Pabda Maach aka Butterfish is a freshwater fish with bone and is easily available in the market nearby at our Gurgaon residence. It was quite surprising to see Pabda available in Gurgaon. This particular fish is a regular in Bengali households and I have grown up eating it. Mehebub had it for the first time after our marriage though as in my in-law's they do not cook Pabda! Though I prefer the simple Shorshe batar jhal however Mehebub prefers Pabda Macher Tel Jhal most.
Though very flavorful however I do not prefer to cook it for non-bong gatherings or whenever there is a guest who is not a typical fish eater. It is a bit tricky to manage the bones if you are not regular. Being said that, if you can manage the bones, Pabda is an amazing fish to have!
Pabda Macher Tel Jhal!
In Tel Jhal we do use both onion paste and mustard paste for the gravy. While cooking you must balance both onion and mustard as both are having a distinct flavor. The Tel Jhal must not taste like Macher Jhal and also not like Korma or kaliya.
Here's how I cook Pabda Macher Tel Jhal at Debjanir Rannaghar!Print
A traditional fish curry prepared with Catfish or Pabda Maach known as Pabda Mach-er Tel Jhal
- 6 Pabda Mach/ Catfish
- 4 tablespoon. Onion Paste
- 2 teaspoon. Black Mustard Seed for paste (it should be soaked in lukewarm water before making the paste)
- 3 tablespoon. Tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon. Garlic Paste
- 1 tablespoon. Ginger Paste
- 6 Green Chilies
- 3 tablespoon. Hung Curd
- 1 teaspoon. Nigella Seed/ Kalojire / Kalonji
- 1 teaspoon. Salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon. Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon. Red Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon. Sugar
- 4 tablespoon. Mustard Oil
- Prepare a paste of mustard either in a grinder or with the help of “Silnora/ Shilbatta” by adding 2 Green chilies and 1 teaspoon of salt and keep it aside.
- Cut fishes into halves if they are large in size or use whole fishes if small in size and clean properly.
- Rub fish pieces with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder along with ½ tablespoon Mustard Oil and keep them aside for 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry pieces of fish.
- Heat 5 tablespoon of Mustered oil in a deep pan (preferably Karai) till the oil changes color.
- Sprincle ½ teaspoon each of Turmeric Powder, Salt, and also red chili Powder.
- Add Nigella Seed/ Kalojire /Kalonji to the oil to temper and also add onion paste and fry till the onion changes color.
- Now add Onion paste and cook till it changes color.
- Add tomato paste and also ginger and garlic paste and cook on medium flame till oil comes from the mixture.
- Now add mustard paste, curd turmeric powder, slit green chilies, red chili powder.
- Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.
- Now add water and bring it to a boil.
- At this point, add fried Fish pieces slowly to the mixture and cook it on a low flame for at least 5 minutes (Pan should be covered with a lid in this stage).
- Pabda Macher Tel Jhal is ready to serve with steamed rice.
I've used whole fishes, however, cut into halves if the fishes are of large size
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Fish
- Method: cooking
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Serving Size: 125g
- Calories: 255
- Sugar: 3.8g
- Sodium: 460mg
- Fat: 14.6g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g
- Carbohydrates: 9.1g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Protein: 25.5g
- Cholesterol: 67mg
Keywords: Pabda Macher Tel jhal, Pabda mach recipe, bengali pabda fish curry recipe, debjanir rannaghar
Pabda Macher Tel Jhal Recipe Video
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