Thursday, January 31, 2008

Khichuri aar Ilish macher bhaja(Hilsa fish fry)

In a heavy rainy day during monsoon season ,we would be craving for khichuri .It takes very less time to prepare also. If you have some veggies add them to enhance the flavor .For us Kodaishuti r Phulkupir Khichuri(peas and cauliflower Khichuri) is a favorite during those rainy days.
However as temperatures dropped drastically in this part of India.Today it rained heavily with cold breeze blowing high ,can we escape khichuri magic ,No we cant .

Luckily our local fish markets are loaded with fresh supply of Ilish mach from Padma (Ganges in Bangladesh) also .So what could be better than eating Khichuri and Ilish mach Bhaja .

Ilish (Hilsa) fish is a Bengalis culinary delight .There is Ilish macher bhappa,paturi and a simple fish fry .This fish is high in fat content ,fish fat infact is good for health .They have unique taste and flavor .

While Bengali cooking is mainly of pairing the ingredients like Monger Dal and Begun Bhaja ,Bhetki macher jhaal aar phulkopir torkari ,Khichuri and Ilish (Hilsa) fish fry is another combination no one can resist .
Khichuri is a wholesome meal itself.This is just perfect food for toddlers also ,as this comprises essential carbohydrates (Rice) and proteins(Lentils).You can try other lentils also, like my mother who uses masoor+Toor (arhar dal) to make khichuri .She adds little bit of tomatoes also ,for that extra zing in Khichuri.

This is our version of Khichuri .

Khichuri aar Ilish mach bhaja(Khichuri and Hilsa Fish Fry )
Serves for 4-5 people easily
Rice -1 cup
Mong dal /small yellow lentil-1- 1 ½ cup
Peas -1/2 cup
Cauliflower –broken into big florets 8-10 pieces
Onion -1 medium size chopped
Garlic 2 cloves
Ginger -1/2 inch chopped finely
1-2 tej patta
1-2 dry whole red pepper
1tsp of turmeric powder
1tsp of salt
Pinch of sugar
1tsp of ghee for flavoring (optional)
1 tsp of garam masala (optional)
2-4 tbs of oil for frying

How to Proceed

1 In a kadai/saucepan slighltly roast mong dal till golden brown ,You will get a fine smell of roasted mong dal also .Stop and take out in a vessel ,clean it thoroughly under tap water .Repeat the cleaning step 2-3 times till you get a clear image of the dal soaked in water ,this help to cook dal efficiently .Wash and rinse rice also in the same manner.

2 In a large heavy bottom pan ,we call dekchi in Bengali ,add water upto the half ,add dal and cook for 4-5 mints ,at this time if you see white froth forming ,with the help of spatula gently lift all and discard .
3 Now add turmeric powder ,salt and sugar .Add rice also. Let it simmer for another 10-12 mints .
4 Meanwhile in a frying pan add oil and let it heat up properly .Fry the cauliflower florets till little bit of brown at low.(Before frying cauliflowers make sure they are properly dried and there is no trace of water on them For that matter cut and clean them before cooking them, otherwise while frying, oil will splutter that makes cooking them difficult)

5 Now take the cauliflowers out ,add little more oil ,Add cumin seeds, tej patta,ginger and garlic ,whole red pepper ,fry for 1-2 mints and then add onions .Fry onions till brown .Stop and check the gravy that is cooking .

6 If you find rice and lentil are evenly mixed you can add the above fried masala .Take out 2-3 grains of rice and dal and if you can mash them easily ,your khichuri is soon to be ready.Add cauliflowers and peas and let it simmer for another 5-7 mints .
7 Stop and cover the khichuri , at this step ,if you feel there is not enough gravy in the khichuri ,add little water , by heating the water in a separate vessel .For me Khichuri with extra gravy is always welcome because that gives you the real pleasure of eating it .

8 Meanwhile clean Fish and marinade them with turmeric powder and salt .Fry them till brown and crisp .Check this post about fish fry and Fish Curry.You will require little less oil for frying them as they release oil while frying them a lot .

Take out in serving plates ,eat and enjoy this winter .
Happy Cooking


  1. I had tasted hilsa fry in my friends place. loved it. I make bengali fish curry with mustard seeds and green chiles, but with tilapia fish. lovely looking thali.

  2. Hi..first time passing by and I am amazed at your collections of recipes..all are looking so delicious..and saw that you are blogging from India. Do let me know if you would be interested to be part of
    Arusuvai Friendship chain. Drop me a mail at cooking4allseasons@gmail.com

  3. Vimmi,
    we call that dish shorse battar jhaal,it tastes very yumm.thanks .
    welcome here ,and thanks for coming here.
    hugs and smiles

  4. Hi Jaya, thanks for visiting my blog. I've heard a lot about ilish, never tasted it, though. I also hear it's an endangered breed, is that right?

  5. Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

  6. Sra,
    ilish has become bit rare now these days ,small ilish is litteraly banned in fish markets ,although they are still sold thro back windows ,thats really saddening ..thats why they are also sold on high prices ...
    anyways its good to hear from you..

    Barb ,
    thanks for coming here ,let me check it...
    hugs and smiles

  7. Hi jaya,

    This's Niya. Thanks for visiting my blogspot & comment.

    We're great lovers of ''Bongla food'.When we were Agartala for 3 years we used to fly via Kolkota.Agartala also follows Bongla cuisine.Our favourite foods're ''patori maach, boil illish [ hilsa with coconut- mastard paste cook in pressure cooker], Bainguni baajja, Alur- potol jhol, tharkari, chennar payesh, muri gonta [ rice cooked with fish head] and luchi - alu.Please do write Bengali recipes.

    Have a nice day,

    Take care of your baby[ Is she naughty ?]

    Regards to all



  8. Niya,
    u can check muri ghonto,alo dom recipes here ,ihave already posted about it ..i will be coming up with more bengali recipes..hang on with me..enjoy staying here ..
    so u live in agartala...
    mine lil one is very naughty LOL.
    hugs and smiles

  9. sorry to bother you again...but did you get a chance to check out that link...do check it and let me know...thanks...sorry to pester you so!..:D..I hope you don't mind

  10. wow, this is my favorite comfort food. I am drooling at the delicious ilish macch bhaja :)

  11. Hi,

    Nice to see ilish mach bvhaja. But It should be with bhuna khichuri not labda. Ilish mach bhaja with sona mung bhuna khichudi and bhuna goshta is a delicacy in bangladesh in bengali new year. Dont forget to add raw onion and green chilli.


  12. Hi,

    Wow! Ilish mach bhaja with sona mung bhuna khichuri and bhuna gosht is a delicacy during bengali new year in bangladesh. Dont forget
    to add raw onion and green chillis!!!

  13. Wow!! This is my favorite food....Khichuri aar Ilish mach bhaja. I am drooling at the delicious ilish macch bhaja :) It is a favorite during those rainy days.

  14. Thanks dude...keep them coming.


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