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Ilish Macher Tel Jhol Recipe | How To Make Hilsa Light Gravy Easily

If you know a Bangali, you will know how much they are fond of their Macher Jhol. Speak of any fish and they are into it. The fondness is because of two reasons, one is their extraordinary taste and the other is the nutritional value.

In this recipe, you will see how to prepare a dish with the king of fishes, Ilish or Hilsa. The recipe is called Ilish Macher Tel Jhol. It is one of the simplest yet extravagant dishes.


Dive into the delicate flavors of the fish and the softness of the brinjal while eating it. Follow the recipe, make it quickly, and know why it is called ‘Tel Jhol.’

Let us go through the list of ingredients and the process to make it.

Ilish Macher Tel Jhol Recipe (Hilsa Light Gravy)

Madhushree Dutta
Recipe to make tasty Ilish Macher Tel Jhol easily at home. Simple ingredients, instructions, and equipment to prepare Hilsa fish light gravy easily.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali, Indian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 Induction Cooktop
  • 1 Kadhai


  • 4 pieces Ilish Mach Hilsa fish; 2½ -3 cm thick
  • 2 Potatoes medium
  • 1 Brinjal Eggplant; medium
  • 6 Green Chilis
  • tsp Turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp Black cumin seeds or nigella seeds or kaalo jeere
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil
  • Water


Prepare the fish pieces

  • First start by cleaning and marinating the fish pieces.
  • Put some salt and turmeric powder (1/2 tsp) and coat the fish pieces well.
  • Cover and keep them aside.

Prepare the veggies

  • Next, wash the veggies.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges.
  • Cut the stem end of the brinjal (eggplant). Then cut it half breathwise and cut the two halves into four chunks each.
  • Now, take four green chilis and make it into a fine paste with either a sil batta or mortar and pestle.
  • Transfer it into a bowl and to this, add some turmeric powder, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup of water.
  • Mix them well and keep them aside.

Fry the veggies

  • Next, take a kadhai or cooking pan and add some mustard oil.
  • Keep the flame on medium and let the mustard oil until it smokes a little.
  • Put all the potatoes in the oil. Stir and cover the kadhai. Let them cook until soft.
  • Add some salt to taste. Stir occasionally.
  • When the potatoes turn soft, put in the brinjal (eggplants). Let them cook until completely cooked.
  • Add some salt if needed.
  • When both the brinjal and potatoes are cooked, take them out of the oil and keep them aside.

Fry the fish

  • Next, in the same oil (add if oil is needed), gently put the pieces of ilish fish.
  • Fry the pieces of fish for about a minute on each side. We don’t want this fish to get overcooked, otherwise, all the flavors will be lost.
  • Now, take them out of the oil and place them aside.

Prepare the Jhol

  • To the oil, add the kaalo jeere or black cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Put the green chili and turmeric slurry. Stir well until the raw smell of the spices is gone. This might take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir consistently. Add 1 ½ – 2 cups of water (you can add more depending on the consistency you want) for the jhol.
  • Add the veggies and fish
  • When the jhol starts to boil, put in the potatoes and the brinjal.
  • Next, gently put the fish into the kadhai.
  • Let all of them cook in the jhol for 2-3 minutes. keep the flame of the medium.
  • While all of them are shimmering, slit two green chilis from the middle and put them in the jhol.
  • Let all these cook for 4 minutes more and do not stir.
  • Take a taste test and add if anything is needed.
  • When the jhol comes to a semi-thick consistency, transfer it into a bowl.


  • Garnish it by drizzling a tsp of mustard oil.
  • Keep it like that for about 2 minutes before serving.
  • This helps in the absorption of the flavors.
Keyword Bengali Recipe, Fish Recipes, Recipes for Dinner, Recipes for Lunch


That’s it! Ilish Macher Tel Jhol is ready to be savored. Serve it with steamed rice and this is the ultimate combo. It experiences all the flavors of the mouth-watering Ilish Mach.

The taste comes through really well along with the blend of oiliness that comes from the fish.

Go for this one, cause if you have not tried it, you will miss it a lot.

Cook up!

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