Pabda macher jhol kalojeere ar bodi diye / fish curry with nigella & no-onion no-garlic recipe
Recipe type: lunch
Cuisine: Indian (Bengali)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Pabda mach or fresh water pabo catfish recipe tempered with nigella and no onion no garlic recipe
  • Pabda mach / pabo catfish : 8-10 small size
  • Nigella seeds : ¾ tsp (must have)
  • Ginger-cumin paste : 2 tbsp (see note how to make it)
  • Green chillies : 3-4 or as per taste
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder : a large pinch (just to add some color)
  • Salt : 1 tbsp plus as per taste
  • Sugar : ½ tbsp
  • Coriander leaves (fresh) : ½ cup finely chopped (must have)
  • Daler bodi / lentil wadis : 6-8 (must have)
  • Mustard oil as required
  1. Wash the fish thoroughly and smear them evenly with generous amount of salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside for 15 minute or so.
  2. In a separate pan fry the daler bodi or lentil wadis and keep aside.
  3. Heat a large fry pan or kadhai and add the mustard oil enough for frying the fishes.
  4. Once the oil is smoking hot, carefully place the fish one by one, maximum two or three fish at at time. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  5. Fry the fish lightly (do not brown or over brown the fish). Just 3-4 minute on each side.
  6. Remove the fishes from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  7. Add more oil if requires.
  8. Once the oil is hot enough. temper it with nigella seeds.
  9. As soon as the seeds starts to crackle, add the ginger cumin paste.
  10. Lower the heat, saute the spice blend. Throw in some slitted green chillies.
  11. Add turmeric powder, pinch of red chilli powder, salt and sugar to taste.
  12. Saute nicely till the masala starts separating from the pan.
  13. Add two cups of warm water, cover the pan.
  14. Once the water starts boiling, carefully dip the fish in the gravy.
  15. Add the fried daler bodi / lentil wadi.
  16. Cook uncovered on low heat for 5 more minute.
  17. Add the chopped coriander leaves, give it a stir.
  18. Close the lid for 2 minute, and switch off the heat.
  19. Serve hot with steamed white rice.
How to make ginger and cumin paste (jeere aada bata) :
Soak the cumin seeds around ¼ cup for an hour.
Wash, peel and chop the two inch fresh ginger.
Blend them together in mixer and store in the fridge.
For smaller quantities, you can use mortar and pestle too.
Recipe by saffronstreaks at