How to make Bhapa Ilish - Hilsa fish steam cooked with a tangy paste of mustard and green chillies – a Bengali speciality.

This recipe has featured on the show Khanakhazana.

Main Ingredients : Hilsa, Yellow Mustad Seeds

Cuisine : Bengali

Course : Main Course Seafood

Bhapa Ilish Recipe Card

Bhapa Ilish

The Bengalis are great food lovers and take pride in their cuisine.  In fact so obsessed are they about food, that the man of the house goes to the market daily to buy a fresh supply vegetables and fish which is a must in their daily menu.  The medium of cooking is mustard oil which adds its own pungency.  Another very important item of Bengali cuisine is the variety of sweets or mishti as they call them.  Most of them are milk based and are prepared from chhena.
A meal, for the Bengali, is a ritual in itself.  Bengalis spend not only the great deal of time thinking about the food but also on its preparation and eating. 

For more recipes related to Bhapa Ilish checkout Sorshe Bata Ilish, Ilish Machcher Sorse Jhol, Bhapa Ilish. You can also find more Main Course Seafood recipes like Prawns Xacuti, Daab Chingri , Pan Seared Mango Pomfret, Chingri Macher Malai Curry.

Prep Time : 26-30 minutes

Cook time : 26-30 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Mild

Ingredients for Bhapa Ilish Recipe

  • Hilsa 1 kilogram

  • Yellow Mustad Seeds

  • Salt to taste

  • Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon

  • Yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

  • Green chillies 2-3

  • Ginger 1 inch piece

  • Mustard oil 3 tablespoons


Step 1

Wash the fish well and clean it from inside. Cut into darne. Sprinkle salt and half of the turmeric powder. Make a smooth paste of yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds, green chillies, ginger and salt.

Step 2

Take a pressure cooker. Add three cups of water and place a ring in it.

Step 3

Take a pan and place the fish in it and place the pan on the ring in the pressure cooker. Add remaining turmeric powder to prepared paste.

Step 4

Apply paste liberally on fish. Pour mustard oil on top. Adjust seasoning. Cover with lid and steam for eight to ten minutes. Serve hot.