8 Delightful Hilsa Fish Head (Ilish Macher Matha) Recipes 

Ilish is truly delightful for all fish lovers. Hilsa or Ilish is one of the most tempting and highly delectable fish.

The taste of Ilish permeates from head to tail, and no part of its body should be discarded. The whole fish is used in cooking, and each part creates an authentic and highly flavorful dish.

Here are some of the best head recipes with Ilish that incorporate vegetables and traditional Indian spices.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ilish fish head recipe is incredibly popular, irresistibly delicious, and loved by 90% of Bengalis worldwide.
  • Recipes like Ilish head bhorta, Ilish head with spinach, Ilish head with pumpkin, and malabar spinach are among the all-time best dishes.
  • Bengalis are known for cooking the best Ilish head recipes with vegetables and basic spices.
  • The aromatic fish head infuses its flavors into almost all the vegetables.

The 8 Delightful Hilsa Fish Head (Ilish Macher Matha) Recipes

Best Ilish Head Recipes

Ilish head recipes are authentic Bengali dishes that are gradually being lost with time.

Today, we will share some of the best Ilish head recipes, along with original tips and tricks for each preparation.

These unforgettable recipes are sure to impress fish lovers. Let’s explore the best Ilish head recipes in Bengal.

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1. Ilish Macher Mathar Bhorta

Ilish Macher Mathar Bhorta

When you’re unsure about what to do with an Ilish head, making a bhorta or mashed head is the easiest option.

Although this recipe may seem simple, its taste is remarkable.

The aroma of the fish head, combined with crushed dry red chilis and onions, creates an authentic, spicy, crunchy, and delectable flavor.

First, the Ilish head is well-fried, then smashed with garlic and onion. For the best texture, you can use a stone grinder.

It is best served with fermented rice or steamed rice, accompanied by a little bit of cooked Ilish fish oil.

2. Ilish Macher Matha Diye Palang Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Spinach)

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Palang Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Spinach)

Ilish can be cooked with a variety of green leafy vegetables, including spinach.

The Ilish head is fried and set aside. The oil is tempered with spices and chilis, followed by the addition of onions.

As the onions fry, vegetables like spinach, brinjal, potato, and snow peas are cooked with turmeric, salt, ginger, and garlic paste.

Once all the ingredients are mixed well, the fish head is added and cooked together, creating a sloshy texture with the masala blending perfectly.

This dish, served with steamed rice, makes a wonderful and satisfying lunch thali for Bengalis.

3. Ilish Macher Mathar Chenchra

Ilish Macher Mathar Chenchra

Ilish macher mather chenchra is a mishmash prepared with green leafy vegetables such as spinach, Malabar spinach, or taro leaves, along with vegetables like brinjal, pumpkin, and potato.

All these ingredients are finely stirred with the Ilish fish head. As the vegetables and fish heads mingle, the dish becomes even tastier.

The caramelized color of the entire dish and the flavor of the Ilish head make it heavenly.

You can try this dish with steamed rice, accompanied by some cooked Ilish fish oil.

4. Ilish Macher Matha Diye Badhakopi

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Badhakopi

This is a stellar recipe. Now in Bengal, old Tollywood stars are featuring this Ilish macher matha diye badhakopi recipe as their signature dish.

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The badhakopi or cabbage is cooked with potatoes and tomatoes with a little bit of turmeric, salt, and cumin.

Then the Ilish fish heads (previously fried) are added to the mish-mash of cabbage and cooked or stirred repeatedly.

The sweet taste of the cabbage and the aromatic Ilish head simply make it a delectable dish. You can try this with steamed rice or enjoy it on its own.

5. Ilish Macher Matha Diye Pui Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Malabar Spinach)

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Pui Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Malabar Spinach)

The Ilish head with Malabar spinach is a highly mouth-watering dish.

This preparation simply gives you an aromatic flavor of Ilish fish heads. Vegetables like onion, pumpkin, eggplants, radish, potato, and Malabar Spinach are used.

The oil is tempered with Panch Foron, then onions and other vegetables are added along with ginger and garlic paste.

Finally, the previously fried Ilish fish heads are added and stirred continuously. The taste of this dish is mesmerizing and highly irresistible.

You can simply serve it with steamed rice and savor the pleasure.

6. Ilish Macher Muro/Matha Diye Moong Dal (Hilsa Fish Head with Yellow Lentils) Ilish Macher Muro/Matha Diye Moong Dal (Hilsa Fish Head with Yellow Lentils)

Macher muro means fish head in English. This so-called macher muro of Ilish fish, when amalgamated with yellow lentils, works wonderfully.

The yellow lentils or moong dal are sautéed in a pan without any oil or fat.

With a little bit of salt and turmeric powder, the dal is prepared in a pressure cooker or you can cook it in a wok with a lid.

The fish heads, marinated with salt and turmeric, are fried and kept separately.

The oil is tempered with cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds, and dried red chilis, and then the dal along with the fried fish heads is added.

The dal is simmered and garnished with fresh coriander. The aroma of the Ilish fish head and the creaminess of the dal make it a heavenly combination.

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7. Ilish Macher Matha Diye Kochu Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Taro Amaranth) Ilish Macher Matha Diye Kochu Shaak (Hilsa Fish Head with Taro Amaranth)

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Kochu Shaak is a typical Bangladeshi shak recipe that is cooked with taro greens and fried Ilish head.

This is a common recipe in almost all Bengali households in Bengal.

It is a delicious recipe that requires minimal ingredients to cook the whole dish.

The taro greens are boiled and stirred repeatedly until they get mashed with the headpieces.

The whole dish may seem like a “bhorta,” but you can still feel the juiciness in the preparation.

You can enjoy this recipe with a double plate of steamed rice.

8. Ilish Macher Matha Diye Misti Kumro (Hilsa Head with Pumpkin)

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Misti Kumro (Hilsa Head with Pumpkin)

Pumpkin is a sweet vegetable, and Ilish head is an aromatic fish with loads of irresistible flavors oozing out with every bite.

When the two are combined, a fine Bengali dry fish delicacy is prepared. Bengalis love this dish as comfort food.

When the Ilish prices go down in the market, it is cooked regularly in Bengali households using easily available pumpkin.

The basic ingredients like ginger, garlic, onion, chilis, and a little bit of salt are used to cook the whole dish.

The mushy, sweet yet aromatic dish feels mind-blowing when it touches your taste buds.

Conclusion

Ilish fish with vegetables and green leafy amaranths amalgamate to form various highly delectable and irresistible dishes.

The list of the best Ilish head recipes offers a collection of the most popular Bengali side dishes with steamed or fermented rice, such as Ilish head bhorta, chenchra, ghonto, choorchri, and more.

Each of these recipes is unique and has its own ultimate taste. None of these recipes is slightly better than the others, so numbering is out of the question.

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