Bhapa Ilish or Steamed Hilsa
This is a Signature Bengali Dish which has to be on all important menus when Ilish /Hilsa is in season. Ilish /Hilsa fish in a mustard sauce steamed to perfection with mustard oil is a sensuous experience. There are two ways of doing this, in a steamer and in the oven.
Fresh sweet water Ilish /Hilsa: 1 Kg
Mustard Powder /Paste: 150 grms.
Mustard Oil: 250 grms
Green Chillies: 50 grms
Posto /Poppy Seeds: 50 grms
Coconut Powder or Coconut Paste: 5tbls spoons
Turmeric powder: 2 tbp spoon
Salt: As per taste.
"Please do this preparation only with Fresh Ilish, which is not frozen for too long. That will taste best."
Wash and clean 5-6 pieces of Hilsa/Ilish cut in steak size pieces.
Make Sorshe Bata or Mustard paste.
Soak Mustard Powder, Poppy seeds /Posto, Green Chilli in less than 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 minutes.
Grind them well and add little salt to make a thick mustard paste or shorshe bata and add the coconut powder or Paste with the same.
In a bowl add the above mustard paste, 2 tsp Mustard Oil, 2tsp Turmeric powder,salt to taste. Mix well. This is the mustard sauce you will use for the fish.
In the oven:
In an oven safe bowl with little mustard oil. Place the fish pieces in the bowl in one single layer. Pour the prepared mustard sauce over it so that it covers all the fish nicely. Add 3- 4 cut green chili on the top and drizzle 1 tsp or more of Mustard Oil on them
Cover the bowl with a lid and at 375F bake for 25-30 minutes
After 10-15 minutes open the cover and bake for the rest 15 minutes open.
Now its ready to serve.
Serve hot with rice. It does not taste that great if stored and served later. So Please have it hot with Rice.