Shorshe Bhapa Ilish | Bengali Hilsa Fish Curry Recipe

Gluten Free

This shorshe bhapa ilish recipe is one of the most classic and favorite Bengali fish recipes. This hilsa curry or Ilish bhapa is surprisingly easy, requiring minimal ingredients and time. Whether you’re entertaining guests or indulging in a family meal, Bhapa Ilish promises to dazzle your taste buds.

In this blog post, I have shared one of the most popular ways of cooking hilsa, i.e. steamed or bhapa ilish. The ilish fish is cooked in a made-from-scratch shorshe bata or mustard sauce prepared in a Bengali style and served with plain boiled rice. So, if you are looking for an easy ilish macher recipe, look no further and get going with this one.

Bhapa Ilish Macher Recipe

What Makes Hilsa Fish So Special?

Believe it or not, many jewelry stores offer Hilsa or Ilish as gifts with gold ornaments! This might sound baffling but that’s how it is valued in Bengali culture. Also, it is one of the costliest fishes in India with a kilo priced anywhere between 2000 – 5000 INR. Now, what’s so special about this fish?

  1. Limited Availability: Hilsa fish, also known as Ilish, thrives in Indian rivers and estuaries, particularly the Bay of Bengal. Its seasonal and regional availability adds to its allure, making it a delicacy.
  2. Migration Patterns: Hilsa fish migrate considerable distances upstream to breed in freshwater rivers. This natural phenomenon contributes to its scarcity and value.
  3. Cultural Significance: Ilish holds cultural and gastronomic importance in West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Eastern India. Its unique taste, texture, and flavor drive demand and elevate its price.

Ingredients for Shorshe bata diye Bhapa Ilish Maach recipe

  • 4 pcs Hilsa or Ilish Maach
  • ¼ cup Coconut – freshly grated
  • ½ tsp Black Mustard Seeds – you may skip this if you prefer less pungent gravy
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to Taste

If you are busy like me and want to get your cooking done quickly, then you can use ready-to-use Mustard Powder here. They are equally good and just as flavourful as using whole mustard seeds. I have attached my preferred product here. Follow the instructions on the pack and use it in this ilish bhapa recipe

If you look at the short ingredient list, you will see that this ilish macher recipe is quite a simple Bengali fish curry which is amazingly healthy and good for health. It is 100% steamed, which means no frying or any other cooking process involved which would destroy the nutritional value of the fish. This is the best thing about Bengali ranna recipes, they are wholesome, packed with goodness, and come together effortlessly. Here’s a detailed recipe for Ilish Bhapa.

How to make an authentic Shorshe Ilish Bhapa recipe at home?

  1. Grind the coconut and poppy seeds into a fine paste
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the grinding jar (except the fish) and give it a couple of quick buzzes. We are looking to coarsely grind the mustard seeds. Over-grinding will lead to bitterness, so avoid that
  3. Now take a stainless steel container that has its lid. Pour half of the paste into this container. Place the fish pieces in it and then top them with the rest of the paste
  4. Drizzle some mustard oil on the top and cover the lid
  5. Place it in the steamer and let it cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat
  6. Check if it’s done by opening up the lid. The fish would have turned white and solid, otherwise, close the lid again and steam for a couple more minutes
  7. You can serve this shorshe bhapa ilish with steamed rice
Shorshe Bhapa Ilish Recipe

Tips for Perfect Bhapa Ilish

  1. Mustard Paste:
    • Soak mustard seeds (black and yellow) for 1-2 hours. If you prefer less pungent mustard gravy then you can skip the black mustard seeds or add them in lesser quantity
    • Blend them with salt, sugar, green chili, and turmeric to form a smooth paste.
    • Add freshly grated coconut to enhance flavor.
  2. Steaming Technique:
    • Use hot water for steaming to expedite the cooking process.
    • Opt for stainless steel containers.
  3. Sustainable Consumption:
    • Buy hilsa weighing over 1kg. Avoid purchasing ilish maach during the breeding season (October to March) to protect the population of the fish.

Health Benefits of Hilsa Fish

  1. Heart Health: Hilsa fish contains less saturated fat compared to other fishes. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, it reduces blood triglyceride levels and boosts good cholesterol (HDL).
  2. Blood Circulation: Long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids in hilsa reduce inflammation, lower heart disease risks, and promote proper blood circulation.
  3. Arthritis Prevention: Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Vision Enhancement: The fish’s nutrients contribute to better vision health.
  5. Lung Health: Consuming hilsa fish benefits lung function.
  6. Muscle Building: Protein-rich hilsa supports muscle development.
  7. Skin and Stomach Health: Hilsa is considered beneficial for skin and stomach health.
  8. Brain Function: Boosts brain power and nerve cells.
  9. Bone Health: Contains essential trace minerals.

More Ilish Macher Recipes

More Shorshe Bhapa Macher Recipes

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and star rating if you loved my recipes. It would help this post to reach more readers. Thank you!

Follow me or Subscribe to my Channel

Shorshe Bhapa Ilish | Bengali Hilsa Fish Curry Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This shorshe bhapa ilish recipe is one of the most classic and favourite fish recipes for every Bengali out there. This hilsa curry is made using hilsa or ilish, a fish belonging to the herring family. It is native to the Bay of bengal and hence widely popular in Eastern Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine.

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Bengali
Keyword: Bengali Fish Recipes, Bengali Food, Coconut Recipes, Fish Recipes, Gluten Free Recipes, How To cook Hilsa Fish, Ilish Maacher Recipe
Servings: 4 people
Author: Priyanka
Ingredients
  • 4 pcs Hilsa or Ilish Maach
  • ¼ cup Coconut Chopped
  • ½ tsp Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
  1. Grind the coconut and poppy seeds into a fine paste
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the grinding jar (except the fish) and give it a couple of quick buzzes. We are looking to coarsely grind the mustard seeds. Over grinding will lead to bitterness, so avoid that
  3. Now take a stainless steel container which has its own lid. Pour half of the paste into this container. Place the fish pieces in it and then top them with the rest of the paste
  4. Drizzle some mustard oil on the top and cover the lid
  5. Place it in the steamer and let it cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat
  6. Check if it’s done by opening up the lid. The fish would have turned white and solid, otherwise close the lid again and steam for a couple more minutes
  7. Serve this steamed fish curry of ilish bhapa with rice

Recipe Video

Share it with your Friends & Family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.

Search


You’ll also love