ilish macher jhol
bengali hilsha recipes Recipes

Ilish macher jhol | kalo jeere bata ar begun diye ilish er jhol

Ilish macher jhol or how to make kalo jeere bata ar begun diye ilish er jhol er recipe with step by step pictures. Ilish¬†macher jhol means a light Bengali curry prepared with hilsa fish. Today I am going to make my version of Kalo jeere begun diye ilish er patla jhol where I’ve cooked ilish mach with begun in a light gravy of kalo jeera-kancha lanka bata(paste). Though like other ilish recipes, this macher jhol is also incomplete without three most important ingredients like our pungent mustard oil or shorsher tel, salt, and turmeric. Here shorsher tel makes an amazing flavor, salt and turmeric are used for perfect seasoning. Apart from Kalo jeera, kancha lanka, and turmeric no more spices or masalas are used in this jhol so you can imagine how healthy it is at the same time.

Actually, this ilish macher jhol is favorite to all of us and obviously piping hot rice is one and only accompaniment with this recipe. As we know Monsoon is the season of ilish and a perfect Monsoon lunch or dinner can be set with any recipe of illsh, right? As I’ve already posted many scrumptious recipes on ilish, so today I decided to post this light gravy of hilsa. Hope my step by step recipe(with pictures) will help you to learn how to make this ilish macher jhol.

For making this recipe, generally, I fry(lite) the fish but if you wish, you may add raw hilsa or kancha ilish in this jhol too. Mostly we prepare our ilish recipes with shorshe bata but this jhol is totally different from them. Though ilish is considered as an oily fish and not good for our stomach so for adding Kalo jeera this jhol gets a healthy touch. But don’t worry Kalo jeera has a very subtle flavor so it couldn’t spoil the actual flavor of ilish rather it enhances its taste. It’s also a very quick recipe of ilish as we know ilish has very soft meat and doesn’t take a long time to cook.

kalo jeere bata ar begun diye ilish macher jhol

Actually several recipes of ilish mach are common in every bengali household. However kalo jeera phoron diye begun ar ilish macher jhol is mostly common in Bangladeshi people, I guess. Like my mom basically prepares this jhol with shorshe bata whereas I’ve seen my mom in law mainly making this jhol with begun and Kalo jeera during the whole season of ilish. But I prepared it in my way by making a paste of Kalo jeera which I feel best for making a healthy jhol with ilish mach. As kalojeera or kalonji is known for good digestion and no other masalas are used in this recipe so it must satisfy your cravings for ilish without making any health hazard.

So if you wish to have a healthy version of ilish macher recipe then you may try this jhol at home. But don’t forget to let me know your valuable feedback in the comment section below.

Even you may try other my ilish recipes from my website,

Ilish macher jhol | begun diye ilish er jhol (with kalojeere kancha lanka bata

Prep time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Served in: 35 mins

Served for: 5 people

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Bengali

Author: Moumita Paul


  • 5 pieces ilish mach(hilsa fish)
  • 1 1/4 tsp Kalo jeera or kalonji
  • 6 green chilies
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt

How to make ilish macher jhol with step by step pictures


  • First, make a paste of 1 tsp Kalo jeera and 3 green chillies by using mortar pestle or grinding stone or grinder jar. 
kalo jeera kancha lanka bata(paste) is ready
  • Then take a bowl, add the Kalo jeera kancha lanka paste, little water, and 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix it nicely. Keep it aside for later.
kalo jeere kancha lanka paste with salt, turmeric and water
  • Clean and wash the fish and coat the pieces well with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder. Then Place a pan on medium heat, make it hot, add 3 tbsp mustard oil to the pan. When the smokes Start coming from the oil, then add the fish in it.
frying ilish in shorsher tel
  • Fry it till it gets lite golden brown color. Remove the fish from the pan.
golden fried hilsa fish
  • Then fry the lengthwise cut brinjal in the same pan till it gets nice golden brown in color. 
fried begun for making this recipe
  • After removing the begun, add 1/4 tsp of whole kalo jeera to oil in the pan. Stir it well.
kalo jeere in shorsher tel or mustard oil
  • Just after few seconds add the masala paste(kept aside) in the pan.
kalo jeere kancha lanka bata in oil with salt and turmeric powder
  • Now saut√© the masala well until the moisture dries up.
when the moisture of the masala dries up
  • Then add the 2 cups of water in the pan and let it boil.
water is added to the masala paste for making this ilish er patla jhol
  • When the gravy starts boiling then first add the fried brinjal to the pan and cover it for 5 mins.
making our one of the favourite recipes ilish macher begun jhol
  • After 5 mins when the brinjal gets soft then add the fried fish to the gravy. Then cover the pan again for 4-5 mins. 
fish is added to the pan for making this ilish macher recipe
  • After 3-4 mins of cooking add 3 green chilies (slit) to the gravy.
kancha lanka is added to this macher jhol
  • Cook it again for more 5-6 mins and then turn off the heat. Then serve this begun diye Ilish macher jhol with piping hot rice.
kalo jeere kancha lanka bata diye ilish begun er jhol is ready to serve


  • Use salt and green chilies as per your taste.
  • You may use raw fish too for this recipe.
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