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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bhapa ilish/Steamed Hilsa

Mugdha Mohanty | 05:13 | | | |
This is a signature Bengali recipe which I and all my family members loved a lot...I first learned this recipe from my father, who is also a very good cook himself, and he taught me this very yummy recipe...He used only mustard paste in this recipe, still the taste was always awesome...For many years I also used to cook in the same process as my father...but when I came to Kolkata, and got the chance to eat this delicious recipe in various restaurants as well as households, i learned that they used poppy seed, coconut, cashew with mustard seed to balance the pungency and heat of the mustard paste, and the end result is more creamy and yummy..

Some people also use beaten curd in this recipe, which i skipped and added 1 small tomato instead, as i love the red ones a lot.This is a very delicious, juicy, creamy and aromatic fish curry..so try it soon and enjoy... :-)

Ingredients :-
  • Hilsa Pieces - 8 thick pieces
  • ( Try choosing a bigger fish with weight of 1-2 kg, bigger fish tastes better )
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 5 tbsp
  • Green chillies - 6, slit
  • Tomato - 1 small, chopped finely
  • Garlic flakes - 6, chopped finely
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Water - enough to cover the fish pieces

Grind to Paste:-
  • Black/Yellow Mustard paste - 2 tbsp
  • (I prefer yellow mustard for this recipe)
  • Poppy seed - 3 tbsp
  • Cashew - 5
  • Grated coconut - 4 tbsp
  • Grind all the above ingredients in to a smooth paste.

Method :-

  • Wash the hilsa pieces and keep aside.
  • In a big bowl add the ground masala paste, turmeric powder, green chillies, tomato, garlic, mustard oil, sugar and salt to taste.
  • To the above bowl add hilsa pieces with water and mix properly.
  • Keep aside for 30 min - 1 hr.
  • Pour everything in a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai and cover with the lid.
  • Cook in low flame till fish pieces are cooked through and the gravy thickens. It will take 20-25 min. 
  • Stir in between to ensure the contents are not sticking to the bottom.
  • Serve with plain hot rice and enjoy...:-)

I cooked this recipe in the traditional stove top method..we can also make this recipe in two other methods :-

1. Using pressure cooker/steamer :- Take a stainless steal tiffin box and grease it with little mustard oil. Apply little oil in the rim too, it'll help in opening the box with less efforts. Add only 1/3 cup water to the masala and hilsa pieces and pour them in to the tiffin box, close the lid and steam for 10-15 min, it'll be done...If you are using a pressure cooker then do not use the whistle.
2. Using microwave:- Take a microwave safe bowl that has enough space to contain the fish pieces in a single layer. Here also add only 1/3 cup water. Put the fish pieces first then pour the masala on top. Cover with a cling film, make a small cut on top and microwave for 2 min.Take out, stir carefully then cover and microwave for 4 min. Again take out, stir, then cover and microwave for 3-4 min.

You can cook this recipe in any of the above processes and get the end result as a very delicious one.

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