The Ultimate Guide to Ilish Bhapa: A Delicious Bengali Delicacy ইলিশ ভাপা
- Shallow heatproof dish or steamer This will be used to place the marinated fish fillets and steam them. You can use a traditional steamer or any heatproof dish that fits inside a pot or steamer.
- Brush or spoon You'll need a brush or a spoon to coat the fish fillets with the mustard paste mixture.
- Steamer or large pot This is required to create steam for cooking the fish. You can use a traditional steamer or a large pot with a steaming rack or colander inside.
- Mixing bowl Use a bowl to prepare the mustard paste mixture by combining mustard paste, yogurt, mustard oil, red chili powder, and salt.
- Knife and cutting board These are needed for cleaning and marinating the fish fillets, as well as for chopping coriander leaves.
- Serving platter nce the Ilish Bhapa is cooked, you'll need a serving platter to present the dish.
- Optional: Banana leaves (traditional method) If you want to follow the traditional method, you can use banana leaves to wrap the fish fillets before placing them in the steamer. The banana leaves add a unique aroma to the dish.
- 2 medium-sized Hilsa fish fillets Look for fresh Hilsa fish fillets, preferably with the scales removed.
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil Mustard oil adds a distinct flavor to the dish. If you don't have mustard oil, you can substitute it with any other cooking oil, but the flavor may vary.
- 2 tablespoons mustard paste Use freshly prepared mustard paste for the best results. You can make the paste by grinding yellow mustard seeds with a little water.
- 2 tablespoons yogurt Use plain, unsweetened yogurt. It helps in tenderizing the fish and adds a creamy texture to the dish.
- 2 green chilies, slit lengthwise Adjust the number of green chilies according to your spice preference. You can add more or fewer chilies based on your taste.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder Turmeric powder adds a vibrant color to the dish and has health benefits. It is commonly used in Indian cooking.
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder Adjust the amount of red chili powder based on your spice tolerance. You can increase or decrease the quantity to suit your preference.
- Salt to taste Add salt as per your taste preference. Remember to season the fish fillets while marinating as well as in the mustard paste mixture.
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing Fresh coriander leaves add a pop of freshness and enhance the presentation of the dish. You can chop them finely for garnishing.
- Clean the Hilsa fish fillets and marinate them with salt and turmeric powder. Keep them aside for 15-20 minutes.In a bowl, mix together the mustard paste, yogurt, mustard oil, red chili powder, and salt to form a smooth paste.Take a shallow heatproof dish or a steamer and brush it with a little mustard oil to prevent sticking.Place the marinated fish fillets on the dish and coat them evenly with the mustard paste mixture. Make sure both sides are well-coated.Place the green chilies on top of the fish fillets for added flavor and spice.Fill a steamer or a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully place the dish with the fish in the steamer or pot.Cover the steamer or pot with a lid and steam the fish on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.Once cooked, remove the dish from the steamer or pot and let it cool slightly.Garnish the Ilish Bhapa with fresh coriander leaves.Serve the Ilish Bhapa hot with steamed rice and enjoy the flavorful and tender steamed Hilsa fish.Note: You can adjust the spiciness according to your taste preference by increasing or reducing the amount of mustard paste and green chilies. Also, traditionally, banana leaves are used to wrap the fish before steaming, but if you don't have banana leaves, a heatproof dish works fine too.
- Hilsa fish: Fresh Hilsa fish is preferred for this dish as it has a unique flavour and texture. Look for fillets that are firm, with shiny and silver skin. Ensure that the fish is properly cleaned and scales are removed before marinating.
- Mustard paste: You can prepare a mustard paste by grinding yellow mustard seeds with a little water. Adjust the quantity of mustard paste according to your taste preference. If you prefer a milder flavour, you can reduce the amount of mustard paste used.
- Mustard oil: Mustard oil is commonly used in Bengali cuisine and gives the dish its distinct flavour. If you don’t have mustard oil, you can substitute it with any other cooking oil, but the flavour profile may be slightly different.
- Marination: Allow the fish fillets to marinate with salt and turmeric powder for about 15-20 minutes. This helps in enhancing the flavour and tenderizing the fish.
- Steaming: Ensure that the dish or steamer used for steaming is heatproof and can withstand high temperatures. You can use a traditional steamer or any shallow heatproof dish that fits inside a pot or steamer. If using a dish, brush it with a little oil to prevent sticking.
- Spice level: Adjust the spiciness of the dish by increasing or decreasing the amount of mustard paste and green chillies. If you prefer a milder flavour, reduce the quantity of mustard paste and use fewer green chillies.
- Serving suggestion: Ilish Bhapa is traditionally served with steamed rice, which complements the flavours of the dish. You can also serve it with roti or any bread of your choice.
- Variation: Some recipes include the addition of grated coconut or poppy seed paste to the mustard paste mixture for added flavour and texture. Feel free to experiment and customize the recipe according to your preferences.
- ইলিশ ভাপা / সর্ষে ইলিশ তৈরি