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Lau Patay ilish Bhapa

Lau Patay Ilish Bhapa (Hilsa steamed in Bottlegourd leaves)

Pristine ilish. A smear of mustard. A drizzle of mango pickle oil. Some fiendish green chillies for the heat. Steamed to perfection.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali, Indian


  • 4 Ilish or hilsa
  • 1.5 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 0.5 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 5-6 green chilies slit
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp mango pickle oil
  • salt to taste
  • 8 tender bottlegourd leaves


  • Soak the bottlegourd leaves in boiling salted water for 10-15 odd minutes. Shake off excess water, keep aside.
  • Soak the yellow mustard seeds and black mustard seeds in warm water for 15 odd minutes.
  • Drain the water. Make a smooth paste with 3-4 green chillies, a pinch of turmeric powder and a couple of grains of rice, keep aside.
  • Add the mustard paste, turmeric powder, mango pickle oil, mustard oil and the remaining green chilies to a bowl. Give it a hearty mix.
  • Gently place the fish steaks in the bowl, sprinkle in the salt, give it another loving mix. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Arrange the bottlegourd leaves as shown in the picture, place one hilsa steak on the leaves, top with a little marinade.
  • Wrap from all four sides to make a parcel, secure with twine. Repeat for each of the remaining fish steaks.
  • Steam the bottlegourd wrapped ilish in a steamer for 15 odd minutes.
  • Serve hot.