Catla Fish: Benefits And Recipes



Published on: 15-Sep-2022


10 min read


Updated on : 02-Nov-2023




Amrita Sandhu


Catla Fish: Benefits And Recipes

Catla Fish: Benefits And Recipes

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It is the third most popular freshwater fish in India. The "Major Indian Carp," also known as Catla or Katla, is a common species found in rivers and lakes throughout the Indian subcontinent. This freshwater fish is renowned for its exquisite flavour and several health advantages. In English, it is known as Indian Carp or Bengal Carp, in Malayalam as Karakatla or Karaka; in Telugu as Botchee and in Bengali as Catla.

It is commonly used in curries and other spicy dishes. Some people like to eat it raw with some lemon juice. It is a crucial component of traditional Indian pickles as well. The Catla tastes too strong after it weighs more than 2 pounds. The Catla fish is an important food source for humans in South Asia and is often consumed fresh, dried or salted. Some people believe it is healthier than other types of fish because it contains more proteins and fat than carbohydrates.

Table Of Contents

1. Nutritional Value Of Catla Fish

2. Health Benefits Of Catla Fish

3. Catla Fish Recipes: Katla Kalia

4. Dietitian's Recommendations

5..The Final Say

6 FAQs

Nutritional Value Of Catla Fish

The Catla is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B1 and B12. It contains a high amount of the amino acid taurine, which is important for heart health. According to the NIN reference range nutritional value of this fish (100gm) is given below:

  • Energy -111 Kcal
  • Moisture -74g 
  • Protein -19g
  • Fat - 2g
  • Mineral - 1g
  • Fibre - 0g
  • Carbohydrates - 3g
  • Calcium - 530mg
  • Phosphorus - 235mg
  • Iron - 1mg
  • Zinc - 1.35mg
  • Vitamin D - 102IU
  • Vitamin E - 1.21mcg

Health Benefits Of Catla Fish

  • Catla fish has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and joint pain.
  • Catla fish is also a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • In a study conducted by the U.S. According to the Department of Agriculture, Catla fish contains essential nutrients such as selenium, calcium, vitamin B12, and niacin.
  • Selenium has antioxidant properties and may help prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
  • Calcium aids in the maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, and muscle tone.
  • Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system function properly, reduces fatigue, improves memory retention, and promotes normal blood cell formation.
  • Niacin may help those at risk of cardiovascular disease lower their cholesterol level.
  • Catla fish is an excellent source of protein, which helps the body's tissues—including muscles, hair, skin, and nails—grow and heal.
  • EPA and DHA are examples of omega-3 fatty acids. They have been demonstrated to be heart-healthy, partly due to their ability to decrease blood pressure. In addition, evidence supports the idea that these fatty acids may be beneficial in lowering inflammation.
  • Studies reveal that the anti-inflammatory properties of Catla fish can help those who have arthritis.
  • Antioxidants like carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins A, E, and zinc are abundant in Catla fish. Together, these antioxidants fight free radicals to defend your body's cells. In addition, Catla fish is a fantastic source of calcium, giving 16% of the daily recommended amount in just one 100-gram meal.

Catla Fish Recipes: Katla Kalia

Fish curry, side dishes, Catla mash, Catla omelette, and fried Catla are examples of Catla dishes. Catla is a Bengali take on Mughlai fish Kalia, the following recipe:


For marinating the fish

  • Katla fish (Bhakura in Odia) - 500g
  • Mustard oil - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - ½ tbsp
  • Salt - ½ tbsp
  • Onion (for onion paste) - 8 medium-sized

For Ginger Chili Paste

  • Red chilly - 3
  • Kashmiri red chilly or Byadgi chilly - 2
  • Ginger - 3 inches
  • Green chilly - 2
  • Water - ½ tbsp

For the Katla Kalia Curry

  • Mustard oil - 150g (start with less, gradually add more, enough to fry the fish) 
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder - 2 tbsp
  • Curd - ½ cup
  • Tomatoes - 3 medium-sized
  • Green chillies - 3 chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp

Spices for Tempering the Oil 

  • Bayleaf - 2 pieces
  • Cloves - 3 pieces
  • Cinnamon stick (dalchini) - 1-inch
  • Cardamom pods (elaichi) - 3 pieces
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Preparation Method

Preparation for the Katla Kalia

1. Wash the fish properly, then allow the water to drain. Next, marinate the fish fillets in oil, salt, and turmeric.

2. Make the ginger chilli paste by soaking the red chilli and Kashmiri (or byadgi) red chiles in water overnight. You can alternatively boil water and soak the peppers in it for 30 minutes for faster results.

Cooking the Curry

1. Allow the oil to smoke in the wok.

2. Lower the flame to medium after the oil starts to smoke, then fry the fish on both sides. Make sure each side becomes golden.

3. Fry the fish in batches

4. The curry should be made with new oil. You will need to add extra mustard oil if the oil is less.

5. Keep at low flame

6. As instructed, under "Spices for Tempering", in the ingredients section, add the whole spices. For all the flavours to come out, stir for a minute.

7. Add the onion paste and turn the heat to medium. Cook till the raw scent goes away, and the colour turns brown.

8. Add the chilly ginger paste, and simmer it for a few minutes.

9. Add the turmeric and cumin powder once the chilly ginger paste's raw flavour has vanished.

10. Spices should be sautéed until the raw flavour is present. Then, reduce the flame until the raw flavour has vanished.

11. Add the curd after whisking it. To prevent curdling, combine and stir continuously. It will take two to three minutes.

12 Set the flame/heat to medium. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the oil starts to release. Keep stirring to avoid the spices from burning and sticking to the bottom of the wok.

13. When the spice and tomato mixture is fully cooked, the oil will start to separate from it.

14. Add hot water to this. 

15. Add the salt and sugar when the oil has reached a rolling boil. Include the green peppers.

16. For five minutes, cook the Katla Kalia at a medium temperature with a cover.

17. Remove the top and examine for seasonings. Adjust if needed.

18. Turn the flame to low and add the fish fillets. Cook for 10 more minutes while covered.

19. Turn the flame off.

Dietitian’s Recommendation

It is generally found from June to July as they bread, especially in this season. This affordable fish packs a nutritional punch and has a low mercury content. It improves heart health, bone, skin, and the eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - Dietitian Vajeda Rehman

The Final Say

Do not forget to put Catla in your basket. Add Catla fish to your diet for several health benefits. These fatty acids are excellent fats and will not hurt your health, so include at least two servings of Catla fish each week. The brain, lungs, heart, and circulation greatly benefit from good fatty acids.


1. Where is Katla fish found in India?

It is known as Bakura in Nepal and the neighbouring parts of India, up to Odisha. The Catla is a vast, broad-headed fish with a prominent lower jaw and an upturned mouth.

2. Does Catla taste good?

Catla fish is a staple of Bengal and Bihar. It is not as large as the Rohu but has a good flavour and is healthy. Mustard oil works well when cooking it.

3.  Does Rohu has lesser bones or Catla?

Mrigal has the most pin bones overall (110), followed by Catla (108) and Rohu (104). 

4. Is Catla beneficial for health?

Numerous nutrients, including zinc, potassium, iodine, vitamins, selenium, and vitamin A, are abundant. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are thought to maintain the health of our skin and aid in preventing skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are lessened by freshwater fish called Catla.

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