Ilish er Tel Jhol (Hilsa with Nigella Seeds)

Ilish or hilsa ( Tenualosa ilisha, shad), a kind of Indian herring is a freshwater fish. It is found in eleven countries around the world including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. Ilish is the queen of all fish. For a Bengali it is love and passion. Ilish Bhaja (fried Hilsa pieces), Doi Ilish (Hilsa in a a yogurt based sauce), Ilisher Paturi (steamed Hilsa in a spicy mustard sauce), Ilisher Jhal (Hilsa in a Spicy Gravy), Ilish Machher Tel Jhol (Hilsa curry made with eggplants and nigella seeds ), Bhapa Ilish (Steamed Hilsa), Shorshe Ilish (Hilsa in a black mustard sauce)- the choices are endless. This is a very simple recipe with the taste coming from the fish itself combined with the flavor of the nigella seeds @sarchakra

PREP TIME: 10 mins plus marinate

COOK TIME:15 mins

YIELDS: Serves 3-4


  • Ilish (hilsa fish) 7-8 pieces
  • Eggplant 1, cut into thin slices
  • Mustard oil 2 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Nigella seeds 1 tsp
  • Turmeric 2 tsp
  • Green chilies 7 (adjust according to your taste)


  • Rub salt and turmeric on the fish. Keep it for at least ½ hour.
  • Heat mustard oil. Fry the fish for just a couple of mixtures. Keep aside.
  • In the rest of the oil sauté the eggplant slices.
  • Add nigella seeds and green chilies. Let it splutter.
  • Add the sautéd ilish. Stir in water, salt and turmeric. Cover and cook till the fish is done.
Sauté the fish slightly
Sauté the eggplant
Add green chilies and nigella seeds
Add the sautéed fish
Add water, cover and cook
Ilish er tel Jhol is ready

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.