I had a dream ... Eelish posto

I was going to pack up after writing the post on the Oh Calcutta Hilsa festival.

But I am so thrilled with myself right now that I have to write this post.

Remember I wrote about going to the Hilsa festival at Oh Calcutta for inspiration? Well I went there, had the posto eelish, came back suitably inspired.

I tried replicating the dish today without the recipe. It turned out so well. Everyone who had it loved it and kept praising it. All right, 'everyone' was Kainaz and me but it was really tasty. At the risk of sounding vain I must say, from the bottom of my heart, that I am very happy with myself.

The posto eelish (hilsa in poppy seeds) turned out to be a creamy, lip smacking, very satisfying dish. The fish was much fresher than what Oh Calcutta served.

I had the base ingredients of posto, curd, hilsa from the menu and I knew that they used turmeric. I made up the rest by myself including the decision to steam it like bhaapa eelish.

Here's how I made this very simple, delicate tasting and oil free dish.

Step 1 - Whip 5 tablespoons of crushed posto (poppy seeds, khus khus), 4 split green chillies, 1/2 tea spoons of turmeric, 1 tea spoon salt, 1/2 tea spoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin powder), 1/2 a teaspoon of crushed mustard seeds in a grinder. Marinade 5 pieces of Hilsa (Eelish) in this for an hour in a stainless steel tiffin box.




Step 2 - Take a wide sauce pan, partially fill it with water, put it on the gas and bring the water to boil, reduce the flame and put the tiffin box with the fish in it. Shut it loosely from the top. Let the container float in the water for twenty - twenty five minutes while the flame is on simmer

Step 3 - Gently take out the tiffin box using cloth pads. Open the lid carefully. Take out the fish. have it with steamed rice.


The result will be an elegant, exotic and effervescent sauce whose taste will linger with you long after the meal.

The Oh Calcutta original :



And in case you were wondering why cook at home, a single plate with two pieces in Oh Calcutta costs Rs 350 (7 USD). I got a 2.2 KG fish, much better quality, for Rs 500 (10 USD).... twelve plus pieces!

Comments

Wow - yum... One of my favorite preperations with mustard and posto... I will post mine sometime - yours looks so elegant.
I loved your review on Oh Calcutta too !
Sharmila said…
I loved this at OC ... but did not even think of trying the tetulpata one... I belive a classic like ilish should not be meddled too much with. :-) Give me shorshe ilish anyday.
Way to go! ... you made it yourself too!
Scarlett said…
Good quality Hilsa is selling for Rs 1200-1600 right now in Calcutta.

Hey, I have a question - want to make sausage chilly fry but we don't get Goan sausages here. What type of sausage is the next best option?
Pinku said…
It looks gorgeous.....

I got hungry just reading about it.

Will try it asap and then post the results here.
The knife said…
Somoo, 'elegant' is high praise from you. thanks. Do you guys use posto too

Sharmila, like remixing Kishore Kumar's songs I guess

Scarlett, i heard 2500 a kg today. I got it at 250 a kilo, 500 buck for 2.2 Kg with Khar Moushi's discount. Great fish too.

Chorizo could be close a subsitute

Pinku...go go...you are closest to Bong land :0 let us know how it went

Folks...I called up Oh cal and made them keep it open till 3.45 though they shut at 3.30!!!! Had to go to a Bong restaurant after feeling Rayish after making a mini film for a presentation
The knife said…
Somoo, 'elegant' is high praise from you. thanks. Do you guys use posto too

Sharmila, like remixing Kishore Kumar's songs I guess

Scarlett, i heard 2500 a kg today. I got it at 250 a kilo, 500 buck for 2.2 Kg with Khar Moushi's discount. Great fish too.

Chorizo could be close a subsitute

Pinku...go go...you are closest to Bong land :0 let us know how it went

Folks...I called up Oh cal and made them keep it open till 3.45 though they shut at 3.30!!!! Had to go to a Bong restaurant after feeling Rayish after making a mini film for a presentation
Sudeshna said…
Kalyan,
The post ilish really looks awesome, but I would say you could have used a little bit of mustard paste to have that feel of ilish bhapa. How was the roe preparation? Please post the recipe how you prepared the roe.
The knife said…
Hi sudeshna, i did you a teaspoon of mustard powder in the paste but the effect i was getting at was intended to be a contrast to bhapa ilish.

I fried the roe once with some eelish. And there was some which was there in the bhapa eelish today. Might steam the rest. At least less oil while you load the cholesterol
Scarlett said…
Could you tell me what I should do if I want to make this dish with gravy like in the Oh Calcutta version?

And is there a particular way Hilsa needs to be purchased? Like does one need to get it skinned, de-boned etc. while purchasing? I've never bought fish from the fish market before!
The knife said…
Scarlett, sorry for being so slothful. Was struggling to send the conference paper.

Ok, one too get more gravy use more curd. Do whip it well or it will curdle. We used nestle probiotic, any packaged curd should do.

The fish seller will descale and cut it for you. Most bengali's don't debone it. I think restaurants boil it and take out the bones. Could be quite a challenge unless there is a secret.

There are two ways to cut ilish, gaada (back, more bones) and peti (stomach, less bones) together. Or separate. the former is advised if the fish is less than 1 kg.

If you are a good host offer the petis to your guest first.

If you are a petu, like moi, keep a couple of pieces for yourself.

The gaada pieces are minefields