Oh Fish…!!!

Wel…l I am a Bengali by lineage and Bihari by the place of my birth and basic education. If I am being honest to myself, I do not usually identify myself with other Bengalis who are born in West Bengal and have spent the first 20 years of their lives there or so. This statement holds true in every other field except FOOD!!!!!

Like most authentic Bengali people, I love food and especially fish and sweets. I love it so much that even writing about it is mouth-watering! There is so much variety when it comes to fresh water fish like Rui (Rohu), Catla, Ilish (Hilsa), Aar, Tangra, Baanshpata, Bhetki etc… I love all of these and more; however, my favorite is Ilish… and here is my most trusted and used recipe of Bhapa Ilish (Steamed mustered hilsa)

This is my Mother-In-Law’s recipe, which I have taken the liberty to cook as often as I can.

What We Need

  • Ilish (Hilsa) (8 pieces cut in steak size pieces).
  • Mustard seeds paste – 5 tbsp
  • Plain yogurt – 2 tbsp
  • Green chili – 5 pc – slit
  • Turmeric powder -1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt as per your taste
  • Mustard oil 3 tbsp

How We Make It…

  • Take an air tight container (preferably steel).
  • Place the fish in it carefully
  • Add all the ingredients together (turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, mustard seeds paste, yogurt, green chilies and the mustard oil)
  • Mix all the ingredients well with the fish.
  • Set it aside for 20 minutes for marinating.
  • Add the water and mix it thoroughly again.
  • Close the lid of the container and put it on a pan.
  • Add enough water to the pan.
  • After 15 min switch the gas oven off and leave it to cool for around 10 minutes.
  • Open the lid of the container only once it is cooled.

oh-fish-itemmomServe with hot steamed rice


  1. It is a spicy dish
  2. Ilish (Hilsa) has ample amount of fine bones in it, so please be careful
  3. You can also try this recipe with rohu or catla fish

Leave a Reply