Doodh Pabda (Indian Catfish with Milk)

‘Pabda’ (one kind of Indian catfish) is always my favourite. I mostly prefer to cook with mustard paste (Shorshe-Posto Pabda) or with poppy seed paste (Posto Pabda). This time I cooked a very traditional and old recipe from my grand Maa’s collection, ‘Doodh Pabda). ‘Doodh’ means milk in Bengali. This fish curry is cooked in milk in addition with nigella seeds, green chilli paste and dash of mustard. This tastes awesome with steamed rice.



  • Pabda Mach – 4 nos
  • Bori – 10-12 (Sundried lentil dumpling)
  • Kalo Jeera or Nigella Seeds – ½ tsp
  • Mustard Paste or Powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  • Green Chilli Paste – 1 Tbsp
  • Ginger Paste – 1 ½ tsp
  • Green Chilli – 3-4
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Mustard Oil – 3-4 Tbsp
  • Fresh Coriander – A handful’
  • Salt – To taste


  1. Smear ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt on the fish. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a pan. Let the oil be smoking hot then reduce the heat.
  3. Fry the ‘boris’ and keep aside.
  4. Next fry the fish carefully one by one. Take out from oil and keep aside.
  5. In the same oil add nigella seeds and green chilli. Sauté till it turns aromatic.
  6. Next add ginger paste and sauté till raw smell goes off.
  7. Mix mustard paste or mustard powder in little water. Add this in the pan.
  8. Next add turmeric powder, green chilli paste and salt. Mix well.
  9. Add little water. When the water starts to boil add fried fish and fried lentil dumplings.
  10. Next add milk. Cover and cook till the fish and boris are cooked.
  11. Remove cover and drizzle a little mustard oil.
  12. Switch off the gas and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves.
  13. Serve hot with steamed rice only.

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