Pabda Maachcher Jhaal/ Indian Catfish spicy Gravy

Pabda Maach is a kind of small catfish which is a much loved fish in the Bengali household. Pabda maach is generally had in mustard sauce, with kalo jire/ Kalaunji and kancha lonka/ green chilies  or with bori/ small lentil dumplings. Pabda Macher jhaal is one of my comfort foods, so here is the recipe for it.


• 5 pieces of fresh pabda fish also called Indian Catfish
• 20 gm of freshly ground mustard:
• 2 or 3 Green chillies that have been ground to a paste
• A teaspoon of garlic paste
• • A teaspoon of ginger paste
• ½ teaspoon of Red chilly powder or to taste
• ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
• ½ teaspoon of Cumin seeds
• 100 gm of Mustard oil:
• Salt (to taste)


Preparation –

  • Wash and then clean the fish
  • Next apply turmeric and salt to the fish pieces and fry them lightly in the mustard oil.
  • In another saucepan heat about one or two tablespoon of oil and add the cumin seeds.
  • After a few seconds add the ginger garlic pastes.
  • Once the ginger paste becomes red in colour add the green chilly paste followed by red chilly powder and the turmeric powder.
  • Next water is to be added and stir the soupy broth lightly.
  • Next the fish and mustard paste should be added after a few seconds has passed
  • Finally salt (according to your taste) should be added
  • Let it simmer till the soupy broth thicken to form a gravy that has saturated the fish
  • Serve this hot with rice.


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