clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
%Bhapa Ilish

Bhapa Ilish or Steamed Hilsa Fish

  • Author: Debjani
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4-5 People


Bhapa Ilish or steamed Hilsa is a signature Bengali fish preparation where Hilsa Fish or Ilish Maach is steamed along with spices and ended on a mouth-watering fish curry.


  • Hilsa fish/ Ilish Mach: 5-7 pieces (500 g)
  • Black Mustard Seed for paste: 4 Tsp. (it should be soaked in lukewarm water)
  • Sour Curd/ Tok Doi: 4 Tbsp.
  • Freshly Grated Coconut: 3 Tbsp.
  • Poppy Seed/ Posto / Khuskhus: 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Salt: to taste
  • Turmeric powder: 1 Tsp
  • Green Chili: 4-6
  • Red Chili Powder: 1/2 Tsp
  • Mustard Oil: 4 Tbsp.


  1. [url href=""]%Step by Step Bhapa Ilish[/url]

To make the Marinade:

  1. Prepare a thick paste of Black Mustard either in grinder or with the help of “Silnora” or “Shil Batta” by adding 1 green chili and 1 Tsp. of salt and keep it aside.
  2. Make Paste of Poppy Seeds or Posto separately.
  3. Rub fish pieces with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and Chilli Powder and leave those for 10 minutes.

To prepare the box full of marinated fish for steaming:

  1. Now in a bowl add Mustard Paste, Poppy Seed Paste, Freshly Grated Coconut, Sour Curd, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder and 3 Tbsp. of Mustard Oil and Mix properly.
  2. Add salt to the mixture. Do check the salt as we have already added salt while rubbing the fish and in the Mustard Paste. Add 1 Cup of Water to the mixture.
  3. Add Green Chilli.
  4. Bhapa Ilish can be prepared in a flame using a double boiler or can be prepared in Microwave.
  5. Take a Stainless Steel Tiffin Box or a Microwave oven safe Container with a tight lid and rub some Oil in the container.
  6. Now spread half of the previously prepared Paste the container and put 2-3 slit Green Chilies and then place Fish pieces and finally pour rest of the paste over the fishes.
  7. Pour 1 Tbsp. of Mustard Oil on the top and also rest of the slit Green Chilies.
  8. Cover the lid of the tiffin box.

Steaming the Ilish: Any of the process mentioned below can be followed:

  1. Using Vessel or Handi: Take a deep Vessel/ Handi with and place the Box and then pour 5 Cup of water in the box and place the stainless Steel box and then cover the Vessel with the lid and place the vessel on high flame for around 5 minutes or till water started boiling and then cook on low flame for around 20 minutes.
  2. Using Pressure Cooker: Pour 5 Cup s of water in a Pressure Cooker and place the Stainless Steel Box and then Pressure cook in a pressure cooker on medium flame for 2-3 whistles. Wait till steam comes out of the cooker.
  3. Using Microwave oven: Take a Microwave safe deep vessel and put the Container containing Fish and then put 5 Cups of water and Cook in High Temperature for 5 minutes and then in 40% temperature for around 25 minutes.
  4. Carefully take out the tiffin box and open the lid.
  5. Bhapa Ilish is ready to serve with steamed rice.
  • Category: Fish, Lunch, Main
  • Cuisine: Bengali
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes