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Photo of Bhapa Ilish/Steamed Ilish by Sudip Srivastava at BetterButter

Bhapa Ilish/Steamed Ilish

Sudip Srivastava
20 minutes
Prep Time
0 minutes
Cook Time
4 People
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ABOUT Bhapa Ilish/Steamed Ilish RECIPE

The signature Bengali Ilish dish which has to be on all important menus when Ilish is in season. Hilsa steeped in a pungent mustard sauce steamed to perfection with a liberal dousing of mustard oil is a sensuous experience

Recipe Tags

  • Non-veg
  • Easy
  • West Bengal
  • Main Dish

Ingredients Serving: 4

  1. 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  2. 2 tsp Poppy seeds
  3. 3-4 hot Green chilli
  4. 1 tsp (heaped ) yogurt
  5. 2 tsp mustard Oil
  6. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  7. 1/4 tsp chilly powder
  8. salt to taste


  1. To make Mustard paste: Soak 2 tbsp Mustard seeds + 2 tsp Poppy seeds + 3-4 hot Green Chilli in less than 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 minutes
  2. Grind the above with little salt to make a thick mustard paste
  3. In a bowl add the above mustard paste + 1 heaped tsp Yogurt + 2 tsp Mustard Oil + 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder + 1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder(optional) + salt to taste. Mix well
  4. Wash and clean 5-6 pieces of Hilsa/Ilish cut in steak size pieces.
  5. Smear a pressure cooker safe bowl with little mustard oil. Place the fish pieces in the bowl in one single layer.
  6. Pour the prepared mustard paste or sauce over it so that it covers all the fish pieces nicely. Add 4 slit green chili on the top and 1 tsp or more of Mustard Oil on them
  7. Cook in pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles

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