Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro Recipe

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Bengalis have a unique culinary fascination of using both fish and vegetables in the same dish.

They mostly use fish head for such fascinating hybrid dishes. Ruhi, Katla or Hilsa is the preferred choice.

The ilish fish head is cooked with Chal Kumro which is ash gourd. Regular spices and mustard oil is used to prepare the best dish ever.

In this post, I will share a traditional recipe from Bengal – Ilish macher matha diye chal kumro or hilsa head with ash gourd.

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro

Key Takeaways

  • Bengalis have a culinary fascination for combining fish and vegetables in the same dish, often using fish heads for unique hybrid creations.
  • Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro is a traditional Bengali recipe that features the head of the Ilish fish cooked with ash gourd.
  • The dish is prepared using regular spices and mustard oil, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic experience.
  • It is important to marinate the fish heads with salt and turmeric before frying them in mustard oil until they become golden and crispy.

The Ingredients:

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro Ingredients

  • Hilsa Head: 2 pieces
  • Potato: 2 medium sized potatoes cut into small cubes
  • Ash Gourd: I large size cut into small, thin pieces
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder: ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder: ½ tsp
  • Cumin Powder: ½ tsp
  • Roasted Spice Mix: 1 tsp (whole coriander seeds, whole cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry chillies are dry roasted and ground)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste: 1 and ½ tbl spoon
  • Black Cumin: ½ tsp
  • 3 Green Chillies
  • Mustard Oil
  • Salt to Taste

How to Make Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro (Stepwise Images)?

1. Mix salt to ash gourd. It will release water.

Mix salt to ash gourd

2. Marinate the fish heads with salt and turmeric powder.

Marinate the Hilsa fish heads with salt and turmeric powder step by step

3. Heat the wok (Kadai) and add mustard oil in it.

Heating kadai and adding mustard oil

4. Fry the heads in mustard oil.

Fry the Hilsa fish heads step by step

5. Take them out on a plate.

Take them out fried Hilsa fish head on a plate

6. Fry the potato slices in same oil. Add some salt & turmeric into it.

Fry the potato slices in same oil and add some salt & turmeric into it step by step

7. Take out the shallow-fried potatoes on the same plate.

Take out the shallow-fried potatoes

8. Add oil in the kadai.

Add oil in the kadai

9. Strain water from ash gourd. Add it to oil. Add black cumin. Give it a good stir. Mix well.

Strain water from ash gourd. Add it to oil. Add black cumin. Give it a good stir. Mix well. step by step

10. Add ginger garlic paste into it.

Add garlic ginger paste in ash gourd

11. Stir for 2 minutes.

Stir Stir ash gourd for 2 minutes

12. Add all the spices.

Add all the spices to ash gourd

13. Stir fry everything very well.

Stir fry ash gourd very well

14. Add some water into it.

Add some water into ash gourd

15. Again, add some salt into it.

Again, adding some salt in asg gourd

16. Add fish heads & potatoes in it. Mix well.

Add fish heads & potatoes in ash gourd step by step

17. Add 1 cup of water.

adding one cup water in hilsa head with ash gourd

18. Add green chillies.

Adding green chili in hilsa head with ash gourd

19. Cover the pan with a lid. Let the hilsa head with ash gourd boil on medium heat.

Cover the pan with a lid. Let the hilsa head with ash gourd

20. Check if water has dried.

Check if water dried for hilsa head with ash gourd

21. Sprinkle roasted masala and mix well.

Sprinkle roasted masala hilsa head with ash gourd

22. Break the fish heads into 2-3 pieces and mix well with the dish.

Break hilsa head in the dish

23. Pour Hilsa head with ash gourd on a plate.

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Pour Hilsa head with ash gourd on a plate

Pro Tips for Cooking Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro

Preparation is Key: Before starting, marinate the fish heads with salt and turmeric powder. This step ensures the fish gets flavorful and crispy when fried.

Oil Temperature Matters: When frying the fish heads, ensure the mustard oil is adequately hot. This helps in achieving that golden and crispy texture on the fish heads.

Patience with Frying: Fry the fish heads until they turn golden and crispy. Don’t rush this step; the perfect frying results in a delicious taste and texture.

Balanced Spices: While adding spices, ensure they are well mixed and stir-fried properly. This step brings out the flavors and aromas of the spices, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Cooking the Ash Gourd: Strain the water from the ash gourd before adding it to the oil. This step prevents excess moisture in the dish and allows the ash gourd to cook evenly.

Boiling and Simmering: Once all ingredients are combined, cover the pan and let the dish boil on medium heat. This allows the flavors to infuse, creating a rich taste.

Check Consistency: Keep an eye on the water content. Adjust by adding water if necessary or let it simmer longer to achieve the desired consistency.

Finishing Touch: Sprinkle the roasted masala towards the end. This step adds a final burst of flavor and aroma to the dish.

What to Serve with Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro?

Steamed Rice: The perfect accompaniment to Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro is steamed rice. Its neutral taste complements the flavorful dish and allows you to savor the blend of fish, vegetables, and spices.

Green Salad: To add freshness and crunch to the meal, serve a side of green salad. Use cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and a drizzle of lime juice for a refreshing contrast.

Dal (Lentil Soup): A simple lentil soup or dal is a great addition. Its mild flavors balance the richness of the dish and provides a protein boost to the meal.

How Does It Taste?

Flavorful and Aromatic: The dish bursts with aromatic and robust flavors derived from the regular spices, such as turmeric, Kashmiri red chilli powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder. The use of mustard oil adds a unique pungent taste that elevates the overall dish.

Exquisite and Rich: The combination of the Ilish fish head and ash gourd results in a rich, satisfying taste. The fish imparts its unique flavor profile while absorbing the spices, making each bite flavorful and delightful.

Textural Harmony: The crispy, golden-fried fish heads complement the softness of the ash gourd, creating a perfect textural balance in every mouthful. The addition of shallow-fried potatoes adds another layer of texture to the dish.

Balanced Spice Infusion: The spices are well-incorporated, creating a perfect harmony of flavors without overpowering the natural taste of the ingredients. They blend together to enhance the dish’s taste profile, leaving a pleasant and lingering taste on the palate.

Tantalizing and Satisfying: This traditional Bengali recipe is not just a meal but an experience. When served with steamed rice, it tantalizes the taste buds, offering a delightful symphony of flavors that leave a lasting impression of Bengali culinary expertise.

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chalkumro Alternatives

Shorshe Bata Diye Rui (Rohu Fish in Mustard Paste): Instead of using fish head, this dish utilizes the Rohu fish pieces marinated in a vibrant mustard paste.

You May Also Like:  Sorshe Ilish Recipe | Mustard Hilsa

Katla Kalia (Spicy Katla Fish Curry): Katla fish pieces are simmered in a rich gravy made from a blend of onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and various spices.

Doi Maach (Fish in Yogurt Gravy): Fish fillets are cooked in a luscious gravy made with yogurt, turmeric, ginger, and a hint of sweetness from sugar or jaggery.

Macher Jhol (Bengali Fish Curry): A classic Bengali dish, Macher Jhol involves fish pieces cooked in a light, flavorful gravy made with tomatoes, onions, and a mix of spices.

Recipe Card

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro

Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro

By Mita Mondal
The Ilish fish head is cooked with Chal Kumro which is ash gourd. Regular spices and mustard oil is used to prepare the best dish ever.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pcs Hilsa fish head
  • 2 pcs Potatoes (medium sized potatoes cut into small cubes)
  • 1 piece Ash Gourd (large size cut into small, thin pieces)
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
  • ½ tbsp Coriander Powder
  • ½ tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Roasted Spice Mix (whole coriander seeds, whole cumin seeds, bay leaves and dry chillies are dry roasted and ground)
  • tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • ½ tbsp Black Cumin
  • 3 pcs Green Chillies
  • 3 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions
 

  • Begin by mixing salt with the ash gourd, allowing it to release its natural water content.
  • Marinate the fish heads with a combination of salt and turmeric powder.
  • Heat a wok (Kadai) and add mustard oil to it.
  • Fry the marinated fish heads in the aromatic mustard oil until they turn golden and crispy. Transfer them to a plate.
  • In the same oil, fry the slices of potato. Sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder on them while frying. Once they are shallow-fried, place them on the same plate as the fish heads.
  • Add more oil to the pan if needed.
  • Strain the water from the ash gourd and add it to the pan. Incorporate black cumin seeds and stir well to combine.
  • Introduce ginger garlic paste into the mixture and continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Add all the spices and continue to stir-fry until everything is well combined and fragrant.
  • Pour in some water, followed by a sprinkle of salt.
  • Add the fried fish heads and potatoes into the pan, ensuring they are thoroughly coated with the flavorsome mixture.
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and add green chillies for an added kick of heat.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and allow the dish to simmer on medium heat until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Check if the water has dried up, ensuring the curry is thick and flavorful.
  • Sprinkle roasted masala over the curry and mix well.
  • Break the fish heads into smaller pieces, incorporating them into the dish.
  • Finally, transfer the delectable curry onto a plate, ready to be savored and enjoyed.

Video

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Notes

Choosing the Fish Head: Select fresh and firm Ilish (Hilsa) fish heads for the best taste and texture in the dish. Ensure they are cleaned well before marination.
Pre-Marination Step: Marinate the fish heads with salt and turmeric powder beforehand. This process not only adds flavor but also helps in making the fish heads crispy when fried.
Frying Technique: Fry the fish heads in mustard oil until they turn golden and crispy. This step adds a delightful crunch to the dish and enhances its taste.
Handling Ash Gourd (Chal Kumro): After cutting the ash gourd, mix salt with it to release excess water. Strain the water before adding it to the cooking oil for a better consistency in the dish.
Balancing Spices: Be cautious while adding spices. Adjust the amount according to personal taste preferences. The right balance ensures a flavorful yet not overpowering dish.
Check Moisture Levels: Pay attention to the water content while cooking. Adding water gradually and checking consistency prevents the dish from becoming too watery or dry.
Simmering and Boiling: Once all ingredients are combined, cover the pan and let the dish boil on medium heat. This allows the flavors to blend and the fish to cook evenly.
Adding Roasted Masala: Sprinkle the roasted spice mix towards the end to enhance the aroma and flavor of the dish. Mix it well to incorporate the spices evenly.
Breaking Fish Heads: Break the fish heads into smaller pieces while mixing them with the rest of the dish. This allows the flavors to infuse thoroughly.
Serving Tip: Serve the Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro hot with steamed rice. The combination creates a delightful meal that fully captures the essence of Bengali flavors.
Experimenting with Texture: If desired, adjust the texture of the dish by altering the size of the fish head pieces or the thickness of the ash gourd slices.
Conserving Leftovers: Store any leftover dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before serving to preserve its flavors and texture.
Following these recipe notes ensures a successful preparation of Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro, allowing you to savor the authentic taste and textures of this traditional Bengali dish.
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Conclusion

Finally, Ilish Macher Matha Diye Chal Kumro is a delectable Bengali dish that showcases the unique culinary tradition of combining fish and vegetables.

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This particular recipe features the head of the Ilish fish cooked with ash gourd, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

With the perfect combination of regular spices and mustard oil, this dish is known for its exquisite taste.

When served with steamed rice, it becomes a delightful meal that tantalizes the taste buds.

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