Ilish Bhapa

Celebrating the bond of brother and sister. This post is for the Food Festival Event at .

Also sending Hilsa with Steam to Original Recipes hosted by Lore.

I don’t have  a brother, so never felt the beauty of Rakhi. When I was in school , there was no holiday for Rakhi and so the day went by like any other day. But seeing everybody tying Rakhi I felt like doing so and so this idea sprang up. I started tying Rakhi to my sister. Till date I do so, even when I am thousands of miles apart from her, I have sent her the Rakhi for this year too. With the monsoon and the festival in air I just couldn’t think of any other recipe than Hilsa with steam. Also this is my sister’s most favorite dish, so this one all for you Pupu and also to all the brothers and sisters viewing my post.

With the first rain drop, the thing that comes to the mind of all Bengalis all over the world is Ilish. This salt water fish that comes to lay eggs in fresh water is a delicacy among all fish lovers. Today is a special recipe for this special fish.  The preparation is very simple and the whole cooking takes maximum 15 minutes.

Serves 4


Hilsa (Ilish): 6 pieces

Mustard seed (sarse): 2 tablespoons

Poppy seed (posto): 2 tablespoons

Green chilli (kacha lanka): 6/7

Mustard oil (sarser tel): 3 tablespoon

Turmeric powder (Haluder guro): 3 piches

Salt to taste


  • Make a paste of mustard and poppy seeds along with 2 /3 chillies.
  • Wash the fish pieces well, take them in a shallow microwave bowl.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder to the mustard and poppy paste.
  • Mix the paste to the fish well and pour the oil over it, also add the remaining chillies.
  • Microwave for 5 / 6 minutes at 800watts (microwave high), in between check whether the fish has become soft and the mustard smell is coming out or not.
  • Serve hot with rice , and enjoy this great delicacy.
Hilsa with Steam (Ilish Bhape)
Hilsa with Steam (Ilish Bhape)

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14 thoughts on “Ilish Bhapa

  1. Hi,
    I came across your blog…and made Bhapa-Ilish, but where I live there is no ilish, and I used Tarakihi fillets, and wow the recipe is great! We had a delicious meal this evening, together with aloo-posto

  2. This sounds like a lovely dish! I am very intrigued by the mustard-poppy seeds-chilli sauce as I only use poppy seeds in sweet treats so I must give it a try sometime 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your recipe with the Original Recipes Round-Up!

  3. Hi, you have a very nice blog full of bengali recipes. There are not too many bengali recipe blogs around. I hope you don’t mind, I have added you to my blogroll. Feel free to visit my blog and leave comments. Am trying to put more Bengali food on mine.
    Happy cooking..

  4. Sudeshna!!
    What a wonderful way of celebrating Rakhi….:)
    I am sure your sister must be really delighted to receive Rakhi from you every year..
    Hilsa looks really delicious…
    Thank you for this wonderful entry 🙂

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