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%Pabda Macher Tel Jhal Recipe

Pabda Mach-er Tel Jhal or Pabda Fish Curry

  • Author: Debjani Chatterjee
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 People


A traditional fish curry prepared with Cat fish or Pabda Maach known as Pabda Mach-er Tel Jhal


  • Pabda Mach/ Cat Fish: 5-6 (I've used whole fishes, however, cut into halves if the fishes are of large size)
  • Onion Paste: 5 Tbsp.
  • Black Mustard Seed for paste: 2 Tsp. (it should be soaked in lukewarm water before making the paste)
  • Tomato paste: 3 Tbsp.
  • Nigella Seed/ Kalojire / Kalonji: 2 Tsp.
  • Salt: to taste
  • Turmeric powder: 1 Tsp.
  • Red Chili Powder: 1/2 Tsp.
  • Garam Masala Powder: 2 Tsp.
  • Green Chili: 5-6(slit)
  • Mustard Oil: 4-5 Tbsp.


  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 Tsp. salt and ½ Tsp. turmeric powder and keep them aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and fry pieces of fish.
  5. Heat 3 Tbsp. of Mustered oil in a deep pan (preferably Karai) till the oil changes color.
  6. Add Nigella Seed/ Kalojire /Kalonji to the oil to temper and also add onion paste and fry till onion changes color in medium flame.
  7. Add tomato paste and cook in medium flame till oil comes from the mixture.
  8. Pour mustard paste, turmeric powder, slit green chilies, red chili powder and water to the mixture and boil it in medium flame.
  9. Now add fried Fish pieces slowly to the mixture and cook it in a low flame for at least 10 minutes (Pan should be covered with a lid in this stage) till water soaked.
  10. Pabda Macher Tel Jhal is ready to serve with steamed rice.
  • Category: Fish
  • Cuisine: Bengali
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