Ilish Bhape – Steamed Hilsa Fish

I have never used onion in Ilish / Hilsa fish recipe before and used to think of this as a waste of Hilsa, but not anymore.


  • Hilsa Fish – 6 pieces
  • Mustard Paste – 2 tbsp
  • Green chilli paste – 1 tsp
  • Onion – 1, chopped very finely
  • Mustard Oil – 4 tbsp
  • Methi / Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, turmeric – as required
  • Whole Green chilli – 4

Marinate the fish pieces with salt, mustard oil, chopped onion, sugar, turmeric and mustard paste.

Add the remaining mustard oil in a pan and when it is hot, add the methi / fenugreek seeds. Remove from pan when they become black. Cool the oil.

More the fish and spices mixture onto the pan. Add some water to the marination dish and reserve the liquid.

Now put the pan on fire and cover it with a heavy lid. Cook over very low heat. After 15 minutes, add the reserve liquid to the pan and mix well with the spices. You need to be very careful while mixing otherwise the fish will break. 

Cook for 10 more minutes. Adjust the seasoning, remove from heat and keep covered for 10 more minutes. Serve with plain rice.

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