Mackerel Fish in Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Mackerels are abundant in India’s coastal regions like Mumbai, Goa and Kerala. This fish is a good source of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Mackerel fish  or Bhangra is a favorite for the seafood crazies. The fact that it can be cooked in different ways contributes to its immense popularity.

Mackerel features a silver-streaked glossy skin. The fish offers a sweet-sour taste. It is an ideal fish for a classic grilled or BBQ dish as it is fleshy, juicy and stays in shape.

Uses of Mackerel Fish in Indian Cuisines

Mackerel Fish in Indian Cooking

In India, food is meant not only for your survival but also to enjoy a good time with your loved ones.

Seafood dinner or lunch is always special and never limited to visiting the local market, bargaining with the fisher women, taking false pride (though most of you are not aware of it) in having outsmarted the semi-literate ladies, coming back home and grilling, frying or barbequing those catches to perfection.

The entire thing from shopping to marinating to cooking to plating out is kala (art) and a perfectionist is always a gifted kalakar.

Bhangra fish fry is a simple yet yummy delicacy. The aroma of perfectly fried mackerel is too exciting to resist.

They are served hot with fish sauce (you can relish them with coriander-mint chutney, tomato sauce or mustard sauce).

They are best to taste during snack time. For the Bongs, any fried item, both veg and non-veg, tastes yummiest with a plate of steamed rice and a bowl of masoor dal (pink lentil). Squeeze lemon on the fried mackerel for sour-sweet flavor.

Smoked, grilled and baked mackerel recipes have also made their way to Indian cuisines.

Smoky mackerels are flavourful and healthy. They are loved for their distinct and delicious flavor as well as creamy texture.

Mackerels roasted with paprika and garlic and topped with lemon juice and olive oil mean a lot for the bake-and-barbeque lovers.

Rice and fish curry are staple foods for many Indians, especially those living along the coastal regions.

Bhangra fish curry is a much-loved delicacy in these regions. Mackerels are served as a wonderful appetizer or a mouth-watering side-dish.

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The way Bangada fish is curried in Bengal is different from how it is cooked in South India’s coastal states.

A delectable Indian version of comforting mackerel curry can be made with simmering cumin and carom seeds, red chillies cooked in tamarind and coconut gravy. It is simple but supremely divine.

How Does Mackerel Fish Taste?

Mackerel is a fish with a rich and distinctive flavor. It has a strong, oily taste that some people describe as “fishy,” while others describe it as rich and savory. Mackerel has a firm and meaty texture with a moist and juicy flesh.

The flavor of mackerel can vary depending on the type of mackerel and how it’s prepared.

Atlantic mackerel, for example, has a stronger flavor than Pacific mackerel. Mackerel that’s been smoked or grilled tends to have a more intense flavor than baked or pan-fried mackerel.

Overall, Bangada is a flavorful and versatile fish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It’s often used in sushi, smoked fish spreads, and other dishes where its rich flavor and texture can shine.

What is the Best Way to Cook Mackerel Fish?

In India, mackerel fish is commonly cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some popular ways to cook mackerel fish in Indian cuisine:

Fry: One of the most popular ways to cook mackerel in India is to fry it. The fish is usually coated in a mixture of spices, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder, and then fried until crispy.

Curry: Mackerel fish curry is a popular dish in many parts of India. The fish is cooked in a sauce made with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and a variety of spices, such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and garam masala. Coconut milk or tamarind paste may also be added for flavor.

Tandoori: Mackerel can also be cooked in a tandoor oven. The fish is marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices, such as ginger, garlic, cumin, and coriander, and then cooked in the tandoor until it’s tender and flavorful.

Steamed: Another popular way to cook mackerel fish in India is to steam it. The fish is marinated in a mixture of spices, such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic, and then steamed until it’s fully cooked and tender.

No matter which method you choose, mackerel is a delicious and healthy fish that can be enjoyed in many different ways in Indian cuisine.

To be honest, the best way to cook depends on how you want to have the Mackerel fish. You can simply pan fry the fillets by removing the bones first.

It is very tasty and you can cook it in a very simple way. In the high heat it simply gets super crispy.

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How Do You Prepare Mackerel Fish for Cooking?

Preparing mackerel fish for cooking is a simple process that involves a few basic steps:

Cleaning: The first step is to clean the fish. Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold running water and then use a sharp knife to remove the head, tail, and fins.

Cut open the belly and remove the internal organs. Rinse the fish again under cold running water to remove any remaining blood or debris.

Scaling: If the mackerel is not already scaled, use a fish scaler or the back of a knife to remove the scales from the skin. Hold the fish firmly by the tail and scrape the scales from the head towards the tail.

Filleting: You can either cook the mackerel whole or fillet it. To fillet the fish, use a sharp knife to make a cut along the spine from the head to the tail. Then, carefully slide the knife along the ribcage to separate the fillet from the bone. Repeat on the other side.

Seasoning: Mackerel has a rich flavor and can be seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. You can also add other herbs and spices, such as dill, thyme, or paprika, to enhance the flavor.

Once the fish is cleaned, scaled, filleted, and seasoned, you can cook it using your preferred method, such as grilling, baking, pan-frying, or smoking.

What Gets Rid of Mackerel Fish Smell?

The strong smell of mackerel fish can be difficult to get rid of, but there are several things you can do to reduce or eliminate the odor:

Vinegar: Soaking the fish in a solution of vinegar and water can help to neutralize the odor. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and soak the fish for 30 minutes before cooking.

Lemon: Lemon juice can help to mask the smell of fish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish or rub the fish with lemon slices before cooking.

Baking soda: Sprinkling baking soda over the fish before cooking can help to absorb the odor. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Then, sprinkle baking soda over the fish and let it sit for a few minutes before cooking.

Salt: Rubbing the fish with salt before cooking can also help to reduce the odor. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Then, rub it with salt and let it sit for a few minutes before cooking.

Fresh herbs: Adding fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, or cilantro, to the fish can help to mask the odor. Sprinkle the herbs over the fish or stuff them inside the fish before cooking.

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In addition to these methods, it’s important to clean and handle the fish properly to reduce the odor.

Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold running water and remove any internal organs or blood. Store the fish in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to cook it, and wash your hands and cutting board thoroughly after handling the fish.

Questions & Answers:

Do You Eat the Skin of Mackerel Fish?

Fish skin is full of oils and it is eaten safely. There are many countries and cultures where the skin is eaten as a snack. If this fish was cleaned very nicely then there would be no problem in eating the fish skin.

What Goes Best with Mackerel Fish?

Rice, boiled veggies, mustard sauce, cucumber, toasted bread, tomato and avocado salsa, spicy tomato pasta, apple and radish salad, honey and roasted carrots and creamy potato salad etc can go better with Mackerel fish.

Does Mackerel Fish Need Salt?

If you want to remove the unpleasant smell then you can add salt as it extracts excess water and oil from the fish but as such you want to use salt as Mackerel fish is already a salty fish.

Do You Have to Take Bones Out of Mackerel Fish?

You can cook the whole Mackerel fish as it is but if you want to eat the fish after deboning and cutting the fillets and then pan fry it perfectly. You can simply debone it with a sharp knife and make small fillets.

Conclusion

Mackerel fish is a popular seafood in India, especially in coastal regions like Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala, due to its abundance in these areas.

The fish is rich in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel can be cooked in different ways, including frying, currying, grilling, baking, and steaming.

Mackerel curry is a popular dish in many parts of India, and it is cooked in a variety of ways depending on the region.

Mackerel has a firm and meaty texture with a moist and juicy flesh and a rich and distinctive flavor that can vary depending on the type of mackerel and how it’s prepared.

Overall, mackerel is a flavorful and versatile fish that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

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