Ilish Begun (Light Bengali Hilsa Curry with Brinjal)
Ilish_Hilsa_ pieces: 8
Fenugreek seeds: ¼ tsp
Brinjalaubergine pieces: 12 (cut into long and moderately thin pieces)
Saltfor the gravy: 1.5 tsp
Saltfor the marination: ½ tsp
Turmericfor the marination: ½ tsp
Turmericfor the gravy: ½ tsp
Mustard oilfor cooking: ¼ cup
Mustard oilfor garnish: 3 tbsp
Water: 2 cups
Slit green chillies: 3
Marinate the Hilsa with salt and turmeric for 20 min. Heat mustard oil till it reaches smoking point. Simmer the flame and carefully add the hilsa pieces. Cover and cook for 10 min: 5 min on each side. Remove the pieces.
In the same oil, add the fenugreek seeds and wait until the seeds become dark brown (but not black). Add the brinjal pieces (along with half of the remaining salt) and fry till the brinjals are cooked, but firm. Add the rest of the salt, turmeric powder and water and stir. Carefully introduce the fried Hilsa or Ilish pieces into the gravy. Add the rest of the salt and slit green chillies, and stir gently. Cover and cook for 10 min.
Just before serving, sprinkle raw mustard oil over the curry. Serve with steamed rice.