Bhapa Ilish

Bhapa Ilish or Steamed Hilsha can be associated with every Bengali home, during Monsoon, best Ilish are found and bengali people love to make them with varied recipes. It is one of the costliest fish in India due to it’s taste and availability. I am a huge fan of Ilish. I love to make Ilish er paturi (Hilsha steamed in a banana leaf with Mustard paste). The aromatic amalgamation of mustard paste and fish makes its unique and delicious.

But unfortunately, I haven’t found banana leaf so instead of making paturi though to make it steamed.

So If you are lover of Hilsha like me, try to make this recipe. It’s very easy and less time consuming.

Bhapa Ilish


  • Hilsha Fish 500gms- 1kg as per your wish.
  • Mustard oil 2 largespoon
  • Salt as per taste
  • Turmeric powder
  • Green chili
  • Poppy seed (optional)
  • Mustard seeds (2 tablespoon)


Add salt turmeric powder and keep aside.


Make a fine blend of mustard seeds (yellow mustard + black whole mustard seeds)and poppy seeds using Sil nora or in mixer grinder with green chillies. Add salf if req. Don’t add much salt.

Final steps:

Add the paste with fish, coat it well, add 1table spoon of oil and tranfer it to a steel tiffin box, bowl or steamer. For steaming, take water aroung 1-2 litre in a saucepan or steamer, when the steam forms place the tiffin above the steam with the help of strainers , for those who have steams can steam them accordingly. After 15-20 mins your fish will be completed ready to serve with hot steamed rice.

Steamed Ilish
Hilsha bhapa ( steamed Fish Hilsha with Mustard Sauce)

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