Bhapa Zeere Illish (steamed Cumin Hilsa)

Bhapa zeere illish is a way of cooking illish with typical north Indian masala. ‘Bhapa’ is a way of cooking, particularly in Bengal. This technique is simply steaming. The best example is ‘Bhapa illish’. ‘Bhapa zeere illish recipe is a modification of the traditional recipe in the sense, here we are using cumin powder and garam masala.

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Sapna Shaw's Secret Indian Recipe !

Preparation Time: 
20 mintues
Cooking Time: 
35 mintues


Illish (Hilsa fish) 250 grams (9 ounce)
Posto (poppy seeds paste) 2 tablespoon
Sorshe (yellow mustard paste) 1 tablespoon
Ginger -Garlic paste 2 tablespoon
Red chilli powder ½ tablespoon
Cumin powder 2 tablespoon
Grama masala 1 tablespoon
Green chillies 4-5 pieces (cut in halves)
Turmeric powder 1 tablespoon
Mustard Oil 6 tablespoon
Salt 1 tablespoon
First wash Illish fish thoroughly and drain the excess water. Apply turmeric and ½ tablespoon of salt over the illish . In a karahi pour 3-4 tablespoon of mustard oil and shallow fry the illish.
In a bowl take poppy paste, mustard paste, ginger - garlic paste, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt and mix them together. Afterwards take a tiffin box or a container with a tight lid (ideally one can either use aluminium or steel container, no plastic container) and place the illish and the masala there. Top it with remaining mustard oil and green chillies.
Put deep bottom Pan or Karahi in stove on high flame and pour water enough to cover the tiffin box. Place the tiffin box in this water and lit the flame. let it cook on steam for about 15 mintues. Alternatively one can use a streamer. After 15 mintues take the tiffin box out and pour the illish on a plate and serve hot with plain rice.