Which Fish is Good for Health in India? Top Picks for Health-Conscious Indians

Have you ever wondered which fish is good for your health in India that can tantalize your taste buds and boost your health at the same time? We often hear about the benefits of including fish in our diet, but in a sea of options, which ones truly stand out in the Indian context?

Which Fish is Good for Health in India:

  • Indian Salmon (Rawas or Gurjali): A widely cherished fish across India, known for its pink hue and mild taste. Packed with Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, it’s a heart-healthy choice that’s as flavorful as it is nutritious​​.
  • Rohu: Belonging to the Carp family, this fish is a protein powerhouse and a staple in Eastern India. With low mercury levels, it’s not just delicious but also a safer option for regular consumption.​
  • Mackerel (Bangda): A staple in coastal regions, this oily fish is rich in essential nutrients and proteins, making it an ideal choice for those looking to bolster their immunity​
  • Pomfret: Known for its delicate flavour and firm texture, Pomfret is a popular choice in coastal India. It’s rich in vitamins and iodine, crucial for thyroid health and overall wellness.​
  • Hilsa (Ilish): A seasonal delight, especially in West Bengal and Odisha. Known for its rich, oily consistency, Hilsa is packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Fishy Fables: Recipes to Relish 

Indian cuisine offers a rich array of fish recipes that showcase the diversity and depth of flavours from different regions. Here’s a glimpse into some delightful recipes to relish:

Indian Spiced Fish: 

This recipe is known for its simplicity and quick cooking time. Ideal for those who prefer a less intense flavour, plaice or cod is recommended for the best experience.

Tandoori Fish Tikka: 

A classic Northern Indian dish, Tandoori Fish Tikka is bursting with flavours. The marinade is key to its taste and works well with fresh and frozen fish​.

Fish Biryani: 

This dish perfectly blends marinated fish, rice, and rich Biryani gravy. It’s an indulgent and delicious option for a hectic weeknight.

Fish Pulusu: 

Known for its tart and tangy flavour, this dish uses white fish marinated in lemon, chilli powder, and turmeric sauce. It’s typically served with white basmati rice​.

Andhra Fish Fry: 

Popular in Andhra Pradesh, this recipe involves marinating the fish in a blend of spices, including garlic, turmeric, and chilli powder. Ghee is recommended for frying to enhance the flavour​.

Amritsari Fish: 

A popular street food in Northern India, Amritsari fish is essentially fish cakes with a batter that includes yogurt, ginger, garlic, and Indian herbs​​.

Chilli Fish/Fish Manchurian: 

It is a hearty dish where cubes of fish are marinated, fried, and then tossed in an aromatic mix of cooked veggies and spices​​.

Baked Fish Masala: 

For a healthier option, this recipe involves baking a whole fish marinated in rich Indian spices. It’s quick to cook and can be garnished with fresh lemon juice​.

Kerala-Style Fish: 

This dish involves making a Kerala paste and baking the fish with it. Optional steps include sizzling fresh curry leaves in ghee for garnish​​.

Goan Fish Curry: 

A flavorful curry made with various types of fish like white fish fillets, salmon, or trout. The recipe involves making a curry paste and simmering the fish in a rich sauce​.

Fish Fry Recipe: 

A pan-fried crispy fish recipe involves marinating the fish in a blend of spices and then frying it to achieve a delicious crust​​.

Each of these recipes highlights the versatility of fish in Indian cooking, offering a range of flavours from the tangy and spicy to the rich and aromatic. These dishes satisfy the palate and provide a glimpse into the diverse culinary culture of India. 

For detailed recipes and preparation methods, you can explore more on websites like Insanely Good Recipes and Feasting At Home.

Choosing the Catch:

Choosing the freshest fish involves a keen eye and a bit of know-how. Here’s a quick guide to help you select the best catch:

  • Eyes: Look for bright and clear eyes. Cloudy, dull, or sunken eyes indicate the fish is not fresh.
  • Skin and Scales: Fresh fish should have shiny scales, tightly layered like chainmail. If the fish is already scaled, its flesh should be shiny and moist, not discoloured or dull.
  • Firmness: The fish should feel firm and rubbery to the touch. If the flesh feels soft or leaves an indentation when pressed, it’s past its prime.
  • Gills: Check the gills, which should be a vibrant, cherry red colour. Faded or brown gills are a sign of age.
  • Smell: Fresh saltwater fish should smell like the sea, and freshwater fish should smell like a pond. A strong fishy or ammonia smell means the fish is not fresh.

For fillets, ensure the flesh looks moist and fresh, without any grey or flaky areas. The edges should lie flat without curling. The skin of the fillet should also be shiny and bright.

Always trust your instincts. Looking elsewhere is best if the fish is not displayed properly or something seems off. Remember, fresher is always better when it comes to fish.

Sustainable Seas: 

Embracing sustainable fishing practices is crucial. It’s not just about what we eat but also about preserving the aquatic ecosystem for future generations. Opting for fish from sustainable sources ensures that we enjoy these delicacies without depleting natural resources.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can pregnant women consume these fish?

While fish like Rohu and Pomfret are generally safe, consulting a healthcare provider is advisable as some fish might contain higher mercury levels.

Are these fish easy to cook for beginners?

Absolutely! Indian fish recipes range from simple grills and fries to more elaborate curries, suitable for all cooking levels.

Where can I find these fish?

Most of these fish are readily available across India, especially in coastal regions. Local markets often have the freshest options.

Conclusion: 

Diving into the world of fish in India is an adventure in both taste and health. From the Omega-3-rich Indian Salmon to the protein-packed Rohu, there’s a fish for every palate and purpose. So, the next time you’re at your local fish market, remember these aquatic stars – they’re good for your taste buds and health!