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%Pabda Macher Tel Jhal Recipe Debjanir Rannaghar

Pabda Macher Tel Jhal or Pabda Fish Curry

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A tantalizingly delicious Catfish or Pabda Maach curry, lovingly prepared with an aromatic blend of spices and simmered to perfection: it's the Pabda Mach-er Tel Jhal. Rich and flavorful, this traditional Bengali dish is sure to delight even the most discerning palates.


  • 6 Pabda Mach/ Catfish
  • 4 Tbsp. Onion Paste
  • 2 Tsp. Black Mustard Seed for paste 
  • 3 Tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic Paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
  • 6 Green Chilies
  • 3 Tbsp. Hung Curd
  • 1 Tsp. Nigella Seed/ Kalojire / Kalonji
  • 1 Tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 1 Tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp. Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. Mustard Oil


  1. Prepare a paste of mustard either in a grinder or with the help of “Silnora/ Shilbatta” by adding 2 Green chilies and 1 Tsp. of salt and keep it aside.
  2. Cut fishes into halves if they are large in size or use whole fishes if small in size and clean properly.
  3. Rub fish pieces with 1/2 Tsp. salt and ½ Tsp. turmeric powder and 1/2 Tsp. Red Chilli Powder along with 1/2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil and keep them aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and fry pieces of fish.
  5. Heat 5 Tbsp. of Mustered oil in a deep pan (preferably Karai) till the oil changes color.
  6. Sprincle 1/2 Tsp. each of Turmeric Powder, Salt, and also red chili Powder.
  7. Add Nigella Seed/ Kalojire /Kalonji to the oil to temper and also add onion paste and fry till the onion changes color.
  8. Now add Onion paste and cook till it changes color.
  9. Add tomato paste and also ginger and garlic paste and cook on medium flame till oil comes from the mixture.
  10. Now add mustard paste, curd turmeric powder, slit green chilies, red chili powder.
  11. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.
  12. Now add water and bring it to a boil.
  13. 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).
  14. Pabda Macher Tel Jhal is ready to serve with steamed rice.


  • I've used whole fish, however, cut it into halves if the fishes are of large size.
  • You must soak mustard seed in lukewarm water before making the paste.
  • 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
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