Fish,  Ilish maach alu begun er jhol / Hilsa with potato and eggplant

“Ilish maach alu begun er jhol / Hilsa with potato and eggplant”

Ilish maach or Hilsa fish is the national fish of Bangladesh and state symbol of West Bengal. They are also called ‘King of Fish’.

It is the most authentic and traditional cuisine of West Bengal. It’s a very famous household dish and one of the signature cuisines of Bengal. It is the simplest dish which is prepared with almost no spices.  It is simple and easy dish to execute. Hilsa are generally available in monsoon. So this dish is prepared during monsoon. This recipe will definitely melt your heart. You will feel heaven inside your mouth.


Hilsa/Ilish is a very tasty and delicate fish which is rich in omega 3 fatty acid and is very helpful in development of brain. It is also beneficial for lowering cholesterol level.
Eggplant is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6, antioxidants. It also contains polyphenols and anthocyanin. It plays a great role in keeping our eyes healthy as it contains lutein antioxidants which are good for eyes. It is good for controlling blood cholesterol. Eggplants are boon for heart patients. It contains high fiber which helps people to manage their weight as fiber help a person feel fuller for a long time.
Potatoes are excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains antioxidant. Potatoes are rich in starch which helps in controlling blood sugar level and improves our digestive system.

Time required:-30 -40mins.(approx.)


Can be served with: –Hot steamed rice.

Ingredients :-
·        Hilsa fish – 6 piece
·        Eggplant – 1
·        Potato – 2-3
·        Black nigella seed/kalojire – 1/2tsp
·        Green chilies – 04
·        Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
·        Salt – as per taste
Mustard oil – 02 tbsp

Direction for the recipe:-

  1. Clean and wash the fish properly.
  2. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric and keep them aside.
  3. Now cut the potatoes, eggplant and the green chilies in length wise.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai. When smoke starts coming, add black nigella seed/kalojire.
  5. Add the potatoes. Add salt and turmeric powder and fry them for 5mins in low flame.
  6. Then add the eggplant and green chilies and mix them.
  7. Fry the vegetables till they turn golden.
  8. When the vegetables get tender, add 4-5 cups of water and let it boil.
  9. After 5mins,add the marinated Hilsa fish and if possible, cover the kadai with lid.Cook for 15-20mins.
  10. After 15mins, remove the lid. With the help of a spatula test the potatoes weather they have boiled properly or not.
  11. If not, cook it for 10mins more.
  12. And if yes, turn off the flame. Your hot delicious “Ilish maach er alu begun er jhol” is ready to serve.

My tips:

  1. If possible buy Hilsa of big size around 1.5-2kg or more in weight. It tastes better than the smaller ones.
  2. According to your desired consistency of the dish, add required amount of water.
  3. Instead of using raw Ilish maach, you can use fried Hilsa pieces.

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