My uncle was posted in Bangladesh few years ago. He is a Govt. officer, so he was allotted a furnished villa with a cook and a 24/7 maid. As he went there all alone, because my Aunt is a school teacher in a Govt. school, and my cousin was about to give his board exam, so they had to stay in India. But we used to visit them quite often in Bangladesh during holidays. But my condition was, I can visit your place only if I can get Padmar Ilish. Usually our holidays are always in Summer or October, when ilish availability is not that much. But 'Khala'(means aunt, we used to caal his cook as Khala) used to get good quality Padma r ilish from her cousin, who use to be a fisherman. And most of the time she used to make this 'Ilisher Tel Jhol' with the fish and Kumro Die Ilisher Mathar Chorchori. These 2 items of her were to die for. She always prefer to paste the spice in a mortar & pastel <em>(shil nora)</em> instead of Packet spices. She used to tell me <strong>'Janoto di, amgo ghore packet moshla choilbe na go, ei shil nora e bata moshlar ja sowad, se oi kuta moshla te paba na', means "we never use packet spices in our cooking, the whole spices pasted with mortar & pastel tastes best"</strong> So she told me her recipe of <em>Ilisher Tel jhol</em>. Here you go.
Ilish macher tel jhol is a typical Bangladeshi item, wher minimum spices are used to cook this dih with raw ilish mach, I mean in this particular dish, Ilish must not be fried before adding into the gravy. Because the smell of the raw ilish is the key ingredient of this item. Today I'm going to share the recipe which I've learnt from a Bangladeshi cook, whom we used to call 'Khala' in Bangladesh.