What is Bral Fish?
Bral, a delicious freshwater fish, is a staple in Asian cuisine and is especially popular in the Indian subcontinent. The banded snakehead or dragon head fish is also called the Varal, Kannan, Shol, Garai, or Murrel in different parts of India.
This freshwater fish is known for its potent nutritional value and taste. Snakehead fish can be identified by their elongated body, powerful dorsal fins and sharp teeth. The meat of Bral or snakehead fish is white, flaky and firm with a resilient texture that makes it perfect for the grill, pan-fried, or cooked in an oven or a pot.
Where is Bral fish popular?
Commonly found in parts of the world with freshwater resources, the Bral fish is part of the south and north Indian cuisines. First seen in Hawaii and Madagascar, it is now well-liked by the Bengalis (unitedly: both Bangladesh and West Bengal) in Orissa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. It is also commonly eaten in Indonesia and the Philippines.
What cooking methods is Bral fish most suitable for?
The Bral fish is a celebrated item on the home kitchen menu. It is easy to prepare, cooks fast, and is equally complemented by sweet-sour, hot and spicy, or even mildly seasoned preparation styles.
The fish is versatile and can be fried, grilled, or curried. The speciality of cooking with the Bral fish is that its taste suits various preparations and recipes. For those who prefer little to no fish flavour, infuse the dish with sauces and spices. A simple garnish for those who relish the fish taste will do the trick and bring out the flavour without being overpowering.
What kinds of recipes is Bral fish usually used in?
The most famous Bral fish delicacies are known for their spice-infused experience that bursts with flavours. The succulent meat is a unique luxury with every recipe.
- Naadan Varal curry: The recipe is known for its mix of flavoursome spices. This recipe is a local yet exquisite delicacy from Kerala. The cooking style is rich but easy, perfect for a homely lunch or dinner. Bral is fried and then curried to create the best texture and make for an aromatic culinary experience.
- Bral fried fish masala gravy: The fish, coated with a delicious spicy paste and fried, comes alive with every bite. Each crunchy bite is complemented by a delightful masala gravy that varies from state to state. The dish can be accompanied by rice, bread, or Rotis.
- Pepper Bral fry: Seasoned with salt and pepper, a dash of turmeric and chillies, you can make a fantastic Bral fry with minimal effort. Plus, it cooks quickly and tastes amazing. A delicious treat, feel free to squeeze a lime over your spicy or mild Bral fish fry to add a kick to it.
- Bral fish curry in coconut milk: In this coastal-favourite recipe, Bral fish is enriched with coconut milk for the curry base. A popular delicacy served with cassava, rice or even breakfast. This recipe has the sweetness of coconut perfectly blending with the herbal, soft and satiating taste of this fish meat.
If you’re hankering for a bit of Bral after reading so much about it, then we’ve got you covered. Order your Bral fillet or steaks from Licious and try your hand at the recipes mentioned above, you won’t regret it.
We’d love to take a look at your culinary creations if you’re up for it. Snap a few photos and tag us on Instagram with #MadeWithLicious. Happy cooking!