Pahela Baishakh- Ilish Bhaja

Pahela Baishakh- Panta Ilish

The first day of the first Bangla month (Baishakh) is deemed to be non-celebratory without the fried Illish dipped into panta, which is then placed over rice soaked into water. Sometimes the Ilish (Hilsha), which happens to be the national fish, is cooked in mustard sauce to add a new dynamic to the whole platter. Ilish is an immensely popular fish in Bangladesh and Sorshe Ilish or the fish cooked in mustard sauce has historically been considered a food item that is an integral part of Bangla culture and identity. While flavorful, crispy and deliciously mouthwatering Ilish bhaja (fried Ilish) is a must, there are some other complementary items that also adorn the platters of Pahela Baishakh. Among those complementary items, salt, lemon, roasted red chili or green chili and different kinds of bhorta accompany the NoboBorsho feast. The most common of the bhortas (mashed vegetable), the aloo bhorta (mashed potato), begun bhorta (mashed eggplants), and shukti bhorta (mashed dried fish) are the most common ones.

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