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bhapa ilish

Steamed hilsa aka Bhapa ilish is one of my favorite dish among any hilsa cuisine and I simply can not get enough of this.

Steamed hilsa (bhapa ilish) when soaked in rich yellow mustard (should be ground well to have a creamy look and consistency) and green chilli paste ,mixed with raw mustard oil looks highly appetizing. This is a very simple recipe, no brainer and hardly any seasonings required except salt and little turmeric to get that gorgeous color but that is purely optional. Steamed it for few minutes and serve with steaming hot rice and that makes my day!

Have a look into the recipe in detail and enjoy the pic.


bhapa ilish

Steamed hilsa or bhapa ilish

Ilish maach (Hilsa fish): 4-6 pieces
Ginger (chopped): 1 tsp
Green chilies (chopped): 2-3 tsp
Yellow mustard seeds: 2 tbsp
Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method to Prepare:
Wash the Ilish maach (Hilsa fish) pieces well and clean it properly.

Soak the white (yellow) mustard seeds for half an hour and grind it together with green chilies, ginger and salt. One can also add curd to it.
Make a thick, creamy and smooth paste and add raw mustard oil.

Apply the mustard-chilli paste evenly and generously on fish (coating each of the pieces well) and place the fish pieces in a container with lid.
Pour little more mustard oil on top of the fish and close the lid.
Steam the fish for 8-10 minutes.

Steaming can be done in a pressure cooker (remove the weight), in a steamer container or in a water bath (whereby fill the skillet ¾ th with water , bring it to first boil and leave the tightly sealed steel container in the boiling water).

Serve the hot bhapa ilish (steamed hilsa fish) with steamed rice.

Before concluding the hilsa festival, one more dish which deserves special mention is ilish anarosh aka hilsa with pineapple. Well, for that we have to wait for next season as hilsa started their journey back to home!


If you like the recipe then please consider sharing it and do not forget to send me your feedbacks.


  • Reply
    Oriya Foodie
    September 11, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    wow – gorgeous…

    • Reply
      sukanya ghosh
      September 12, 2009 at 3:58 am

      thanks more gorgeous things are coming on…

  • Reply
    September 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    looks great!

    • Reply
      sukanya ghosh
      September 12, 2009 at 3:55 am

      hi thanks for dropping by
      It tastes great too!!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2009 at 11:01 pm


  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Tangra maach , mishti and more, fish hunting in America
    April 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    […] are so happy now, you know today they get such a huge hilsa, she make bhapa ilish, it taste so good, even better than […]

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