Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine | How to make Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine

By Bethica Das  |  23rd Jan 2019  |  
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  • Photo of Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine by Bethica Das at BetterButter
Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisineby Bethica Das
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About Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine Recipe

Ah!! My favourite Shukto in a new avatar - a non-veg version cooked with Ilish Macher Matha (Hilsa Fish Head). Shukto in general is a traditional Bengali cuisine and a great comfort food for most Bengalis. It is prepared with a medley of mixed veggies in many ways. No menu is complete without this dish. Each household has their own secret way of preparing it and is served with hot steamed rice at the beginning of a full course meal. So here is my version and my first try at preparing this traditional Bengali delicacy with Hilsa Fish Head. You may add any other pieces too. It is a yummy dish that is tempered with Bengali five spice - panch phoron and finished off with some kasundi, milk and ghee. It is simply divine and a must try recipe for all fish lovers.

Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine

Ingredients to make Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine

  • 1 Hilsa fish head, cut into half
  • 2 cups mixed veggies, cut lengthwise (raw papaya, potato, radish, carrot, raw banana)
  • 1 small bitter gourd, cut lengthwise
  • 8-10 bori / vadi (dried lentil dumplings)
  • 3-4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp. panch phoron (five spice)
  • 1 tsp. ginger, grated
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • half cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. kasundi paste / mustard paste
  • 1 tbsp. ghee

How to make Ilish Macher Shukto - Bengali Cuisine

  1. Marinate the fish head with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish head till light brown in colour. Drain and keep aside. Fry the bitter gourd till light golden and keep aside.
  3. Temper the same oil with bay leaves, red chilies and panch phoron. Saute for a few seconds. Add the ginger and bori and fry till light brown.
  4. Add the chopped veggies and all the dry spices. Mix everything well and stir fry on a high flame for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add 2 cups water, fried bitter gourd and green chilies. Simmer, covered on a low flame till the veggies are half done. Now add the fried fish head and cook further till done.
  6. Add the milk, kasundi and ghee. Give it a stir and simmer for a minute. Serve as a side dish with plain steamed rice.

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