Summer Siesta: Doi Posto Eelish for our Band of Hundred

My Sunday morning was beginning to look very dark thanks to an inexorable wait at the bank. I lost my cool at one pm, walked off, picked some eggs and bread and made myself some fantastic French Toast for breakfast topped with Australian Cheddar which Spice and More had given me. I then headed to Pushpa's. Picked some great Hilsa, Pomfret and Parshe (for my in laws) and could sense my frazzled nerves beginning to soothe. K's brief to me was to make something which was not hot at all. I began to hear the clouds part and the birds chirp as I thought up of recipes, executed them with Banu's help and took the first bite of lunch.

Update: 11/10/12 Here's my cooking video on the same

Here's what we had for lunch. Hilsa cooked in a light, cool, heady poppy base, tempered with a bit of yoghurt. The inspiration for dish came from the posto eelish that I earlier ate at Oh Calcutta's River water festival. And Nilakshi's method for cooking the rohu based doi maachh.

Here's my recipe for Doi Posto Eelish

Part 1: prep
  • Smear six pieces of Hilsa with a touch of turmeric and salt.
  • Shallow fry and set aside
  • Make a paste of 50 to 75 g of posto/ khus khus/ poppy seeds, ditto whole mustard seeds, two tablespoons of curd, one teaspoon each of turmeric and salt, half a teaspoon each of sugar, coriander and cumin powder and a few coriander leaves. Use a food processor or a 'Mixie' as it used to be called here.
  • Add the marinade to the fish in a micro wave cooking bowl. Let the fish soak in the marinade over 15 - 30 min

Part 2: Micro'd

  • Cook the fish in marinade mix for two minutes.
  • Switch off. Take out. Gently turn the fish pieces around. Put it back into the micro
  • Two more minutes and you are done
  • Add half a teaspoon of mustard oil on top before cooking if you want for that Bengali touch

Eat this with steamed rice. But only when you know that you can follow it with a nap. You can eat it with a bite of green chilly. Wicked. You could choose to not fry the fish and just steam it. I reckon that you will  need eight instead of four minutes then.

Both K and I loved the dish. Pushpa's fish was fresh as usual. The paste was soothing and pleasant, very well flavoured. Ethereal. Danced gently in your mouth. As if swaying to soft, melodious Rabindra Sangeet.

Now for some good news. Finely Chopped Blog got its hundredth follower. Two years, eighth months after we started. Thanks to each of you who have been there supporting me. Would have stopped two years seventh months back otherwise. Check out the Finely Chopped Facebook Page for more lively updates.


Unknown said…
When it comes to Iilish, I always stick to the traditional. But your recipe surprises and tempts me all at the same time. I am going to try making this next time we get iilish from the Bangladeshi store.

The photo of the iilish and bhaat are making me so hungry!
spice and more said…
Gosh that fish looks good. So different to the west coast (goan) style of fish that I am used to eating and cooking.
Shaswati said…
I have to try this out soon! Will let you know the outcome. thanks for the yummy sounding recipe :)
Scarlett said…
So, fish is apparently very good for women. Omega-3 fatty acids and all. But I don't like fish, still I figured I should start eating it. Can you suggest a fish with fewer bones? I'm petrified of getting a fish bone stuck in my throat!! Do supermarkets sell de-boned fish?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Pree: You must. The posto base is nice and cooling and doesn't interfre with the eelish

@Spice and More: Well I did cook the pomfret in a West Coast style

@Shaswati: I am sure it will turn out well. Do let me know :)

@Scarlett: I was off fish for more than three months as a bone had got stuck in mine :( This was my return.

Rawas and betki fillets would be boneless. Pomfrets and peti pieces of rui would have fewer bones. Departmental stores should have boneless fillets
Ushnish Ghosh said…
Dear Kalyan
I was out so did not see this one..great will try in a day or 2. I have some state of the art , I mean state of the Ilish in fridge.
But I cant cook Ilish in the fat layer expodes even at 180 watt power. But I will put it in Bhap-e
have a nice week
ghosh kaku
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Ghosh Kaku. i normally use a steam method. Tried micro for the first time spurred by our friends in the US. Worked well. Perhaps because we fried it first.

You got state of the art eelish. i got blockbuster eelish, E dike Ma said no good eelish in Kolkata.

CIA conspiracy?
Anonymous said…
Which song?
Sanchita said…
God! What a lovely plate of Ilish! Now I have no option but get an Ilish maach and try your recipe. :) Will let you know how it turned out.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
So sanchita, did you?
Sanchita said…
@Kalyan, Last night I tried this recipe but with Herring as I didnt have Ilish in stock. It was great! Thanks :) I made little changes to the recipe by adding 1 tbsp of English mustard paste and omitted the sugar.