Ritha Fish in Bengali Cooking: Things to Know

Bengalis’ love for fish is an open secret. They cook and eat different types of foods. Ruhi, Katla, Hilsa etc are most common finds on Bengalis’ menus. However, they also relish other varieties such as Rita or Ritha fish.

Rita is a variety of Catfish. The fish is mainly found in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In both East Bengal and West Bengal, rita fish is used to make a variety of delicious fish curries.

Uses of Ritha Fish in Bengali Cuisines

Ritha Fish in Bengali Cooking

Rita fish is mostly popular in epar bangla and opar bangla (West Bengal and East Bengal).

Ritha fish curry and rita fish bhuna are a favorite with the Bengalis who love the fish. Crisply fried rita fishes are also served with steaming rice and lentils.

You May Also Like:  What is Roasting? Explanation, Types & Tips to Roast Better

Some Bengalis use paste of poppy seeds to cook ritha fish. The paste gives a good thick texture and a different taste to the fish curry.

How to Master the Art of Cooking Rita Fish? 

Always rub some salt, turmeric powder and mustard oil on rita fish pieces before frying.

This way, salt and turmeric powder will get into the fish and mustard oil will prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

If you are making curry, add the fried fish only when the gravy comes to a boil.

You can use onion, ginger and garlic to make the fish curry spicy.

Add tomato puree or sliced tomatoes for some tanginess and balanced flavors.

How to Make Rita Fish Taste Good?

When you are making the fish curry, don’t fry it crisp. Heat the oil well before adding the fish.

Once the fishes turn light brown, take them out of the pan. This way, they won’t break in the curry.

Rita fish splatters a lot; so take precautions and stand away from the pan.

You can also use a lid while frying the fish. You can coat the fish pieces with a layer of flour to reduce splattering.

You May Also Like:  Tomato in Bengali & Indian Cuisine: Things to Know

It’s important to marinate the fishes and keep them aside for a while.

If you are using poppy seeds (in pasted form), make sure to use a little more oil; otherwise, the raw flavor of the paste won’t go away.

Rita fish tastes good if cooked spicy. You don’t have to use a lot of spices; rather turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder.

Garnish fish curry with green chilies.

Questions & Answers:

Do You Need to Marinate Rita Fish Before Cooking?

It’s better to marinate rita fish before cooking. Keep the fish marinated for half an hour. Use salt and turmeric powder to marinate the fish.

How Long Does Rita Fish Take to Cook?

Rita fish is soft and cooks very quickly. It does not take more than half an hour to cook the fish.

Which Part of Rita Fish is Best?

The mid-part of the rita fish (between head and tail) tastes good. It is the fleshiest part of the fish.

How Do You Know When Rita Fish is Cooked?

The best way to make sure that rita fish is done is to use a fork from an angle. Try to poke the fork at the thickest part and twist gently. If the fish is done, it will flake easily. Furthermore, properly cooked fish also loses its raw appearance i.e. translucent texture.

You May Also Like:  Indian Cooking with Cashew Nuts (Kaju): Things to Know


Bengalis love for fish is well-known, and Rita fish is a popular choice in both East and West Bengal.

Rita fish is a variety of catfish mainly found in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Bengalis use Rita fish to make different types of delicious fish curries, and there are various ways to cook the fish to make it taste good.

It is recommended to marinate Rita fish before cooking, and the mid-part of the fish is considered the fleshiest and best-tasting part.

When cooked properly, Rita fish should have a flaky texture and lose its translucent appearance.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top