Pabda Macher Jhal (Indian Cat Fish Curry)

‘Pabda Mach’ or Indian Cat Fish is a very soft and tasty fish. It can be cooked with mustard-poppy seed paste ‘Shorshe Posto Pabda’ or can be cooked with tomato-ginger paste. This curry is little dry and tastes best with steamed rice. This is a very simple recipe and takes very less time to cook. All you need a little patience while frying the fish. If the oil is not hot, the fish sticks to the bottom of the pan. In addition, always use a lid while frying the fish, as hot oil splatters while frying the fish.


  • Pabda Mach – 4 pcs
  • Tomato – 1 big
  • Ginger – 1”
  • Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
  • Green Chilli – 4-5 nos
  • Mustard Oil – ¼ cup
  • Salt – To taste
  • Chopped Fresh Coriander – A handful


  1. Wash and clean the fishes. Smear ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt on the fishes. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make a smooth paste with tomato and ginger in a grinder.
  3. Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan to shallow fry the fishes. Carefully slide the fishes in hot oil. Fry till light from both sides. Take out from oil and keep aside.
  4. Add 2 tsp oil in pan. Temper the oil with slit green chillies.
  5. Add tomato and ginger paste. When oil start to appear on the sides add dry spices.
  6. Add a splash of water and cook till oil separates.
  7. Add ½ cup water and let it come to boil.
  8. Season with salt and add fried fishes. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn the fishes after 5 minutes.
  9. Drizzle 1 tsp oil on the pan. Sprinkle chopped coriander.
  10. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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