Ilish Paturi

Ilish Paturi

Ilish Paturi

Ilish Paturi is a delectable Bengali recipe where Hilsa fish fillets are marinated in a spicy mustard paste, wrapped in banana leaves, and then steamed or grilled. The banana leaves impart a unique aroma and flavor to the fish, making this dish a crowd-pleaser. Follow the recipe below to prepare Ilish Paturi at home.


  • 500g Hilsa fish, cut into 4-5 pieces
  • 4 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Banana leaves for wrapping


  1. Soak mustard seeds and poppy seeds (if using) in warm water for 20-30 minutes. Drain the water and grind them into a smooth paste, adding a little water if required.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the mustard-poppy seed paste, grated coconut (if using), turmeric powder, slit green chilies, mustard oil, and salt. Mix well to form a thick marinade.
  3. Marinate the Hilsa fish pieces with the prepared mustard sauce, ensuring each piece is well-coated. Let the fish marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Clean and cut banana leaves into large squares, removing the central stem. Lightly toast the leaves over an open flame to make them pliable.
  5. Place each marinated fish piece onto a square of banana leaf, along with some of the marinade. Fold the leaf to form a sealed packet, ensuring the edges are properly sealed.
  6. Prepare a steamer by filling it with water and bringing it to a boil. Alternatively, you can use a grill or an oven preheated to 180°C (350°F).
  7. If steaming, place the fish packets in the steamer, making sure they don’t overlap, and steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and tender. If grilling or baking, place the packets on a grill or in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  8. Carefully remove the packets from the steamer, grill, or oven and let them rest for a few minutes before opening. Serve the Ilish Paturi hot with steamed rice and enjoy the enticing flavors of this traditional Bengali dish.
Updated: 21 April 2023 — 06:42

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