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Ilish Bhapa: Recipe For Jamai Shashti

Fish is a delicacy that makes all Bongs go a bit weak in the knees. And when it comes to the special fish called hilsa, or 'ilish' as it is called in Bengali, we can hardly stop ourselves from salivating. Bhapa ilish is a very sumptuous dish that is both delicious and healthy. Unlike all the other Bengali fish recipes that are oily and deep fried, the bhapa ilish recipe is for health freaks as it is steamed.


Bhapa ilish is basically steamed hilsa fish that has been cooked with mustard sauce. This dish is a Bengali delicacy that most people love. But as the festival for son in laws, Jamai Shashti is just round the corner, you can definitely refresh your memory to try this special fish recipe. Bhapa ilish is not easy to prepare. You need to be very particular about the steaming process. Here is a refresher course for you so that you can try this Bengali dish on the festive occasion of Jamai Shashti which comes tomorrow.

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  1. Hilsa fish- 4 pieces
  2. Mustard seeds- 2tbsp
  3. Green chillies- 4
  4. Mustard oil- 3tbsp
  5. Turmeric powder- 1tsp
  6. Salt- as per taste


  • Marinate the hilsa fish with salt and turmeric powder. Keep it aside for 10 minutes.
  • Soak mustard seeds in water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make a paste of mustard seeds and green chillies. Make a paste in a blender.
  • Mix salt with the mustard paste.
  • Apply mustard paste on the hilsa fish generously. Place the fish in a container.
  • Pour the mustard oil over the fish.
  • Close the lid of the container. Fill the pressure cooker with 2-3 cups of water.
  • Place the container in the pressure cooker.
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook for the duration of 10 minutes on flow flame.

You can serve bhapa ilish hot with steamed rice.

Story first published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 18:31 [IST]