Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal or Pabda fish curry

Got some good quality pabda fish during our weekend haul at the fish market and made Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal. The size was not too big and as per our liking. Initially thought to make a simple sorshe bata jhol with the fish. Then decided to make a paste of onion and tomato which has been fried and then I have added the regular Sorsh bata. Rather , i have used the Sorshe guro or mustard powder available . That way, it is not a very time consuming dish. Good to have it with a plateful of plain rice after a busy office day.

Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal

Ingredients used for Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal

  • Pabda fish – 8-10 medium piece
  • Onion – 2 , small
  • Tomato – 1, medium
  • Mustard powder, I prefer the Sunrise brand, 1 tbsp
  • Green chili – as per taste
  • Salt, Turmeric
  • Kalonji seeds / Kalojire – 1 pinch
  • Mustard oil – 3 tbsp or more ( the name suggests ‘Tel’, that is there should be visible oil in the gravy)


Soak the mustard powder in one third cup of water with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes. Wash and marinate the fish pieces with salt and turmeric for 30 minutes. Then fry the fishes carefully in a pan. Keep aside. Make a paste of onion and tomato together along with 2 -3 green chili.

Take a clean pan. Add mustard oil and when it is hot, add the kalonji seeds with green chilli.

Pour the onion tomato paste into the oil. Fry till the raw smell is gone. Then add turmeric and a pinch of salt and fry till oil starts coming out of the masala.

Add the mustard paste and mix well with the onion tomato masala. I prefer not to heat mustard paste much, but for this recipe I have fried it along with onion and it didnot turn bitter.

Next add 1 and half cup of hot water and let it boil. Slide the fried fish pieces carefully into the pan.

After 5 minutes, add few more green chili and 1 tbsp of mustard oil. Adjust the seasoning and remove from heat.

Pabda machh er tel jhal is ready to be served . Enjoy !!

Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal
Pabda Machh er Tel Jhal