Bhapa Rui or Bengali Steamed Rohu

Bengali Sorshe bhapa rui mach recipe

For as long as I can remember, fish has been a compulsory side-dish for lunches at home. There would be rice which would be accompanied with a serving of dal or lentils, a sabji or vegetable side dish and a fish to fulfill our daily protein need. Though we have a range of fishes to choose from, but for regular meals we would most of the time get Rohu or rui mach, which is always abundantly available and at much cheaper rates. This Bhapa Rui Mach recipe is a Bengali staple cooked most frequently in a Bengali household.

There is no getting around this fact that we Bengalis cannot live without our daily share of fish in our meals. So, at one point of time it becomes imperative to look for a source of protein that is easily available and equally good in taste.  Rui mach or rohu fish ticks all boxes in the criteria list. This riverine fish is sweet in taste and perfectly complements the flavors it is cooked with. Whether it is the pungency of mustard seeds or tartness of yogurt, this fish is the man-friday of all.

This recipe of bhapa rui is probably one of the healthiest preparations of all. It is steamed, with minimum of spices and helps retain the flavor and goodness of the fish intact while cooking. This recipe is probably one of the easiest as well, and can be cooked within 20 minutes tops. Needless to say that this Bhapa Rui recipe has saved me on many hurried mornings or when I am expecting guests at short notice.


Course Side Dish
Cuisine Bengali
Servings 4 People


  • 4 nos Rui Mach or Rohu fish pieces
  • 2 tsp Mustard Seed powder
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Seeds
  • Salt To Taste
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 3 Green Chilies


  1. If you are using Mustard Seeds powder like me, then soak it with some salt in warm to tepid water for 10 minutes. 

  2. Take Poppy seeds and buzz them with some water to make a smooth paste of it. Now, add the soaked mustard powder in it and pulse it together with some turmeric powder and a green chili. 

  3. Take a glass baking dish and put it in your steamer. Now, dip each piece of fish in the mustard-poppy paste and lay it in the baking dish. Once all the fish pieces are laid side-by-side, pour the remaining paste over the fishes. 

  4. Drizzle some mustard oil on top and lay 2 green chilies slit in halves.

    Now, steam it for 7-10 minutes or till the fish has been cooked properly. Once done you will see that the flesh has turned white inside.

    Serve hot with steamed rice.    

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