Saturday, June 16, 2007

Shad with nigella seeds and green chillies

A family friend of ours goes fishing every summer. The other day, he called my husband as he had an exceptionally large number of catches. We being true to form fish loving Bengalis could not give up the chance to have fresh fish caught the same day. So we went to his house and brought back a couple of Shad fish.

We were told it is a lot like Hilsa, but I was still amazed at how similar it tasted. I made a very light preparation using nigella seeds and green chilles. This dish is called "Kalo-jeere kaancha lonka diye macher jhol" in Bengali. It has very few ingredients and is usually prepared when the fish is very fresh. It used to be a regular dish at my home when I was growing up and I always complained to my mother about how I didn’t like it. Now as an adult I make it quite often myself, loving it each time and feeling that it is indeed one of my comfort foods!


1 shad fish (can use any other very fresh fish, but I'd recommend not using salmon). I am not sure about the wight but had about 8-9 mid sized pieces.

2 medium potatoes cut into finger size pieces

1 large or 2 small tomatoes

1 tbsp nigella seeds (also called Kalonji)

2 green chillies (more if you want)

2-3 sprigs of coriander leaves for garnish

oil for frying

salt to taste

turmeric as needed (maybe about 1 tspn)


Marinate the fish pieces in salt and turmeric for 20-30 min.

Deep fry the fish pieces and keep aside.

Heat about 2-3 tbsp oil and fry the nigella seeds and green chillies for 1 min.

Add the potatoes and fry for a few min. Then add the tomatoes and fry till the tomatos are paste like and the potatoes and about 3/4 cooked.

Add turmeric and salt.

Add the fish pieces and bring to a boil. Simmer with cover for about 7-8 minutes till the potatoes are fully cooked.

Turn off the heat, add coriander leaves and cover till served.

Goes well with rice. I like it with a few drops of fresh lime-juice along with my rice. My husband thinks it sacrilege to add anything to sour to his food. Tastes great either way!



Blogger sra said...

I love the thought of nigella in fish, on my to-make list!

June 17, 2007 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger SJ said...

Hi Sra, it is very tasty. Do make sure the fish is very fresh though since there are very few spices, there is nothing that will overcome a the fishy smell on older fish.

June 17, 2007 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Hey Snig,
Loved your blog site and the recipes! Will have to try these sometime. Wish we got fresh Ilish here :-)
More later!

June 17, 2007 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Sandeepa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 18, 2007 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Sandeepa said...

How lucky are you to have a friend who gets fres catch

I had tried Shad a few times after coming to the US and liked it, it does indeed taste somewhat like Ilish

This jhol with nigella seeds turns out well with fish like Red Snapper or Striped Bass fresh in the Asian market too. It is my fav jhol

About the Rice in Futura. Its 3 min after the hissing starts. Prestige sets off a whistle but Futura being too into the future has no whistle :( So after the steam has built up there is a hissing and after that we have to count the minutes

I tell you the Prestige is better :)

(Prev comment had too many typos so deleted it ;-)

June 18, 2007 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Asha said...

That dish looks Gourmet!! I don't eat fish much,but it mouthwatering and very tempting!:)

June 19, 2007 at 5:26 AM  
Blogger Sandeepa said...

Tomar oi besan capsicum bhaji baniyechilam kalke. Added some mushroom too and added some more spices to the besan. Bhalo laglo besh. D liked it too and we are going to make this more often now. Thanks

June 28, 2007 at 6:02 AM  
Blogger Cinnamon said...

A lovely blog, the pic is very inviting and the dish looks delicious!

July 16, 2007 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger SJ said...

Hi Asha, sorry to hear that you don't like fish *gasp!!

Hi Sandeepa, thx for the pressure cooekr tip - stupid me of me really :-) and we were indeed lucky. Probably never had fish this fresh even in India. We probably cooekd it hours after it was caught.

Hi Cinnamon, thanks and welcome to my blog.

July 17, 2007 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Pragyan said...

Hi, First time on your site. Will keep coming back. Have to try husband loves Ilish. This will be a good variation. Thanks for the info. Your maccha curry looks delicious..even though I am not a big fan of fish, I can smell the curry! :)

August 15, 2007 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Sudeshna said...

I love nigella with fish. Its the best you can get after the whole day work. So less spicy yet so tasty. A great combo

September 25, 2008 at 6:18 AM  

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