BHAPA ILISH / STEAMEDHILSA FISH A BONG DELICACY TO DIE FOR






 BHAPA ILISH /STEAMEDHILSA FISH: A BONG DELICACY TO DIE FOR

The age long battle:


On the off chance that Ilish (Hilsa fish) is the lord of fishes then Chingri (Prawn) is the ruler. The virtual catfight over the preeminent taste of both the assortment requires no further dialog, particularly among Bengali people. Bengals (individuals with inception in Bangladesh) and their affection for Ilish is as same as the Ghoti individuals’ inclination for Prawns. I for one cherish Hilsa over Prawns and shockingly I am not in Bengal. Nonetheless, I lean toward the Bengal method for cooking over the Ghoti way.There are a few well known dishes utilizing Hilsa fish is accessible and bhapa Ilish is one of the mark dish prepared with Ilish Maach.




There are various assortments of Hilsa dishes accessible and Bhapa Ilish is one of the universally famous amongthem.” Bhapa Ilish “implies Steamed Hilsa where “Bhapa “portrays for steaming. There are various assortments of Hilsa dishes accessible and Bhapa Ilish is one of the universally famous among them.” Bhapa Ilish” implies Steamed Hilsa where “Bhapa” portrays for steaming. Generally, Bong women used to steam their Hilsa in a "Stainless Steel Tiffin Box" while making the rice in a Handi (Ha-n-ri). That really is the perfect procedure of making Bhapa Ilish. In any case, these days we select less demanding ways while making the Bhapa Ilish. Bhapa Ilish can be set up in a Vessel or in a Pressure Cooker and even in Microwave.

Recipe of Bhapa Ilish/Steamed Ilish
Step 1: The Paste and the sauce

Make Sorshe Bata or Mustard paste.
Soak 2 tbsp Mustard seeds(Shorshe) + 2 tsp Poppy seeds(Posto) + 3-4 hot Green Chilly in less than 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 minutes
Grind the above with little salt to make a thick mustard paste or shorshe Bata 
Note: Some of my friends do not use Posto or Poppy seeds for the paste. Instead they add a little grated coconut.

In a bowl add the above mustard paste + 1 heaped tsp Yogurt + 2 tsp Mustard Oil +1/4 tsp Turmeric powder + 1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder (optional) + salt to taste. Mix well. This is the mustard sauce you will use for the fish.
Quick Tip: If you have a bottle of Kasundi, add 1-2 tsp of Kasundi to the mustard paste that you have made. This lends an awesome taste.

Step 2: The Fish

Wash and clean 5-6 pieces of Hilsa/Ilish cut in steak size pieces.
Step 3: Bringing it together 2 ways
Way 1 -- In the oven

Smear 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 pieces nicely. Add 3-4 slit green chili on the top and drizzle 1 tsp or more of Mustard Oil on them

Cover the bowl with an aluminum foil and at 375F bake for 25-30 minutes

After 10-15 minutes from start remove the foil cover and bake for the rest 15 minutes open

Serve hot with rice. Does not taste that great if stored and served later.

Way 2 -- In the pressure cooker

smeara pressure cooker safe bowl with little mustard oil. Place the fish pieces in the bowl in one single layer. Pour the prepared mustard paste or sauce over it so that it covers all the fish pieces nicely. Add 4 slit green chili on the top and 1 tsp or more of Mustard Oil on them

Cook in pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles. 
Here is a pressure cooker version.
Note on making Mustard Paste: When I didn’t have a small wet grinder to make my mustard paste Iused to dry grind the seeds in my coffee grinder and then mix the dry powder with a little vinegar, salt, and green chilies and keep for an hour or so to prevent the bitterness. My current wet grinder(Magic Bullet) serves the purpose much better and makes a nice smooth paste with green chilies, and salt

Quick Tip: If you have a bottle of Kasundi, add 1-2 tsp of Kasundi to the mustard paste that you have made. This lends an awesome taste


Trivia: Hilsa is an oily fish, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids



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