Well, this is a dish any fish lover can die for. Pabda Mach or Pabo Catfish belongs to the catfish family. Enriched with enormous nutrition values, Pabda Mach is super tasty and flavourful and is delicate too. Hence, this delicate beauty should be handled very carefully while cooking and should never be over-fried or over-cooked. Unlike any other fish, Pabda Mach needs just a little shallow fry and it is good to go. It can also be cooked absolutely without fry, but, the raw smell of the fish can be a trouble in that case.
Available easily and abundantly in Indian subcontinents, Pabda Mach is an integral part of Bengali cuisine, both in India and Bangladesh. Padba Mach or Kajoli Mach or any other Indian catfish are very easy to clean and cook and extremely delectable to eat. Pabda Mach can be cooked in a various way, but, Shorshe Pabda is probably the most popular one.
Any Pabda Mach recipe is outrightly easy as this fish doesn’t need too much – the flavour itself is enough. Combination of Pabda Mach and shorshe bata (mustard paste) is just heavenly and this very fact makes Shorshe Pabda so popular. As per my cooking process is concerned, I always add a little bit of poppy seeds with mustard seeds – this takes the taste to a different level altogether. Goes extremely well with piping hot rice, Shorshe Pabda is my personal and my family favourite and here is how I cook it.
- 500 gm Pabda Fish (7-8 pieces approx)
- 3 table-spoon yellow mustard seed
- 1 table-spoon poppy seed
- 6 green chillies (2 roughly chopped + 4 slitted from middle)
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 tea-spoon nigella seed
- 1.5 tea-spoon turmeric powder
- 5 table-spoon mustard oil (2+3)
- 1 handful chopped coriander leaves (optional)
- 1.5 cup warm water
- salt (according to taste)
- Soak the mustard and poppy seeds in water for 10-15 minutes. Add 2 roughly chopped green chillies and make a fine paste. Keep aside.
- Wash and clean the fishes and rub 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder and some salt. Shallow fry the fishes and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add nigella seeds and slitted green chillies. Allow them to splutter.
- Add tomato and stir until the tomato turns mushy.
- Now, add the mustard-poppy paste, remaining turmeric powder and salt. Give a quick mix.
- Add water and cover the lid. Over low to medium flame, cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Now, open the lid and carefully add the fishes one by one. With gently hand stir and make sure the mustard sauce covers all the fishes properly.
- Cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Please do not over-cook.
- Open the lid and add chopped coriander leaves.
- Turn the flame off and your Shorshe Pabda is ready to be served now.
This dish is best served with hot steamed rice. Enjoy this authentic Bengali fish curry and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.