Oh, how I love simple recipes like these! I love eating and cooking fish. Having grown up in Assam, I grew up with an abundant consumption of freshwater fish. In any Assamese household, the absence of fish in a meal is a rarity. My culture hence has a huge influence on my food habits and choices.
This pabda fish curry is so heartwarming and simple. All you need is some steamed rice with this and you will be in heaven after a single bite. Pabda fish is a delicacy back home. It is quite expensive as well as compared to other varieties of fish, mainly because of its beautiful texture and taste.
Padba fish has to be one of the tastiest variants of river fish – sweet, flaky and buttery in texture. It is also extremely easy to eat as it has no bones beside the central skeleton. This recipe of pabda fish jul (curry) with peas and potatoes is infused with green chilies, ginger and mustard oil. The gravy is not too watery, just enough to eat with a handful of rice. A sparsely spiced curry, the aim is to not overpower the deliciousness of the star ingredient – the fish. This has to be one of my personal favorites.
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 2-3 people
- 6 pieces of pabda fish
- 250 g fresh peas
- 1 large potato, cut in fingers.
- 1 onion, finely grated
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 3 tbsp mustard oil (for frying the fish)
- 2 tbsp mustard oil (for curry)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 green chilies, finely chopped
- 1 cup warm water
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Thoroughly clean the pabda fish, and pat dry.
- Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder. Use your fingers to cover every bit of the fish with the salt and turmeric mix.
- Hear mustard oil in a kadhai or pan. Once it gets hot and turns into a pale yellow color, fry the fish in batches. Fry the fish for one minute on each side. Be gentle so that the fish does not break. Keep it aside once done.
- Heat mustard oil in another kadhai. Let it get hot.
- Add the finely grated onion. Stir for a minute.
- Once the onion becomes translucent, add some sugar, followed by chopped green chilies. The sugar will give a beautiful brown color to the onion, and also add some sweetness to the gravy.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry till the raw aroma of them disappears.
- Next, add the tomato and fry till it gets cooked.
- As the onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic cook completely, add the peas and the potato fingers. Mix well with the rest of the spices.
- Season with turmeric, cumin, and black pepper powder. Mix well.
- Add 2 tablespoons of warm water so that the masala does not stick to the pan. Cover and cook for ten minutes till the potatoes and peas are soft.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, add the rest of the warm water. Add the fried pabda pieces to the gravy very gently. Cover and cook on medium heat for another five minutes till you get the desired consistency.
- Garnish with garam masala and chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
You can add more seasonal vegetables to this curry, but just ensure it does not overpower the flavor of the fish.
I hope you try this simple, yet delicious padba fish curry recipe. Do let me know how it turns out for you.