How to Make Ilish/Hilsha Polao

How to Make Ilish Hilsha Polao

In Bangladesh the fish ‘Hilsha’ is a common  and probably the most liked fish. It is such a tasty fish that hardly anybody can say ‘no’ when he/she sees any preparation of Hilsha. Bangladeshi people prepare numerous dish using this Hilsa; namely, Smoked Hilsha, Hilsha fry, Shorshe Hilsha( Mustard paste as main ingredient), Hilsha Paturi,  Hilsha Dopiaza(Onion as main ingredient), Boiled Hilsha, Hilsha Vindallo normal curry(using any vegetable) etc. 

But the most attractive and ‘Mouth Watering’ dish of Hilsha is ‘Hilsha Pillau(fried rice)’. It is such a preparation that one cannot stop eating it until he is really tired. Its preparation is simple but charismatic. You have to know some kind of trick to make the dish a sumptuous one. For that you have to visit  Shefan Khan’s kitchen.

Serving Tips: This dish goes especially well with Easy Thai Coconut Rice. Serve with a chilled white wine or blush, or a cold lager, and enjoy this “quintessentially Thai” eating 

For making Ilish Polao we need to follow two parts. Firstly cooking Ilish and secondly mix it with Polao. There are so many ways of cooking Ilish Polao. But I think my mom’s recipe is the best Ilish Polao recipe in the Universe. She always used to cook it in mustard oil. Well mustard oil gives it a different taste and smell which suits to this dish accordingly.

So How do We Make It:


First Part – For Cooking Ilish/Hilsha

  • 8 pieces Hilsha (big/medium)
  • 2 tbsp Onion paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger juice
  • Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
  • Salt for taste
Second Part – For Cooking Polao
  • Bashmoti or chinigura rice  500 gm
  • 1 big finely sliced onion
  • Ginger paste 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste 1 tsp
  • Medium size green chilies 20 pieces
  • Mustard Oil  
  • Salt for taste

How to Make Ilish Polao:

  1. At first wash all the pieces of fish very well and marinate it with salt (as you like) and lemon juice. Keep the marinated fish for 1 hour.
  2. Take 4 cups of water, ginger paste, onion paste, salt and marinated fish in a medium skillet. Cover the skillet
  3. Cook it for half an hour in a low heat
  4. Turn off the skillet from the gas oven
  5. Separate the fish from the water, you’ll cook Polao with this water

Now Time to Cook Polao:

  1.  Wash the Rice-Seed and separate it from water
  2.  Heat a medium skillet with the remaining master oil. Add sliced onion, fry it until it turn into half brown. Now add ginger- garlic paste, after that rice. Stir it very well with a spoon for 10-15 minutes in a low heat
  3.  Now add that water what you have separated from cooking fish…if require add more normal hot water with it
  4.  Cover the skillet and cook it in a medium heat
  5.  When the water is drying out take all the rice in a bowl, keep a little amount in the skillet
  6.  Put a tawa on the gas oven and keep the skillet on it .Now keep 4 pieces of fish on the skillet rice, add some green chilies and then cover it with that half of rice what you have kept in the bowl
  7.  Again keep rest of 4 pieces of fish, put some green chilies. Now cover it with the rest of bowl rice. Finally keep rest of green chilies on the top of the Ilish Polao. Cover the skillet very well, cook it  for 20 minutes very low heat.

I never use any bay-leaf on this dish because I think it kills the actual taste of this dish.
Now that your Ilish Polao is ready for serving, be sure when you serve it; handle the dish with care so that the fishes don’t get scrambled with the rice. 

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