ilish machh bhape(steamed hilsa fish)

Shorshe ilish bhapa recipe

This dish is an ancient dish from the East Bengal which involves steaming the  the fish with poppy seeds and mustard seeds paste, after smearing with generous amount of mustard oil. The fish retains it inherent aroma and taste and is spicy due to the addition of mustard paste ,a culinary icon  of  Bengal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali cuisine, East Indian
Keyword bhapa ilish, bhapa ilish with coconut, ilish bhapa in microwave, ilish bhapa in oven, shorshe ilish bhapa recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 persons
Author indrani



  • Fish hilsa or any other fish like tilapia, makarel etc.
  • Mustard paste 3 to 4 tbsp.
  • Poppy seeds 4 tbsp.
  • Mustard oil 2 tbsp.
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp.
  • Salt as per taste
  • Desiccated coconut 2 tbsp.(optional)
  • Green chilies 3 to 4



  1. Wash the fishes and marinate with turmeric powder and salt.
  2. Ground the mustard seeds ,poppy seeds and salt into a fine paste with 2 green chilies.
  3. Apply on the fishes.
  4. put the fishes into an air tight container and add 2 to 3 tbsp. mustard oil on the mix.
  5. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.