Dudhman Kochu pata diye Ilish Bhapa (Hilsa Fish Steam Cooked in Colossia / Taro Leaves): Recipe with Step by Step Pictures

You know the worst thing about living far from family? Obviously it is staying away from our loved ones, the uniqueness of day to day life with them, but more than everything it is the food. A plain dal-bhat prepared by Maa is much tastier and fills our heart and hunger in a better way than the best of restaurant dishes (lets just not talk about hostel food). Nothing comes on a par with Maa’er haath er ranna. Isn’t?
I crave for her cooking, no doubt. But it becomes intolerable during monsoons. No point for guessing why. Yes, it is the season of Ilish ( Hilsa) and like every freaking Bengali fish lover, I can walk, talk, laugh, run, sleep, snore Ilish.  So as I am home now for a few days, the glory of the inner cat has risen upon me and I just have to have fish every day. I am starting a series. "Phire Khawa", where I’ll try to bring to you delicious vintage recipes from Bengal, which due to our lack of time and also sometimes due to our lack of knowledge, has almost been forgotten.  Lets preserve the precious memories and moments...

The first on the series is my favorite Dudhman Kochu pata diye Ilish Bhapa (Hilsa Steamed in Colossia Leaves). The name itself makes my mouth water. This is what homecoming means…
Kochu is something I absolutely love, in any form, and the Kochu pata – Hilsa Fish is a marriage made in Heaven. There are varieties of kochu pata available in the market or in the neighbourhood. They tend to give you an itchy throat, so be careful while choosing them (don’t just go into any random places picking random colocasia leaves). I went for Doodhman Kochu Pata, they are known for their sweetness and non-itchiness. This recipe is super easy to cook, but is utterly butterly delicious. You wouldn’t be able to stop licking your fingers. I promise …
So without wasting any time further, lets start with it…


  • Whole Doodhman kochu pata/ Colocasia leaves (Washed and patted dry)
  • 1-2 Doodhman kochu pata/ Colocasia leaves finely chopped.
  • Ilish Mach / Hilsa Fish (washed delicately
  • Mustard paste (We love to grind the seeds the traditional way, you can use powdered mustard and then mixed with water to make a paste. But this method lacks the ‘love’ and emotion)
  • Green chilli paste
  • Whole Green chilies.
  • Mustard oil
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Salt

Start by marinating the fish. Add mustard-green chilli paste, salt and turmeric to the fish. Now pour in generous quantity of mustard oil and add the chopped colocasia leaves and whole green chillies. Coat the fishes well.

Now take one whole colocasia leaf, rub mustard oil to the inner surface and place a piece of fish along with some marinade.

Fold the leaf from each side and make it a parcel and tie with thread so that the parcel does not open while cooking. I just pinned a toothpick. That works as well.

Now place the parcels in a Tiffin box, close the lid and put the box inside a pressure cooker. Pour water into the cooker, close the lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes in simmer. 
(You can place the Tiffin box inside any heavy bottomed pot, place an O-ring and place the container over it. Pour water in the pan and then close with a lid.) While pouring water on the pan or cooker, just make sure that the water level is at least an inch below the neck of the Tiffin box.

Turn off the gas after 10 minutes and let it stand for another 10 minutes (if you can resist opening it). Take out the box, open it while it is still hot and then ……… Ahh!! I am busy

Hope you all liked the recipe. Do try and let me know. Also let us know about your favorite fish recipes, something that reminds you of your Maa, your home...  

1 comment:

  1. sounds yummy...would try it out if i can find hilsa fish here :)


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