Fish is nature’s bounty, a great source of food and nutrients for humans and animals. We have a huge history of fish being a crucial part of Indian cuisine. It is overwhelmed with great nutritional properties such as vitamins, proteins, and fatty acids. Before heading out and buying fish, you should have a thorough knowledge of the varieties of fish in India and their geographical and nutritional features.
So, let’s dive into the 19 most popular types of fish in Indian markets:
1. Rohu or Carpo Fish
A species of the carp family, rohu fish is a delicacy in the eastern states of India, especially in West Bengal and Bihar. It is golden-silverish in color and has a small head and a sharp face with a maximum length of 1m. One thing to be noted is that it is a bony fish and requires concentration and effort to consume. It is a very popular fish and has great demand in the market.
2. Rani or Pink Perch
As the name suggests, this pink perch generally has pinkish-red skin, small in size, and is less oily. These are found in softwater pounds and have a mild and sweet taste. The best thing about these fish is that they have less fish odor and minimum bones.
3. Surmai or Mackarel
Surmai is also known as the ‘Indo-pacific king’ because it belongs to the Indian ocean. It has many names worldwide, such as ‘mackerel’ or ‘seer fish’ etc. People prefer surmai because it’s boneless and has an irresistibly smooth and succulent taste.
4. Rawas or Indian Salmon
This fish is the most devoured in all parts of India. It is mostly found in the western waters of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is loaded with amino acids, vitamins, and essential minerals. This has been the best pick all around the world because it is boneless, has easy availability, and has rich nutritional content.
5. Catla Fish or Indian Carp
Catla fish is found in the north Assam and Bengal regions. It has a large and broad head with muscular bones and has low-fat content. Apart from that, it has huge nutritional value, like protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also preferred by weight-watchers as it has less fat and low calorific value.
6. Paplet or Pomfret Fish
Paplet fish is popularly known as ‘Indian Butterfish.’ It comes from South Asia and also belongs to the Indian Ocean. The white meat, buttery texture, and non-fishy flavors make it the most popular dish in India.
7. Hilsa or Ilish Fish
Ilish, a freshwater fish, is the national fish of Bangladesh. It is a delicacy famous in Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh. It is enriched with good proteins and omega 3, which helps to prevent any heart diseases. The best way to savor it is in the form of curry with some steamed rice.
8. Singhara or Seenghala Fish
Giant river catfish, a species of Bagridae catfish, is also known as ‘guizza.’ It has very few bones, is easy to pick out, and has an oily and meaty texture that gives it a rich and wholesome flavor.
9. Bangda or Indian Mackerel
The Indian mackerel is found in the western and Indian Pacific oceans. It is a famous Maharashtrian delicacy savored in different forms. It is an oily and bony fish that naturally contains a soft and tender texture with an exceptional creamy taste. You can fry it to get that juicy and flavorful taste as well.
Read also – 16 Best Vegan Substitutes For Milk
10. Pedvey or Sardine Fish
Indian oil sardines, belonging to the Clupeidae family, are very small in size, have silver skin, and are plenty rich in vitamin D and calcium. It is nutrient-dense, makes our bones stronger, and relieves stress. These sardines are mostly found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In addition to its bony and oily nature, it is extensively rich in taste and texture.
11. India Basa
Indian Basa is a white fish native to Southeast Asia that derives from the pangasiidae family and is found in eastern Indian freshwaters. It is chosen for its firm and light texture with absolutely no bones. This fish is easily harvested, which is the reason why it is cheap and affordable.
12. Eel Fish
Eel fish is the most distinctive type of fish due to its elongated and worm-like body. It also comes with numerous health benefits, such as strengthening bones, improving blood pressure, and reducing the risk of diabetes and arthritis.
13. Tilapia Fish
Tilapia, popularly called ‘jalebi,’ is a freshwater fish that is low in fat content and loaded with protein and minerals. It has a mild and sweet taste and is the most desirable fish all over the world.
14. Tengra or Mystus Tengra
Tengra is a special delicacy for the people near Indian rivers like Bengal, Odisha, and Chattisgarh. This freshwater fish has a very mild and sweet taste as compared to other fishes. It can be pan-fried, grilled, or smoked to enhance its flavors.
15. Kajoli Fish
Kajoli is derived from the family of ailiidae catfish. This fish is mostly devoured in Bengal and Bangladesh, where it is known as ‘baspata.’ It is famous for its extremely tender and sweet taste.
16. Karimeen or Pearl Spot Fish
Karimeen, or Green Chromide, is known for its elliptical size with pearl spots all over the body. This fish is an authentic dish of Kerala. It can be pan-fried, grilled on charcoal with lots of spices, or braised in coconut gravy.
17. Jhinga or Prawn Fish
Prawn fish is very important for the Indian aquaculture industry for its demand and taste. They are rich in selenium, zinc, and other antioxidants. This dish tastes best as an appetizer or with rice dishes.
18. Bhetki Fish
The Asian Sea Bass, also known as Barramundi, is an Indo-western fish found in Southeast Asian waters. They are considered to be the favorite of Bengalis due to their gentle and soft flesh with lesser bones. It is highly rich in potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins.
19. Bombay Duck
Bombay duck is a freshwater fish found in Indian and Bangladesh markets. They have a delicate structure with a single rib bone, easy to eat with a strong, fishy, and salty taste. The rich flavors of this marine fish are heavenly.
Hope this fish guide gave you a comprehensive understanding of the fishes and their availability across the country. So next time you are visiting a fish market, you’ll be informed enough as to which kind of fish is best to be served next on your platter.
Read also – 11 Varieties Of Puttu You Must Try