Bhapa Shorshe Ilish (Steamed Hilsha In Mustard Gravy)

‘Whenever we talk about ‘Ghoti’ (Origin at West Bengal) and ‘Bangal’ (Origin at Bangladesh), the obvious picture comes to our mind is ‘Chingri Mach’ (Prawn) and ‘Ilish Mach’ (Hilsha Fish). Being a foodies I cannot avoid the beauty of ‘Ilish Mach’ though I am a ‘Ghoti’. It is monsoon in India and the ‘Joler Rani’ (Queen of water) is available in market in abundance. For last few days I was cooking some popular dishes with ‘Ilish Mach’. My first post is ofcourse the most popular dish ‘Bhapa Ilish’ (Steamed Hilsha in Mustard Gravy).

I cook this recipe in two ways sometimes in pressure cooker in a tight stainless steel tiffin box or in microwave. When I cook in pressure cooker they consistency of the gravy remains a little runny, as I strain the mustard paste through a strainer. I do not like the husks of the mustard paste, rather prefer a light golden yellow gravy. You can use the mustard paste without straining too. Keep the consistency of the gravy as per your choice. So, here is the recipe of popular ‘Bhapa Shorshe Ilish’ my way…

  • Servings: 6-piece
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Cuisine: bengali
  • Passive Time: 15 mins
  • Course: main course
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 10 mins


8 Ilish Mach or Hilsha Fish – pieces
3 Tbsps Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
4 – 5 (As per your heat tolerance level) Green Chillies
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsps Mustard Oil
To taste Salt


  1. Marinate the Hilsha pieces with ½ tsp of turmeric powder and a little salt for 15 minutes.
  2. Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Now grind the mustard and poppy seeds in a fine paste adding 2 green chillies.
  3. Take the container or tiffin box in which you will steam the fish. Apply the mustard paste on the fish pieces and put them in the tiffin box.
  4. Add a little water just to cover the fish. Add some salt and 2-3 slitted green chillies.
  5. Drizzle 2 tsp of mustard oil on top. Close the container (tiffin box).
  6. Place the container in a pressure cooker. Put some water just to cover half of the container. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 5-6 minutes. Let the pressure release of its own.
  7. Serve with hot steamed rice.


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