Bhapa Ilish or steamed Hilsa is a famous recipe in Bengali cuisine! For Bengalis Sorshe Bata Diye Bhapa Ilish or Hilsa steamed in the mustard paste is a celebratory dish in Monsoon, There are many ways to cook Hilsa! Bhapa Ilish Jeera Bata Diye ( Hilsa steamed in cumin paste) is another classic recipe in Bengali cuisine, though this recipe is not common in many Bengali houses as Shorshe Bata Diye Bhapa Ilish ( steamed Hilsa in mustard paste)!
- 5 Hilsa pieces ( 60 gm piece )
- 1 ½ tbsp Cumin seeds ( 15 gm ) or 2 tbsp Cumin powder
- 4-5 Green Chillies
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- ¼ tsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- First, In a bowl, add cumin seed, salt and warm water.
- Give a stir to dilute salt, then soak the cumin seed at least for 30 minutes.
- Next, transfer soaked cumin seed in a grinder jar.
- Add 2-3 green chillies, put the lid on and grind them to make a smooth paste!
- Next take a metal tiffin box with a tight lid, like me, if you don’t have metal tiffin box then use a cake pan, and transfer the cumin, green chilli paste, add in turmeric powder, salt and mustard oil.
- I like to add a little bit of sugar to balance the taste! You can skip the step if you enjoy the pungent flavour.
- Stir the spice mix; then I will add the fish pieces. Make sure the spices well coated on both sides.
- Add about a 1/4 cup of water; you can add less water if you enjoy almost dry curry!
- Add a couple of slit green chillies.
- Cover the pan with foil; I like to wrap the pan twice to secure that the steam cannot escape!
- Let the fish marinate for 10- 15 minutes, then start steaming.
- Next, take a full cooking pot with a lid.
- Pour boiling water.
- Place the pan, cover with the lid.
- Over high heat cook for 5-6 minutes, you will see steam on the lid, then reduce heat to medium-low, cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, wait for 10 minutes.
Enjoy with steamed Basmati Rice!