SAWAN'S SONG BLOG 

BLOG POST 22: ILISH! 

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11th September, 2017

THE METRONOME/ BLOG POST 22

 

Personally for me, no meal in the world would compare to Shorshe Ilish and rice! I was super thrilled to come upon this old recipe for making this smoked Paturi-style, in multiple layers of banana leaves, in a simple old frying pan, without any complicated steaming apparatus. There are many variations of this sauce - some use a combination of white and black mustard seeds, some combine mustard seeds with grated dry coconut, some with poppy seeds, and some use simple black mustard seeds, at times mixed with mustard paste or kashundi. What I'm using here - primarily because that's what I happened to have at home - is mustard seeds and poppy seeds - ground with green chilly. I LOVE the smoky flavour that permeates into the fish from the burning of the outer banana leaf layers....

SONG AND VIDEO CREDITS :

Song written, composed, performed and produced by Sawan Dutta

Video created by C.B.Arun Kumar and Sawan Dutta 

SONG LYRICS : 

It is raining, and I wish

I could have some smoky Ilish! 

Yes, the King of the FIsh - Ilish! Ilish! Ilish! 

I like to buy fish with my Dad

He can tell the good fish from the bad

With salt and turmeric I marinate the fish

Ilish! Ilish! Ilish! 

( Here I'm cooking four pieces and keeping the rest of the marinated pieces away in the freezer for future use ) 

If with (green) chilly mustard is ground, 

it won't be bitter, it has been found

Grind with poppy seeds ( 2 tbsp black mustard, 1 tbsp poppy), salt ( to taste ) and turmeric ( 1 tsp )

Mustard oil ( to taste) makes the paste nice and thick 

Coat each piece of fish with this paste, 

Add green chillies (whole) according to taste ( I add one per piece of fish )

In banana leaf ( cut to rectangles ) gently place the fish, 

Ilish! Ilish! Ilish! 

( Wrap the fish plus chilly well coated with gravy, into a leafy packet)

Tie with string, layer it twice if you can

( With two more banana leaf layers)

Place each packet in a hot frying pan ( cover )

Every now and then remember to turn

Let the outer leaves slowly burn ( this should take 20 to 25 min )

The fish will cook in this way

It will taste of smoke and shorshe

All you need is some rice and this fish

Ilish! Ilish! Ilish!