Masun Bhabi’s Dom Ilish (Rice steamed Hilsa fish)

Masun Bhabi’s Dom Ilish (Rice steamed Hilsa fish)


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About this recipe: Dom Ilish of Hilsa cooked on steam is a very traditional dish in Bengali cuisine. Try it out with rice, green chilies and pickles.

Taniya_Rahman Dhaka, Bangladesh


  • 1 Ilish fish ( Hilsa) ( excluding the head), sliced into pieces
  • 1 cup of onion slices
  • 1/2 cup of mustard paste
  • 1/4 cup of mustard oil
  • 1/4 cup of soybean oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of onion paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • salt as needed
  • Kataribhog, Minicat or any kind of rice of any amount (this is needed for steaming the fish)


  1. Mix the fish pieces with all the ingredients except for the rice. Set aside for 1-1.5 hours in a fridge.
  2. Mean while, cook the rice until the water starts to boil and the rice grains are still not completely cooked, but are rather slightly hard.
  3. Filter the water out from the rice. Transfer half of the rice on a separate bowl.
  4. Put a tawa on the stove and allow it to get hot.
  5. Place the rice pot on the hot tawa.
  6. Place a washed piece of banana leaf on the rice. Now place the fish pieces and cover with another washed piece of banana leaf.
  7. Add the rest of the rice.
  8. Cook on tawa for 1-1.5 hours.
  9. When the rice has been completely cooked, transfer out the top layer of rice.
  10. Take out the rice-steam cooked fish pieces, one at a time and place on a dish with a fresh banana leaf.
  11. Mix the top and bottom layer of the rice together in a bowl. The bottom layer of rice would turn a bit yellow as some of the spices could have leaked out. Or you can just serve the top and bottom rice layers separately with the fish.
  12. Serve hot.

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