Katla Fish vs Rohu: A Delicious Comparison of Two Popular Fish Varieties

Seafood lovers rejoice! If you’re a fan of fish, then you’ve likely heard of these two popular varieties: Katla fish and Rohu fish. While both are widely acclaimed for their taste and nutritional value, many might wonder which one is the better choice.

About Katla Fish

Katla fish, also known as Catla catla, is a freshwater fish that holds immense popularity in South Asia.

Found in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, Katla fish is renowned for its impressive size and taste. Growing up to 90 centimeters long and weighing over 25 kilograms, it’s a true heavyweight in the fish world.

With its silver body, a touch of green, and reddish or grayish fins, the fish stands out in the waters where it resides, typically near the surface of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.

Katla fish is often farmed to meet the increasing demand, making it more accessible for those seeking to experience the delight of its flavors. Whether you encounter it in a restaurant or decide to try your hand at cooking it yourself, the fish is sure to provide a memorable dining experience.

Katla fish slices (Credit: canva)

About Rohu

Rohu fish, also called Labeo rohita, is a highly sought-after freshwater delicacy that holds a special place in the culinary traditions of South Asia.

It is a prized fish in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. With its distinctive appearance, Rohu fish features a shimmering silver body with a subtle bluish tint and large scales.

Growing up to a meter in length and weighing over 20 kilograms, it is an impressive catch. Rohu fish is typically found in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, preferring the middle and lower layers of water.

Packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, it is a healthy choice for those seeking a well-rounded seafood option. Across South Asia and beyond, Rohu fish continues to be cherished for its culinary excellence and nutritional value.

Rohu slices. (Credit: canva)

Katla Fish vs Rohu: Taste and Texture

When it comes to taste and texture, Katla and Rohu are two very different fish varieties. While both are popular for their unique flavors and versatility, they have distinct characteristics that make them stand out from each other.

Taste Comparison

Katla fish has a mild and sweet taste, with a rich flavor that complements a variety of spices and herbs. It’s not overly fishy, making it a great option for those who don’t prefer a strong fish taste.

Rohu fish, on the other hand, has a slightly stronger and more pronounced flavor that is both sweet and bitter. It’s often used in curries and stews, where its flavor can stand up to bold spices and seasonings.

Texture Comparison

When it comes to texture, Katla fish is known for its firm and meaty flesh that flakes easily. It’s not as delicate as the texture of Rohu fish, which is softer and more tender.

Rohu fish is known for its unique texture, which is both flaky and smooth, with a delicate mouthfeel that is almost buttery.

In summary: Katla fish and Rohu fish are both delicious in their own ways. While Katla has a milder taste and firmer texture, Rohu is bolder in flavor and has a softer texture. Both are versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways, depending on your preferences.

Catla curry fish (Credit: canva)

Cooking Katla Fish: Tips and Recipes

Katla fish, a popular variety in India, is known for its unique flavor and firm texture. Here are some tips and recipes to help you prepare this delicious fish at home:

Tips for Cooking Katla Fish:

  • Clean the fish thoroughly before cooking, removing any scales or entrails.
  • Marinate the fish in lemon juice or vinegar for a few hours before cooking to reduce any fishy odor.
  • When frying, ensure the oil is hot before adding the fish to prevent sticking.
  • Bake or grill the fish with herbs and spices for a healthier cooking option.


Katla Fish Curry

4 katla fish steaks
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 green chilies, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil

1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish lightly on both sides. Keep aside.
2. In the same pan, add the onion, ginger paste, and garlic paste. Fry until onions are translucent.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, and the dry spices. Mix well and cook until the oil separates from the mixture.
4. Add 1 cup of water and salt to taste. Bring to boil.
5. Gently place the fried fish into the pan. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
6. Serve hot with rice or bread.”

Katla Fish Fry

4 katla fish slices
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chili powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil

1. Clean and pat dry the fish slices.
2. Mix all the spices in a bowl and add some water to make a paste.
3. Coat the fish slices evenly with the spice paste.
4. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish slices on both sides until golden brown.
5. Serve hot with chutney and lemon wedges.”

Rohu fish kalia – spicy Bengali dish (Credit: canva)

Tips for Cooking Rohu Fish: Recipes and Methods

The Best Ways to Prepare Rohu Fish?

Rohu fish is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many ways. Some popular methods include:

  • Steaming: This is a healthy and simple way to cook Rohu fish. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, the fish is steamed until it’s firm and opaque.
  • Curry preparations: Rohu fish is commonly used in curries, where it’s cooked with flavorful spices and aromatics. The fish can be fried or pan-seared beforehand to add texture and flavor.
  • Marination techniques: Marinating Rohu fish in a mixture of spices, herbs, and acidic ingredients such as lemon or vinegar can help tenderize the fish and infuse it with flavor.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to enjoy Rohu fish as a part of a balanced and varied diet. Consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if you have any specific concerns or dietary needs.


Rohu fish is a versatile ingredient that can be prepared in numerous ways. Here are a few popular techniques and recipes to try:

Steamed Rohu Fish

Steaming is an excellent way to preserve the natural flavors of Rohu fish while keeping it healthy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Clean and rinse the fish thoroughly.
  2. Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Place the fish in a steamer and cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

Rohu Fish Curry

A classic Indian preparation that’s popular in many parts of the country, Rohu fish curry is a flavorful and comforting dish that pairs well with rice. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and sauté finely chopped onions, ginger, and garlic until golden brown.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for a few minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Add the fish pieces and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  4. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rice or naan.

Fish Fry

A delicious, crispy snack that’s easy to prepare, Rohu fish fry is popular street food in many parts of India. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Cut into large pieces.
  2. Marinate the fish with salt, red chili powder, turmeric, and lemon juice for 30 minutes.
  3. Dip the fish in a mixture of corn flour and rice flour. Shake off any excess flour.
  4. Deep fry the fish in hot oil until golden brown and crispy.
  5. Drain excess oil and serve hot with mint chutney.

Buying and Storing

Tips for Buying

  • Look for clear and bright eyes, a firm texture, and a fresh ocean scent. The gills should be bright red, and the scales should be shiny and intact. Avoid fish that have a slimy texture, cloudy eyes, or a foul odor.
  • If you have the chance to buy fresh fish, use it as soon as possible.
  • For longer storage, wrap the fish in plastic or foil and keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
  • Ideally, you should consume the fish within 2-3 days of purchasing it. However, if you plan to keep it for longer, you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Tips for Storing

To ensure your fish stays fresh and tasty for longer, try some of these storage tips:

  • Store the fish in airtight containers or freezer bags.
  • Label the containers with the date of purchase to keep track of their freshness.
  • Do not store cooked and uncooked fish together.
  • Place the fish in the coldest part of the freezer, ideally at 0°For below.
  • Defrost frozen fish gradually in the refrigerator overnight. Do not defrost it in the microwave or at room temperature as it can lead to bacterial growth and spoilage.

“Fresh Katla fish is the best option when it comes to taste and nutritional value. By following these tips, you can make sure your fish stays fresh and delicious for longer.” – John, Fishmonger

Buy from a reputable fishmonger or market.Purchase fish with a strong or unpleasant odor.
Store in fridge at a temperature between 32°F to 39°F (0°C to 4°C).Keep for more than two days in the fridge.
Rinse and pat dry the fish before storing.Place the fish in the warmest part of the fridge.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.Leave the fish out at room temperature for extended periods.

Tips for Fish Lovers: Incorporating Katla and Rohu in Your Diet

If you’re a fan of fish, there are plenty of ways to incorporate Katla and Rohu into your diet while reaping their numerous health benefits. Here are some tips:

Cooking Techniques

Try experimenting with different cooking techniques to find what best suits your preferences. Both Katla and Rohu can be fried, grilled, baked, or steamed, among other methods.

Curry Preparations

Katla and Rohu are commonly used in traditional Indian and Bangladeshi dishes, particularly in curries. Consider using them in your favorite curry recipe for a flavorful and nutritious meal.

Marination Techniques

Marinating Katla and Rohu in various spices, herbs, and other ingredients can enhance their taste and texture. Try marinating them in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, and ginger-garlic paste, then grilling or baking for a delicious meal.

Pairing with Vegetables

Both Katla and Rohu can complement a variety of vegetables, such as spinach, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Consider pairing them with your favorite veggies for a well-balanced meal.

Replacing Meat with Fish

Substituting meat with fish, such as Katla or Rohu, is a great way to add variety to your diet. They are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them a healthier alternative to red meat.

Incorporating in Snacks

Katla and Rohu can be used in a variety of snacks, such as fish cutlets, kebabs, or sandwiches. They can be a great addition to your mid-day snack routine, providing a healthy and tasty option.

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