit juice as well. It goes very well with ‘Basanti Pulao’ or ‘Bengali Style Vegetable Fried Rice’.


  • 8 Ilish Mach or Hilsha Fish – pieces
  • ¾ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ½ tsp Chillie Powder
  • 2 tsps Mustard Paste
  • ½ cup Orange Juice
  • ½ cup Pineapple Juice
  • 3 tsps Mustard Oil
  • ¼ tsp Kalo Jeera or Nigella Seeds
  • 2 Green Chillie
  • Sugar – A little as per your taste
  • To taste Salt


  1. Marinate the fish pieces with ½ tsp of turmeric and a little salt.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or kadai and temper the oil with nigella seeds and 2 green chillies. Add ½ cup of water and let it boil.
  3. When the water starts boiling add mustard paste, turmeric powder and chillie powder. Mix well.
  4. Add marinated fish pieces.
  5. Add sugar and adjust salt. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. When the fish pieces are cooked through and the gravy almost dried up, add orange juice and pineapple juice. Do not boil after adding fruit juices else the gravy may become a little bitter in taste.
  7. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes with the lid on. The flavor of fruit juices when infused with the fish and gravy gives a very nice flavour.
  8. Serve hot with ‘Bengali Style Vegetable Fried Rice’ or ‘Basanti Pulao’.



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