Ilish Borishali (Rich Hilsa Fish Curry)


As I have said in my previous post of ‘Doi Ilish’, I will be sharing some recipe with Hilsa…. this is my second recipe, ‘Ilish Borishali’. ‘Borishal’ is a district of Bangladesh and this recipe hails from that region. Since I am a ‘Ghoti’ (who are from West Bengal), this is not a very common recipe. But I liked this recipe of one of my elder sister who shared this recipe to me. And I liked this recipe very much. This is not an everyday cooking recipe but you can always try when you invite some guests at your place during festive season. Do try this recipe and let me know…



  • Ilish Maach or Hilsa Fish – 4 pcs
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
  • Mustard Paste – 2 Tbsp
  • Poppy Seed Paste – 1 Tbsp
  • Coconut Paste – 1 ½ Tbsp
  • Yogurt – 3 Tbsp
  • Green Chilli – 3-4
  • Mustard Oil – 2-3 Tbsp
  • Salt – To taste



  1. Marinate the fish with ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt for 15-20 minutes. Keep aside.
  2. Beat the yoghurt adding turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well, keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and lightly shallow fry the fish pieces carefully. Keep aside. If the fish is very fresh, there’s no need to fry it.
  4. To the same oil green chillis, allow them to splutter. Now add the poppy seed paste. Stir for few seconds.
  5. Lower the heat and add the whipped yoghurt while stirring continuously, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a little water.
  6. Next add the mustard paste, red chilli powder, coconut paste and some more water. Give it a final mix.
  7. Now gently place the fish in the gravy and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  8. Adjust the seasonings and finish with a hearty drizzle of mustard oil and some more green chilli.
  9. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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