Good food is something that everyone loves. Whichever place I go, I make it a point to taste the local cuisines and if possible, get some new recipes, so that I can make my mother cook it for me. Kolkata is known for its fish curry, which is made in different styles. Bengali people are very fond of fish and they have their own ways to make it. Rice with fish curry is the favorite food of the people in West Bengal. So one day we decided to have rice with fish curry. We were served rice with bhapa ilish. The curry was so delicious that we ate more rice than we ever had. Ilish is the Hilsa fish, which is considered a delicacy here. Bhapa ilish fish curry is something special, served to the guests.
It is very simple to make and very tasty also. To make Bhapa Ilish you need 500 gm Hilsa, 1 table spoon each of black and yellow mustard, cumin seed and turmeric powder, 2 table spoon each of coarsely ground coconut and coconut milk, salt to taste and 2 table spoon mustard oil.
First you have to cut the fish and wash the fish and marinate it with turmeric salt for about 30 minutes. Also soak the yellow and black mustard seed in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes grind the soaked mustard seed with one green chili, cumin seeds, turmeric and salt and make it in to a fine paste. Now mix it with the coconut and coconut milk. Next you have to put the marinated fish in a single layer in a steel tiffin box and cover the fish pieces with the paste you have prepared. Cover the box and steam it for about 15 minutes and your bhapa ilish is ready. When you take it out and open the lid, the rich aroma of the fish curry stimulates your taste buds and makes you hungry.
We also tasted other delicacies prepared here and especially the Bengali sweets. We even bought some sweets to distribute among our friends and family. But the fish curry was the tastiest of all.