Thursday, February 3, 2011


    There is a saying in Odia "Chakiri kariba polici, machha khaiba ilishi". Ilishi machha is known to be the king of fish in Odisa. The ilishi lives in sea and travels 50-100 kms to the river for spawning, where its generally caught. The taste is very different from the  taste of other fishes. As it is considered to be a very oily fish, a little oil is required while cooking. In my home my father used to cook this with a lot of green chillies. The final outcome from the kitchen looked so beautiful and tempting that you will be hungry with having a look on it. And the funny thing about this fish is the aroma tells for itself. I like to prepare ilishi this way by steaming it with  mustard paste and coconut.


4-5 pieces of ilishi
1 tbsp mustard seeds.
vinegar to soak the mustard seeds.
3-4 green chillies.
1 tbsp garted coconut.
2 tsp mustard oil,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
chopped cilantro leaves.

      Soak the mustard seeds with vinegar to reduce the pungent taste. Soak it for 1-2 hours. In a food processor make a paste of the mustard seeds, green chilles, half the grated coconut and a little salt. make a fine paste with adding a little water as required. Take a bowl, smear some oil to grease it. In a bowl mix the mustard paste, mustard oil, the remaining grated coconut, turmeric powder, salt properly. Put the fishes into the previously greased bowl and smear on the mustard mix.  Cover the pan with an aluminium foil and let it be cooked in a microwave for 10 - 12 mins. After its cooked and cooled garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with steamed rice. Add on green chillies to enhance the taste. Just be careful while eating as it is full with tiny thin bones. Enjoy.


  1. Swagatika, u r really great.being at such a distant place from odisha u have kept the fragraance intact with you, may be more than those who reside in odisha. really the tips for cooking odia dishes are so nice, and mouth watering.

  2. Thanx Binay Bhusan for such an inspiring comment.
    am glad you like it.