Ilish Macher Jhol

Ilish Macher Jhol

Ilish Macher Jhol

Ilish Macher Jhol is a traditional Bengali fish curry that features the delicate flavor of Hilsa fish, also known as Ilish. This light and comforting curry is perfect for those who enjoy a mildly spiced dish. Follow the recipe below to prepare Ilish Macher Jhol at home.


  • 500g Hilsa fish, cut into 4-5 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp kalonji (Nigella seeds)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Add the Hilsa fish pieces and gently rub the spice mixture over the fish. Let the fish marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat mustard oil in a deep skillet or kadai over medium heat. Carefully slide the marinated fish pieces into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they develop a light golden color. Remove the fish from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, add cumin seeds and kalonji. Sauté for a few seconds until the seeds release their aroma.
  4. Add the ginger paste and slit green chilies to the skillet, and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Carefully pour 2 cups of water into the skillet and bring it to a boil. Add salt as needed and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Gently slide the fried Hilsa fish pieces back into the skillet and let them cook in the simmering water for 5-7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the flavors have melded together.
  7. Remove the skillet from heat and let the curry rest for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to further develop.
  8. Garnish the Ilish Macher Jhol with chopped cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Updated: 21 April 2023 — 06:45

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