Bengali Hilsa Pulao: A Symphony of Flavors from the Ganges Delta

Immerse yourself in the culinary legacy of Bengal with our “Bengali Hilsa Pulao,” where the exquisite Hilsa fish takes center stage in a fragrant and aromatic rice dish. This pulao is a celebration of the Ganges Delta’s bounty, bringing together the richness of Hilsa with the subtle elegance of spiced rice.

Food Region & History

Bengali Hilsa Pulao is a culinary masterpiece that hails from the fertile Ganges Delta, a region known for its love of rice and freshwater fish. This dish captures the essence of Bengal’s culinary traditions, where the prized Hilsa fish becomes the star ingredient in a flavorful pulao enjoyed during special occasions and feasts.


Embark on a flavor-packed adventure with the carefully selected ingredients that compose our Bengali Hilsa Pulao:

  • Hilsa fish fillets, marinated
  • Basmati rice, soaked
  • Ghee
  • Mustard oil
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and cloves (whole spices)
  • Bay leaves
  • Basmati rice, soaked
  • Gobindobhog rice (a fragrant short-grain rice)
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili powder
  • Garam masala
  • Yogurt
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Water or fish stock


  1. Marinate Hilsa Fish:
    • Marinate Hilsa fish fillets with turmeric powder, red chili powder, yogurt, and salt. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté Onions and Spices:
    • In a large pot, heat a mixture of ghee and mustard oil. Sauté thinly sliced onions until golden brown. Add whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves) and ginger-garlic paste. Stir until aromatic.
  3. Add Rice and Gobindobhog Rice:
    • Add soaked Basmati rice and Gobindobhog rice to the pot. Stir gently to coat the rice with the spices.
  4. Introduce Fish Fillets:
    • Nestle the marinated Hilsa fish fillets into the rice mixture, ensuring they are evenly distributed.
  5. Season and Simmer:
    • Season with turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, salt, and a pinch of sugar. Pour water or fish stock into the pot, allowing the pulao to simmer until the rice is cooked and the fish is tender.
  6. Fluff and Serve:
    • Once cooked, fluff the Bengali Hilsa Pulao with a fork. Serve it hot, ensuring each serving includes a delectable combination of spiced rice and succulent Hilsa fish.

Nutritional Benefits

Bengali Hilsa Pulao provides a harmonious blend of proteins from Hilsa fish and carbohydrates from fragrant rice, offering a well-rounded and flavorful meal.


Bengali Hilsa Pulao is a testament to Bengal’s culinary artistry, where the revered Hilsa fish transforms a simple rice dish into a fragrant and luxurious feast. Whether shared during festive gatherings or enjoyed as a culinary journey at home, this pulao captures the soul of Bengali cuisine.

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