Fish has been known to be the richest source of nutrients. Certain fish contain good amounts of protein, calcium, iron, iodine, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin A and B vitamins. Fishes are also a source of essential amino acids required for the functioning of our body. According to a 2016 FOODEX magazine’s report, an estimated 60% of the Indian population consumes fish. Sardines and Mackerels are the commonly consumed fish in the Indian market. Kerala, Assam and Goa were seen to have the highest consumers of fish according to IndiaSpend’s analysis of national health data. 

Nutritional Value Of Commonly Consumed Fishes In India

Fish (100g)Energy (kcal)Carbohydrates (gms)Protein (gms)Fats (gms)
Rawas (Salmon)25002713
Katla (Carp)1062.5172
Rohu (Carpo fish)953.5151.5
Bangda (Indian mackerel)29501823
Surmai (Indo-pacific king mackerel)2050305
Fish (100g)Calcium (mg)Iron (mg)Potassium (mg)Phosphorus (mg)
Rawas (Salmon)121565465
Katla (Carp)351330410
Rohu (Carpo fish)501280170
Bangda (Indian mackerel)102515315
Surmai (Indo-pacific king mackerel)301.5430240

Health Benefits Of Fish

You can look at the nutritional values of commonly consumed fishes above. Now let us look at some of the health benefits of fish.

1. Rich Source Of Omega-3

Fishes are rich in EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). Both these omega-3 fatty acids improve cognition. Omega-3 is also anti-inflammatory and thus helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

2. Good Source Of Vitamin D

Fish is a good source of vitamin D. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are good sources of vitamin D. You might want to consume fish supplements if you don’t necessarily consume fish.

3. Reduces Risk Of Auto-Immune Diseases

Fish is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. This property of Omega-3 is beneficial against autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis and Type 1 diabetes.

4. Rich Source Of Iron

Fish is a rich source of heme iron which is better absorbed than non-heme iron found in plant sources. Some fishes like tuna, mackerel and sardines contain a higher quantity of iron compared to other fishes.

5. Abundant Source Of Protein And B Vitamins

Fishes like Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel and Sardines contain high quality of protein. Fishes are also a good source of B vitamins particularly vitamin B12 which is obtained mostly from non-vegetarian foods.

Nutritional Recipes

Now that you know the nutritional benefits of fish, let us look at some delicious fish recipes that can leave you licking your fingers!

1. Fish Fry

This tasty fish fry can be consumed with hot rice. It is very easy to make as well.

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Nutritional values (1 fish approx)

Energy: 200 kcals

Carbohydrates: 5 gms

Protein: 27 gms

Fat: 7 gms

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg salmon
  • Oil for frying
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt for taste
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 2 tbsp besan
  • Few curry leaves

Method:

  1. Clean the fish and make slits/cuts in the fish.
  2. On another plate, add turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and salt. Add a few drops of water and mix well to make a paste. Add this paste to fish.
  3. On yet another plate, take rice flour, besan, chilli powder, salt and curry leaves. Add a few drops of water and mix well. Place fish into this mixture and make sure it gets coated well.
  4. Place the fish aside for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a tawa. Place the fish in tawa and let the fish cook till it turns crusty.
  6. Gently flip the fish after a while so that the other side cooks as well.

2. Bengali Style Fish Curry

In this type of fish curry, usually, rohu is used though cod and halibut can be used as well.

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

Energy: 350 kcals

Carbohydrates: 4 gms

Protein: 30 gms

Fat: 15 gms

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg rohu
  • 1 big tomato (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp jeera powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for cooking
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 tsp jeera (slightly crushed)
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds

Method:

  1. Clean and wash the fish well. Keep it aside.
  2. Over the fish, add turmeric powder and salt. Make sure it is coated well with this marinade.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. Fry the fish pieces well, till it becomes crusty. After a while, flip the fish over so that the other side cooks as well.
  4. In another pan, add tomatoes and stir it. Add turmeric powder, jeera powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt and mix well. After a while add water and let it simmer. Now add the marinated fish to this pan.
  5. In a separate pan (for tempering), heat oil. Add mustard seeds, jeera and methi seeds. Let it crackle. After they crackle, add the mixture to the pan containing fish. Mix well. Cook for a few minutes and take off the flame.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

3. Kerala Style Fish Curry

This is a tasty fish curry recipe made in the Malabar region of Kerala. The addition of Malabar tamarind can contribute to tangy flavour.

Cooking time: 20-25 mins

Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

Energy: 318 kcals

Carbohydrates: 12 gms

Protein: 18 gms

Fat: 20 gms

Ingredients:

  • 100g of mackerel (bangda) fish
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • Few curry leaves
  • 4-5 shallots (chopped finely)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp garlic (chopped finely)
  • 2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 pieces of Malabar tamarind (kudampuli)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add rai and curry leaves and let it crackle.
  2. After the crackling is over, add the chopped shallots, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. In a bowl, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and pepper powder. Mix well and add a few drops of water to make a paste.
  4. Add this paste to the pan. Add water (around 1 cup) and tamarind as well. Mix well.
  5. Add fish to the mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes. Do not forget to add salt too.
  6. Take the curry off the stove and let it cool for a few minutes. Serve with hot rice.

4. Mangalorean Fish Curry

This tasty fish curry is prepared by using coconut milk which can go well with rice or chapati.

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

Energy: 340 kcals

Carbohydrates: 15 gms

Protein: 20 gms

Fat: 15 gms

Ingredients:

  • 100g of mackerel (bangda) fish
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 chillies
  • 2-3 pieces of jaggery
  • 3-4 pieces of garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 piece grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds 
  • 1 tsp methi seeds 
  • 1 tsp pepper seeds
  • Few curry leaves
  • ½ cup of grated coconut
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • Salt for cooking
  • Water as required

Method:

  1. Soak jaggery overnight. Sieve the jaggery later on to remove any remaining pieces of jaggery.
  2. In a kadhai, add mustard seeds. Once it starts crackling, add curry leaves to it. Add chopped onions and cook till it turns translucent. 
  3. Grind garlic, ajwain seeds, methi seeds, pepper seeds and coconut. Add turmeric and chilli powder to the ground mixture. You can add water to the mixture as well for a thicker consistency.
  4. Add this ground mixture to the kadhai. You can add a little bit of water to the fish curry as well to get a thicker consistency.
  5. Bring the curry to a boil. When the curry starts to simmer, add pieces of mackerel, slit chillies and ginger. Mix well and cook for a while. Serve hot.

5. Goan Style Fish Curry

This tangy fish gravy can make your mouth water with hunger!

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Nutritional values (1 serving approx)

Energy: 480 kcals

Carbohydrates: 15 gms

Protein: 25 gms

Fat: 28 gms

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms of mackerel
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup tomato puree
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2-3 slit green chillies
  • Salt for cooking
  • Oil for cooking

For the curry paste:

  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 pieces of garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • ½ onion (chopped finely)
  • Water as required

Method:

  1. Clean and cut the fish pieces. Keep it aside.
  2. Grind the ingredients required for the curry paste in a blender.
  3. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add mustard seeds to it and let it crackle. Add chopped onions and fry till it turns translucent.
  4. Add the curry paste (from the blender) to the kadhai. Stir for a while.
  5. Add tomato puree to the curry and mix well. Now add chilli powder, turmeric powder, slit chillies and salt. Add a little bit of water as well.
  6. Let the curry simmer for a while. Add the fish pieces to the curry. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the stove and serve with hot rice.

Key Takeaways

  1. Steaming or microwaving fish can reduce the fat content of your dish.
  2. Broiling is another cooking method that doesn’t require much oil either. Fishes like salmon, tuna and mackerel can be broiled.
  3. It is better to pan-fry fish than deep fry it, as deep-frying fish consumes an excessive amount of oil.
  4. Vegetable oil or canola oil can be used for cooking fish. Avoid using unrefined oils for cooking high heat fish preparations.
  5. Always make sure that you purchase fresh fish. Fresh fishes do not have any foul odour. The fish also has bright and bulging eyes with pink or red gills.
  6. Fish can be stored in a refrigerator or a cooler. Storing fish for long periods can prevent spoilage of fish though it might impact fish’s flavour or texture.
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