Pabda Fish: Best 10 Basic Information

Pabda fish is a species of catfish found in the rivers of Bangladesh and India. It is a freshwater fish found in ponds, canals, and streams. Pabda is an oval-shaped fish that has pronounced scales on its body.

These scales have a darker outline compared to the lighter-colored scales on the belly part of the fish. This species usually grows between 8-12 inches long with a maximum thickness of one inch at its widest point, but some grow up to 14 inches long.


How to identify Pabda fish?

Pabda fish has a dark back and belly. Pabda has a dark pattern on the scales Pabda fish feed on decomposing plant matter. Pabda fish is an opportunistic predator that feeds on insects, small invertebrates, and small fishes.

Pabda fish
Pabda fish

Pabda is not aggressive predators but can be bothered by other predators such as eels, pike, catfish, gudgeons, and some types of carp. Pabda fish are bottom feeders and will feed on the floor of their environment. Pabda fish lives in an open-water habitat.

Origin Of Pabda fish:

During the last two centuries, Pabda has been exploited in India and Bangladesh for its meat, eggs, and fins. In the early part of the 20th century, wild-caught Pabda were fished from the Barak River basin in West Bengal. They were exported to neighboring states such as Bihar and Orissa.

Other reports indicate that they have also been taken from the Bhagirathi River Basin of AP state in eastern India. It was claimed to be originated from the Padma river in Bangladesh. Now it is cultivated in more than 20 rivers of Bangladesh including Purobi and Karnaphuli.

How to start a Pabda fish farm?

Pond preparation:

The optimal pond sizes range from 250-1000 square meters. The depth of the water should be between 2 and 5 feet. The pH level of the pond water should be 9.0-9.5. Pabda requires a moderately rich source of oxygen and requires a healthy habitat that can provide this source. However, Pabda will thrive in ponds with poor oxygen levels as well as those which are highly agitated by the current or wind.

Seed collection:

Seed collection can be done manually or mechanically. Manual harvest can be done by hand netting and is the most commonly used method among low-income farmers.

Pabda seed collection
Pabda seed collection

seed is picked up from gravel beds by raking. Pabda is very sensitive to their environment while they are growing, so they must be collected as soon as they are mature, or else they will lose the quality of their meat. As of now, there has been no success in breeding through artificial insemination or other methods of reproduction in aquaculture.

Feed management:

Pabda fish are sensitive to their environment while they are growing, so they must be harvested as soon as they are mature, or else they will lose the quality of their meat. The yields of Pabda fish can be maximized by using pond water with a high temperature.

Pabda can be fed a diet that is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, but they should be given an easily digestible diet. you will get a lower yield of Pabda fish if your water temperature is too high or too low. Pabda can be fed with any kind of food other than dead fish.

Best 10 basic information about Pabda:

  • Pabda Fish is a tetra fish and belongs to the family Cyprinidae.
  • Pabda consumption is increasing day by day because it is unhygienic and tastes good.
  • Pabda grow very fast, reaching maturity within one year, sometimes as early as 8 months after hatching.
  • Pabda Fish also has a very fast development time, taking about 2 to 3 months to mature.
  • The average size of Pabda Fish is about 8-12 inches long and one inch thick, with usually dark spots on its back and belly.
  • Pabda are solitary fish and are not aggressive predators but are often bothered by predators such as eels, catfish, or gudgeons.
  • Pabda Fish are bottom feeders.
  • Pabda live in an open water habitat and as such must have access to oxygen and clean water at all times.
  • Pabda are sensitive to environmental changes and are easily stressed by changes to water chemistry or temperature.
  • Pabda are also susceptible to parasites such as tapeworms and are often preyed on by rodents, birds, snakes, and frogs.

When it comes to delectable seafood, the Pabda fish stands out as a true gem. Found in the freshwater rivers of South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh and India, this fish species is celebrated for its unique flavor and versatile culinary uses.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating characteristics of the Pabda fish, its nutritional benefits, and some delicious recipes that showcase its delightful taste.

A Brief Overview of Pabda Fish

The Pabda fish, scientifically known as Ompok pabda, belongs to the catfish family and is native to the rivers and lakes of South Asia. It is known for its elongated body, smooth scales, and prominent barbels around its mouth.

The fish typically grows to a length of 8-10 inches and weighs around 200-300 grams. Pabda fish is highly sought after by seafood lovers due to its distinct taste and delicate texture.

Nutritional Benefits

Pabda fish is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a nutritious addition to your diet. It is an excellent source of protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The omega-3 fatty acids in Pabda fish promote heart health, reduce inflammation, and improve brain function.

Additionally, it contains vital nutrients like vitamin B12, phosphorus, and selenium, which play a significant role in supporting overall well-being.

Culinary Delights: Recipes with Pabda Fish

Pabda Macher Jhol (Pabda Fish Curry)

Pabda Macher Jhol is a traditional Bengali fish curry that highlights the delicate flavors of Pabda fish. To prepare this dish, marinate the fish in a mixture of turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. In a pan, heat mustard oil and temper it with fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and bay leaves.

Add onions, ginger, and garlic paste, followed by tomatoes and spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chili powder. Once the masala is cooked, add water and bring it to a boil.

Gently place the marinated Pabda fish into the gravy and simmer until the fish is cooked through. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.

Pabda Bhapa (Steamed Pabda)

Pabda Bhapa is a healthy and flavorsome dish where the fish is steamed with a blend of aromatic spices. Create a paste by grinding together mustard seeds, coconut, green chilies, ginger, and turmeric powder. Smear the fish with the paste and marinate for some time.

Place the marinated fish on a banana leaf or a heatproof dish and steam it until cooked. The result is a moist and tender fish infused with the fragrant flavors of the spices. Enjoy this dish with a side of steamed rice or chapati.

Availability and Sustainability

Pabda fish is predominantly available in the rivers and lakes of Bangladesh and India. It is a prized catch for local fishermen and is readily found in the fish markets of these regions. It is important to note that sustainable fishing practices must be followed to preserve the population of Pabda fish and ensure its availability for future generations.


The Pabda fish truly captivates the taste buds with its delicate flavor and tender texture. Whether prepared in a curry or steamed with aromatic spices, it is a seafood lover’s delight. Apart from its delicious taste, Pabda fish also offers an array of nutritional benefits.

So, the next time you come across this delightful fish, consider trying out some traditional recipes or experimenting with your own culinary creations.

Indulge in the flavors of the Pabda fish and savor the rich cultural heritage associated with this freshwater delicacy. Remember to support sustainable fishing practices to ensure the longevity of this wonderful species.

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