Ilish recipes from Barishal and Narayanganj
Barisal is a major city of Bangladesh on the banks of Kirtankhola river. It is one of the oldest municipalities and river ports of the country, established in 1876 under the British. The ancient city of Barisal was known as Bacola in Europe. Ralph Fitch, the first ever Englishman, a leather merchant, known to have visited Bengal in the mid-1580s, described Barisal in his journal as, “From Chatigan in Bengal, I came to Bacola; the king whereof is a Gentile, a man very well disposed and delighted much to shoot in a gun. His country is very great and fruitful, and hath store of rice, much cotton cloth, and cloth of silk. The houses are very fair and high built, the streets large, and people naked, except a little cloth about their waist. The women wear a great store of silver hoops about their necks and arms, and their legs are ringed with silver and copper, and rings made from elephants’ teeth.”
For all those who had forefathers in Barishal, would have at some part of their life had Ilish with coconut water. Here is the recipe:
Ilish with coconut milk
|Big Ilish fish||1|
|Coconut Milk||1 cup|
|Onion paste||½ cup|
|Turmeric paste||1 tea spoon|
|Coriander paste||2 tea spoons|
|Red chilli paste||2 tea spoons|
• Wash and clean the fish
• Put oil and masala in a handi, and cook till dry.
• After it’s done, pour 1 cup of water and spread the fish into it.
• Once the fish is boiled/steamed and the water dries, pour coconut milk and 5-6 green chillies.
• Prepare it on low flame for 10-15 mins and then once done, serve it!
While, Narayanganj is near the capital city of Dhaka and is a bustling port. It is also a centre of business and industry, especially the jute trade and processing plants, and the textile sector of the country. It is nicknamed the Dundee of Bangladesh due to the presence of its many jute mills. Since it is a port, no wonder this place has a constant supply of Hilsa. So try out the following recipe from Narayanganj.
Ilish Machher Paturi
|A big Ilish fish||1|
|Chopped onions||2 cups|
|Chopped green chillies||½ cup|
|Ginger paste||1 tea spoon|
|Garlic paste||1 tea spoon|
|Red chilli powder||1 tea spoon|
|Turmeric powder||½ tea spoon|
|Jeera paste||½ tea spoon|
|Coriander powder||½ tea spoon|
|Oil (for frying)||accordingly|
Big leaves of pui saag to cover the fish
Thread to tie the fish and leaves
• Cut the fish into big pieces.
• Wash the pui leaves and keep them those ready.
• Make a paste of the spices and chopped onions and smear them on the fish, then cover it fully with the pui leaves and tie it with a thread.
• Fry it in the oil. Cut the thread and serve it!