Home > Blog

Recipe-Bhapa Ilish

15 Nov, 2023

Bhapa Hilsa epitomizes the essence of simplicity and tradition. The fusion of Mustard and Yogurt marinade, coupled with the steaming technique, results in a dish that is simultaneously creamy and spicy, accompanied by a delightful explosion of earthy and tangy flavours. The distinctive aroma imparted by the Banana Leaf lends an irreplaceable element to this dish.

This dish is a testament to the culinary prowess of Bengali cuisine, where the freshest ingredients shine; at My LokalMarket, we're dedicated to bringing you the finest, freshest, and most authentic ingredients for all your cooking adventures.

We're going to explore the traditional and delectable "Bhapa Hilsa" – a steamed Hilsa fish delicacy that's a true treat for the senses.

Hilsa: The Jewel of Bengal's Rivers

Before we delve into the recipe, let's take a moment to appreciate the star ingredient: Hilsa. Also known as 'Ilish' in Bengali, Hilsa is often referred to as the "King of Fish" in the region. Its distinctive flavour and melt-in-the-mouth texture make it a prized catch and an essential element of Bengali cuisine. Bhapa Hilsa, or steamed Hilsa, is a beloved preparation that showcases the fish's natural flavours and pairs them with a harmonious blend of spices.

PREP TIME - 15 mins | COOK TIME – 20 mins | TOTAL TIME – 35 mins
COURSE - Main Course | CUISINE - Bengali | SERVINGS - 4

Ingredients You'll Need:

1. 4 pieces of Hilsa fish (medium-sized) (Buy Here)
2. 1 cup of Mustard paste 
3. 1/2 cup of Yogurt
4. 2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
5. 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder 
6. 1 teaspoon Red Chili powder
7. 1 teaspoon Sugar
8. Salt to taste
9. 2-3 tablespoons Mustard oil 
10. Fresh Coriander Leaves for garnish
11. Banana Leaves or aluminium foil for wrapping

The Art of Preparation:

1. Clean the Hilsa fish thoroughly and remove any scales. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

2. In a bowl, mix the Mustard paste, Yogurt, Green Chilies, Turmeric powder, Red Chili powder, Sugar, Salt, and Mustard oil to create a marinade. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference for spiciness.

3. Gently coat the Hilsa pieces with the marinade and let them sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavours to infuse.

4. Take a piece of banana leaf or aluminium foil, large enough to wrap one piece of fish comfortably.

5. Place a marinated Hilsa piece onto the leaf/foil and fold it carefully to form a parcel. Secure the edges by folding them or tying them with a string.

6. Repeat the process for all the Hilsa pieces.

7. Prepare a steamer and steam the wrapped Hilsa parcels for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

8. Once done, carefully unwrap the parcels and garnish your Bhapa Hilsa with fresh Coriander Leaves.

9. Serve hot with steamed rice and savour the authentic flavours of Bengal.

Bhapa Hilsa is more than just a recipe; it's a piece/slice of Bengali culture and tradition that will transport your taste buds to the heart of Bengal. The blend of Mustard, Yogurt, and spices with the succulent Hilsa fish is a culinary masterpiece worth trying.

So, why not explore the vibrant flavours of Bengal with our Hilsa fish, fresh from My LokalMarket? We're here to help you embark on a culinary journey that's as diverse as it is delicious. Happy cooking!