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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bhapa Ilish- Steamed Hilsa

Hilsa- commonly known, as Ilish in Bengal and  is the most popular and favorite fish amongst the Bengali's.The ever so growing popularity of Ilish has made itself another synonym for the rich Bengali Culture.
Primarily Ilish grows in sea. During the monsoon it comes to  Ganga and Padma to lay eggs.Ilish becomes most tasty during this period when it makes the two rivers-Ganga and Padma its home. An Ilish from sea does not taste that good.
This year the ever so rising cost has made Bengalis upset as we have not been able to have it on a regular basis.
The taste of an Ilish has an ever so deep connection with monsoon. Today, I am ecstatic as its been drizzling all day long and I am preparing 'Bhapa Ilish'-one of my favorites.

1.Ilish (Hilsa fish)- 5 pieces (washed and drained)

2.Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

3.Black mustard seeds- 2 heaped tsp

4.Yellow mustard seeds- 3 heaped tsp

5.Green chilies- 2-3


7.Mustard Oil- 5 tbsp


1.Take a mixer-grinder bowl and add black and yellow mustard seeds, 1 green chili sufficient water to make it a smooth paste.

2.Take a strainer(tea strainer) and strain the mustard paste. By doing this we are removing the outer skin of the mustard, which got blended as well.

3.Take a bowl,add the Ilish ,salt and turmeric powder.Mix well and keep it aside for 10-15 mins.

4.Add the mustard paste,3 slit green chilies, and mustard oil. Coat the mixture well on the fishes.

5.Take a pan  and add water to its half.

6.Take a steel container and keep the marinated fishes. Please refrain from arranging any fish on top of another.

7. Close the steel container with its lid, and place it on the pan and place a heavy weight over it. Make sure it is at least half submerged.

8.Cook it on high flame for about 5 min and then on low heat for another 25-30 mins.

9.Add water so that it does not dries out.

10. The pieces of Ilish would be very delicate, be extra cautious while taking them out and serving so that the fish does not break. 

11.Serve hot with plain rice

Indian Cuisine


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