The fish is popular food amongst the people of South Asia and in the Middle East, but especially with Bengalis. It is the national fish of Bangladesh. Bengali fish curry is a popular dish made with mustard oil or seed. It is also popular in India, especially West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Southern Gujarat and in Mizoram and it is also exported globally. Hilsa is an oily fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Recent experiments have shown its beneficial effects in decreasing cholesterol level in rats and insulin level. In Bengal, ilish can be smoked, fried, steamed, baked in young plantain leaves, prepared with mustard seed paste, curd, begun (eggplant), different condiments like jira (cumin) and so on. It is said that people can cook ilish in more than 50 ways.