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Top 4 Ways To Cook Mackerel Fish In Pakistan

King Mackerel is a widely sought-after fish that is valued in many different cuisines across the globe for its flavorful, soft flesh, and nutritional advantages. Mackerel, sometimes referred to locally as “bangda,” is highly valued in Pakistani cuisine because of its adaptability and ease of absorbing strong flavours and spices. Its high oil content gives it a rich flavour and an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for heart health.

Picky eaters like eating mackerel for its unique flavour and texture, whether it’s fried, grilled, curried, or used for biryanis and tikkas. Mackerel is widely enjoyed in both homes and seafood restaurants in Karachi due to its pleasant flavour combination of strong spices, sour tamarind, and aromatic herbs.

Top 4 Methods For Preparing Mackerel

The following are Pakistan’s top 4 methods for preparing mackerel:


1. Creamy Macaroni With Coconut And Lime

This is a tasty one-pot meal that’s quick and simple to put together. It’s a fantastic strategy to increase your consumption of fatty fish as well. If preferred, you could substitute sardines for the mackerel. Both are excellent sources of protein, calcium, vitamin D, selenium, and omega-3 fats, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

With the addition of greens, this is a delicious, creamy, and filling one-pot supper. To soak up the sauce, you might serve this with a paleo or gluten-free baguette.

2. Roasted Mackerel With Tomatoes And Aubergine

Mackerel is one of the best fish to eat in Pakistan. Its skin crisps beautifully, but the oily flesh beneath it remains soft and moist. Choose mackerel with lovely sparkling eyes and lively, colourful skin since the fresher the fish, the more delicate and wonderful its flavour will be. This is a fantastic summertime meal that features ripe, sweet tomatoes and a garlicky puree of mashed aubergine.


  • Prepare fire and grill for cooking over glowing embers.
  • Lay fish on board, cut slash marks, and rub olive oil, salt, and pepper into slash marks.
  • Place rosemary sprigs in each fish cavity.
  • Season tomatoes and aubergines with salt and pepper.
  • Turn aubergines every few minutes for even cooking.
  • Cook fish for 6-8 minutes on each side, adjusting time based on size.
  • Remove cooked mackerel from the grill and keep warm.
  • Cook tomatoes until soft and caramelized, then remove to a plate.

3. Hyderabadi-style Mackerel Biryani

The Hyderabadi fish biryani known as “Dum” is typically prepared with meat and cooked slowly over low heat, usually in a sealed container. This fish dish is prepared in the “pakki” manner, in which the components are cooked individually and then layered for a brief “dum” procedure.


  • Let the saffron (if used) steep for ten minutes in a quarter cup of boiling water. Fish should be well-seasoned with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, chilli, and cumin.
  • Heat a big saucepan of water till it boils. After rinsing, add the rice, cinnamon, and cardamom to the water. After 15 minutes of simmering, drain the rice through a sieve.
  • Cook rice, fry the onion in oil, then fry fish fillets in a large frying pan until browned, set aside, and cook the fish until cooked through.
  • Make the biryani masala in the same pan, using a little extra oil if necessary. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chillies and fry until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Fry for a further minute after adding the salt and spices, then whisk in the yoghurt and tomato paste.
  • After bringing it to a simmer, cook for five minutes, or until the masala becomes thick.
  • Sprinkle half of the rice into a dish after lightly oiling the bottom. Thoroughly season with salt and distribute half of the masala on top.
  • Place the fish fillets on top of the masala, which has been topped with rice.
  • Stir in the remaining rice and sprinkle over the top with the sultanas, half of the fried onions and the coriander, and the saffron and water (if using). Use plenty of salt to season.
  • Set a saucepan on high heat, cover, and cook for three minutes. Lower heat to low, simmer for fifteen minutes and let stand for ten minutes.
  • Serve rice and fish, coriander, onions, lemon wedges, and yoghurt.

4. Mackerel Fish Curry

The demand for mackerel fish curry is also noteworthy abroad, particularly in areas where eating seafood is highly customary and among communities of expatriates. The demand for meals like mackerel fish curry is rising as South Asian cuisine gains popularity on a worldwide scale.

It is a sought-after dish in restaurants and among home cooks wishing to experiment with different culinary traditions because of its distinctive spice blend and rich flavours. Locally and internationally, there is a growing demand for mackerel fish curry due to its exquisite taste and health benefits.

Cooking Recipe:

  • After cleaning, chop the mackerel into the appropriate sizes.
  • Salt and a tiny bit of turmeric powder are used to marinate the fish pieces. Put it away for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan or deep pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • When the onions are golden brown, add the finely chopped onions and sauté. When the raw smell goes away, add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add the green chillies and chopped tomatoes. Simmer until the tomatoes are tender and the masala’s oil begins to separate.
  • Incorporate the powders of cumin, coriander, red chile, and turmeric. After thoroughly mixing, heat for a few more minutes or until the oil separates once more and the spices are well incorporated.
  • Stir in the tamarind paste thoroughly. Adapt the amount to your taste preferences.
  • To make the curry foundation, add water to the saucepan and adjust the thickness to your liking. Heat the mixture until it boils.
  • Marinate the mackerel pieces and gently add them to the curry.
  • After lowering the heat to a simmer, boil the fish in the curry for ten to fifteen minutes, or until it is thoroughly cooked and the flavours have combined. To prevent breaking the fish pieces, take care not to stir the fish too much.
  • Add the garam masala to the curry and gently stir. Add some new coriander leaves as a garnish.
  • Serve hot with roti, naan, or steaming rice.


The top 5 ways to cook mackerel fish in Pakistan showcase the rich and diverse culinary traditions of the region. Roasted mackerel with tomatoes and aubergine offers a spicy and crispy delight, perfect for seafood enthusiasts who enjoy robust flavours. Mackerel Curry presents a savoury and aromatic dish, blending spices and tamarind to create a comforting and nutritious meal. Mackerel Biryani combines the fish with fragrant rice and spices, making a festive and satisfying dish for special occasions. Creamy Macaroni with Coconut and Lime provides a smoky and charred option, ideal for grilling and outdoor gatherings.



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