Steamed Hilsa Fish In Mustard Paste (Bhapa Ilish)

This is the favourite preparation of Hilsa fish, the most sought after fish in Bengal and Assam. It truly makes for a soul satisfying lunch. It has a lot of bones but it is not a deterrent for Hilsa lovers

Ingredients –

350 gm thickly cut Hilsa fish (3 pieces)

50 gm mustard seeds (mix of brown and yellow seeds, soaked in water for 2 hrs)

6 pieces green chillies

50 gm grated fresh coconut

2 tbsp whisked yogurt

Salt to taste

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp mustard oil

Marinated fish ready for steaming

Directions –

Drain the soaked mustard seeds and add them to a grinder jar.

Add 2 green chillies roughly chopped with salt and 100 ml water

Grind these to a fine paste.

Add the coconut and grind again. Ensure that the paste is smooth as it gives better flavour

Add beaten yogurt, sugar, turmeric powder and mustard oil to the paste

Mix well

Take a steel container with a lid and put the paste in it

Now add the fish one at a time and coat it with the spice paste. Coat the fish thoroughly.

Place 4 more chillies on the fish

Secure the container with a lid and set the it aside for 15 mins

Heat up a pan large enough to hold the steel container and place a stand in it

Pour water taking care that it doesn’t reach more than half the height of the container.

Let the water come to a boil

Now place the container on the stand, set the flame to medium heat and cover the pan with a lid

Steam for 15 mins

Remove the container and let it rest for 5 mins before serving

The cooked fish ready for serving


  1. Nivedita Goswami says:

    Every recipe looks so delicious. Will try. Very nice presentation

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NanC2806 says:

      Thanks Bibli….not much to do at home….so am doing this


  2. Manjuri says:

    Looks delicious. My mouth is watering 😋 Must try

    Liked by 1 person

    1. NanC2806 says:

      It turned out well


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