Ilish Machher Jhol/ Hilsa Fish Curry
1. Marinate 500 gms hilsa fish cut into 3 cm thick pieces with 3/4 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp turmeric powder, and set aside.
2. Cut 100 gms brinjal into 5 cm chunks and slit the green chillies.
3. Before you begin, also make a paste of 18 gms salt, 6 gms turmeric powder, and 50 gms water.
4. Heat 35 gms mustard oil in a pan till it starts to smoke lightly and changes colour to a pale yellow. add the cut pieces of brinjal and fry them till they are golden. on medium heat, this should take about 4 minutes. drain from the oil and set aside.
5. Now, lower the fish pieces into the oil one by one and fry them for a minute on each side. delicately flavoured fish such as the ilish does not need heavy searing, so fry very lightly. remove from the oil and set aside.
6. Temper the same oil with 1/4 tsp kaalo jeere / nigella seeds and 3 slit green chillies. add the salt and turmeric mixture we prepared earlier. fry until the smell of raw turmeric is gone. this should take about 6 to 7 minutes.
7. Add 350 gms hot water. this will form the curry. once it has come to a full boil, add the fried brinjal and allow it to bubble in the curry for about 2 minutes. then, gently lower the fried fish. be careful while stirring at this point because the fish is fragile and might break.
8. Boil on medium heat for about 5 minutes, after which take 2 tablespoons of the curry into a small bowl along with a couple of the softened green chillies.
9. Add 1/4 tsp of atta to this and mix everything until uniform. mash the green chillies to release heat and flavour. add this mixture back to the pan. drizzle with 5 gms of raw mustard oil and bubble for about 2 more minutes before serving.