How To Make Hilsha Fish Curry

Hilsa / Ilish Jhol is a classic Bengali fish curry, made of Hilsa Fish cooked in red gravy. Get all the cooking process like how to make and use gravy in Hilsha fish curry cooking.

Hilsa/Ilish known to be as “called King of the fish and national fish of Bangladesh” It’s very tasty and rich fish. This is not like other fishes that are available throughout the year. It is only available during monsoon. And this particular season is celebrated in every Bengali home just like a festival.  Bengali New Year celebration cannot be done without Hilsa / Ilish fish. Though it’s so high in price, Bengali doesn’t deprive themselves of eating this fish. It became a kind of tradition that Bengali have to eat at least one fish to save their identity.


  • Do not buy any Hilsa / Ilish less than 500 g / 25 cm. Catching Hilsa before the spanning stage is detrimental to the progress of the next generation.
  • It is equally important not to buy Hilsa / Ilish during the breeding season (especially from October to November.)


  • Hilsa Fish – 1kg
  • Onion Julian – 1.5 Cup
  • Garlic Paste – 1 Table Spoon
  • Red Chili Powder – 1 Table Spoon(Variable)
  • Turmeric – 2 Tea Spoon
  • Cumin Powder – 1.5 Tea Spoon
  • Bay Leaf – 1 Piece
  • Fenugreek – 15 Dana
  • Salt – to Test
  • Oil – 1/4 Cup

Step By Step How To Making Hilsha Fish Curry


  1. After cutting the Hilsa fish, clean it well with salt and strain the water, keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Once the oil is hot, put the fenugreek, bay leaves, and keep on frying until golden brown.
  4. Put the onion slice keep on frying until light brown then put garlic paste mix it well and cooked it 2 minutes.
  5. Now keep the flame low .put turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder directly in the pan. Mix it quickly makes sure it’s doesn’t burn.
  6. Add salt and litter water and mix again.
  7. Put the water. You can also put only milk instead of water. I used water because I don’t like milk. But milk here to enhance the richness and creaminess of the dish.
  8. Make sure the gravy is ready when the oil comes out of the spice.
  9. Once the gravy is ready, put the Hilsa fish pieces and mix it well with the gravy.
  10. Cover the pan, cooked it 5-minute medium flame then add 3 cup water and keep on cooking for 15 minutes.
  11. Don’t stair the fishes too much. It could be broken.
  12. After a while, the gravy has come to the right consistency. Like it should be not so thin or not so thick.
  13. It’s almost ready. Put some extra green chilies and coriander leaves on the top. Keep it covered until served to incorporate the flavor of green chilies and coriander leaves in the gravy.
  14. Serve with hot with steaming rice. 

You may be looking for more fish recipes on this Recipe Boss website. Please comment below. I will try to make your favorite video.

Chef Nazim

My interest in culinary art was inspired by my mother. I have loved cooking since childhood. We have had the opportunity to learn Bengali-Indian cuisine for almost twenty years with various chefs at our own New Panahar Hotel & Restaurant. Read More...

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