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Vhapa Ilish

Of the several variations of Ilish maach preparations, Vhapa Ilish or, in English, steamed hilsa fish is considered to have the most refined taste by the Bengali people. In this example of Vhapa Ilish shorshe preparation, we preserved the original recipe but steamed the marinated fish in a pressure cooker instead of cooking it in a pan over a direct flame. The bony but tasty hilsa fish preserves its taste very well after being steamed.

The picture below shows the ingrdients used in Bhapa Ilish preparation:

This preparation consists of 3 steps. 

In step one, the mustard seed will be ground with salt and green chili to create the sauce.
In the second, step this sauce will be used to marinate the fish.

And finally the marinated fish will be steamed in a pressure cooker.

1. Put the black mustard seed in a grinder.
2. Add salt.
3. Then grind the mixture.
4. Add 2 green chilies.
5. Grind again.
6. Transfer the mustard powder into a bowl.
7. Add the turmeric powder.
8. Add 4 tablespoons of yogurt.
9. Mix well together.
10. Add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil.
11. Then mix again.
12. Use 2 - 4 tablespoon of water to dilute the thick sauce.
13. Then mix once more to create a uniform marinating sauce.



14. Arrange the marinated fish pieces in a steel separator. 
15. Spread the mustard sauce on the fish pieces.
16. Then marinate well by hand .
17. Make sure to add enough sauce.
18. Spread 4 green chilies on top.
19. Place a second separator on top of the first one and then arrange them on the stacker.
20. Add about a cup of water inside the pressure cooker.
21. Place the separator set inside the pressure cooker.
22. Make sure that the rim of the bottom separator is above the water level.
23. close the pressure cooker. 
25. after the steam first starts to hiss, continue heating for about five minutes.
26. then turn off the heat and allow to cool a bit.
27. release the pressure.
28. carefully open the pressure cooker as it will remain very hot.
29. Using a glove, open the separator.
30. stick a fork into the fish to see if the fork passes through easily.

This completes the vhapa ilish sorshe. It serves 2 people. Serve the lish shorshe hot with steamed white rice.