West Bengal Seafood History

West Bengal seafood

Fishing in India is a major industry of coastal states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal Odisha and Gujarat. Fishing and aquaculture in India contributed 1 % of India's annual GDP, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are the two biggest fish industries in India. Indian rivers are the major source of irrigation systems, drinking water and fish as food. West Bengal is famous for its fish and different fish recipes. Let's find whats makes Bengal so popular in this field. Bengali food and its love affair with fish curries and fish fries are not surprising given the abundant freshwater rivers that criss-cross through the state, providing plenty of supply. Preparing and eating fish delicacies has become a part of Bengal's food tradition and culture. Fish is a staple ingredient in Bengal and is also an important part of many traditional rituals, for instance, during a wedding the groom's family has to gift fish to the bride's family which is considered to be a symbol of good luck and well-being.

Ports in West Bengal

Ports in west Bengal support international trade. Since ancient times trade in West Bengal has been closely related to the river and seaports. The waterways have still not lost their importance. The primary port in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal is the Port of Calcutta. Here are some popular ports of West Bengal.

Port name Location Type

Kulpi Port Kulpi, West Bengal, India Small sea Port (Minor Port)

Farakka Port Farakka, West Bengal, India Small River Port

Sagar Port Sagar, West Bengal, India Large Sea Port (Major Port)

Tajpur Port Tajpur, West Bengal, India Large Sea Port


The Bengali gastronomic journey is incomplete without fish. A typical Bengali household swears by its machh-bhaat (fish curry and rice), a quintessential bengali staple. Give them a fish and they will give you many exquisite dishes out of that single item! When it comes to fish, Bengal will spoil you of choices. However, there are a few fishes that the bengalis cannot live without. Here's the list:

1. Hilsa

This fish holds a very special place in the hearts and taste buds of Bengalis. This fish is popular for its unique taste, soft texture, and distinct mouth-watering flavor. This fish can survive both in marine and freshwater. Hilsa is usually caught in the Ganges in West Bengal and the delta of Padma, Meghna, and Jamuna rivers. Usually, in West Bengal, it appears in the market during the monsoon but due to its high demand, Hilsa fish is also imported from neighbor countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar. Bengalis can whip up many dishes from this delectable fish. This includes Ilish-bhape, Shorshe-Ilish, Doi-Ilish etc.

2. Rohu

Popularly known as "rui" in Bengal, this freshwater fish is widely available in various fish markets across the state. Rohu fish is considered a delicacy by the Bengalis and is one of the most preferred fish for preparing "Machher Kalia." Among the other carp fish, Rohu is the most appreciated due to its sweet taste.

3. Koi

Koi or Climbing Perch is native to Asia and is a popular fish in Bengal. These fish can survive without water for 6 days and can grow to a length of 25 cm. Bengalis prepare many dishes with this fish which includes tel koi, koi machher jhal, and doi koi.

4. Tilapia

This freshwater fish is mainly found in shallow streams, rivers, and ponds. This fish is easily available in the fish markets. Eat it pan-friend or cook it with onions, yogurt, and spices – tilapia curry teamed with steaming rice can always spice up your afternoon gluttony.

3 Best Bengali Fish Recipes | Popular Fish Recipes | Easy Fish Recipes

Bengali food and its love affair with fish curries and fish fries are not surprising. If you are looking to explore some Bengali fish recipes, here are the 3 best fish recipes that you can try at home.

Fish Kabiraji

These fried fish fillets make for a popular tea-time snack in Bengal. Fish pieces are marinated in spices and then wrapped in gram flour and breadcrumbs before being deep-fried.

Bengali Doi Machch

A slightly sour fish curry recipe with a yogurt-based gravy. The tender chunks of fish are marinated in subtle spices that add to the flavor. This curry is perfect for a luncheon.

Fish Biryani

This aromatic fish biryani with lots of spices like turmeric, saffron cinnamon, and cloves along with yogurt and sweet browned onions makes for a complete and wholesome meal.

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