The sizzling sun has disappeared behind a grey veil of ominous nimbus. There’s a lull. An uncanny calm.
I can now smell the rains.
And there i see them, angry pellets of raindrops fast approaching me from the distant dark horizons.
I sit by the window, transfixed, watching the theatrics of the rains, relishing and savoring every moment. I let my hair down, the mad gusts of wind play gleefully with my locks. I crane my neck, I feel the spray on my face. I lose the sense of time and space. Its just the rains and me, me and the rains this grey morning.
Not a day for elaborate cooking and could anything be quicker yet more soulful than hot rice and a runny Ilish tel jhol ? Yes, a couple of green chillies too please !!
Ilish Er Tel Jhol ((Hilsa in a Light Gravy)
- 4 pieces Ilish or hilsa
- 6-7 green chilies slit
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds or kalonji
- 4 tbsp mustard oil
- salt to taste
- Clean and wash the fish. Marinate with salt and turmeric.
- Add a little water to the remaining turmeric and red chili powder to make a gorgeous golden yellow wet paste. Keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan, fry the fish till light brown. Keep aside.
- Add the rest of the oil in the same pan, add the kalonji and green chilies. Once they stop spluttering, add the turmeric-red chili paste. Sprinkle in the salt. Cook for a minute or two. Now add 3/4 cup of warm water and let it simmer for 5 odd minutes on medium heat.
- Now add the fried fish and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.