Fried Gaboli – Fried Fish Roe – Fried Fish Eggs

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5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

Fried gaboli or fried fish roe is a delicacy among East Indians. Made with the eggs of the palla or hilsa fish, the gaboli fry is also called Indian caviar.


Fried fish roe is something we wait all year for, especially when mom doesn’t do her regular gaboli freezer stocking.

What some people consider fish offal because it’s the discarded parts of the fish; others consider a delicacy because it’s delicious and super costly.

The taste of hundreds of little fish eggs melting in your mouth is something you can’t forget. And when spawning season comes around, you just have to have some!

By the way, did you know that this is the Indian version of caviar? It may not be as expensive as the black-colored Sturgeon caviar or Beluga caviar, but it holds its own.

Fisherlady cutting palla fish.
Our favorite fisherlady cutting palla fish to get the roe out

Gaboli is the local Marathi term for the roe or fish eggs from the palla, which is also called illish or hilsa. The Bengalis love this fish, and prices over on that side of India shoot through the roof. Thankfully, the cost of a pala fish and it’s roe is a bit more decent over here in Mumbai. Compared to Bengal, not compared to other Mumbai fish.

Whether you wait to eat fresh gaboli or use fish eggs that were stored a month or two ago or six months ago, this recipe is perfect!

Roe can be eaten with gowar foogath, moong dal, veggies, or many other dishes. But we usually eat it with masoor dal and plain white rice because it’s the heavenliest combination.

When there’s no time for rice, you can always eat the palla or hilsa fish eggs with chapati and any other curry. You can even eat it plain. The only problem is it tastes so amazing that you can’t stop eating!

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Ingredients and Steps for Making Fried Hilsa/Palla/Illish Fish Eggs

The recipe is pretty easy. You can either use fresh or stocked roe.

Frozen fish egg thawing in a tupperware box.
Thaw the frozen fish eggs
Boiled roe cut into 1 or 1.5 inch thick slices.
Cut the boiled roe into thick slices

If using fresh roe, boil it before frying. If using stocked roe, just reheat before frying. Some people just buy and fry it straight. But we’ve found that boiling before frying, helps the fish egg pieces stay intact.

Simply coat with a mix of species and rice flour for graininess and fry. You can fall in love with it.

Add turmeric to the leftover water.
Add turmeric to the leftover water
Adding two spoons of chili powder to the pot.
Two spoons of chili powder
Add half a teaspoon of salt.
Salt, not too much!
Add rice flour to the masala.
Add rice flour to the masala
Mix the masala.
Mix the masala
Coat the gaboli with the masala mix.
Coat the gaboli with the masala mix
Add the coated roe to the frying pan.
Add the coated roe to the frying pan
Add the gaboli (fish eggs) coated with masala to the frying pan.
Add the gaboli (fish eggs) to the frying pan
Add the last piece of gaboli (Indian caviar) to the frying pan.
Add the last piece of gaboli (Indian caviar) to the frying pan
All the fish eggs in a roe.
All the fish eggs in a roe
Gaboli masala in the frying pan ready to fry.
Gaboli masala in the frying pan ready to fry

If you’re using fish eggs that you’ve boiled and stocked months ago, just give it a light 2 min boil, and the fry for just 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

If you’re using fresh gaboli, fry for 7 to 8 minutes on each side (that’s about 15 minutes total). Or alternatively, give it a light 5 minute boil before frying, so that the delicate fish eggs don’t fall apart.

Yes, there are three different options or methods here.

Oil bubbling in the palla fish roe frying pan.
The more oil, the better
Turn the illish roe over to fry on the other side.
Turn the roe over to fry on the other side, don’t worry about how the rice masala looks!

We don’t use too much rice flour because we want the focus to be the taste of the gaboli, but if you want a perfect coat, triple the amount of the rice flour.

Fried gaboli (Indian caviar) on a green plate.
Fried gaboli (Indian caviar) on a green plate
Yummy fried gaboli or eggs of hilsa fish.
Fried gaboli gets over really quickly!

The homemade fried gaboli recipe isn’t something you need to worry about. Simply follow these few instructions and you’re good to go.

Yes, I know there were more than a few pics of how to fry gaboli from the freezer or fresh roe, but aren’t they worth it?

See the tiny hilsa fish eggs in the half eaten roe piece.

Fried Gaboli – Fried Fish Roe – Fried Fish Eggs

Abby
Fried gaboli or fried fish roe is a delicacy among East Indians. Made with the eggs of the palla, illish or hilsa fish, the gaboli fry is also called Indian caviar.
5 out of 5 Stars by 3 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep, Side Dish
Cuisine East Indian, Indian
Servings 16 pieces
Calories 67 kcal
Dairy free icon on Abbysplate website.
Gluten free icon on Abbysplate website.
No added sugar icon on Abbysplate website.
Offal icon on Abbysplate website.
Seafood icon on Abbysplate website.

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Roe or 16 pieces of 1-inch each
  • 0.5 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Water (you can use leftover boiling water)
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Flour
  • 8 Tbsp Oil

Instructions
 

  • Optional: If you want, boil the fresh gaboli for five minutes before frying so it doesn't fall apart.
  • We usually cut the fish eggs into pieces after they're boiled. This helps them to hold together better but many people cook from fresh too. You can if you prefer.
  • Add all the spices to a pot with two tablespoons of water. (If you boiled the gaboli, retain some of the water from boiling and use that.)
  • Add rice flour and mix well.
  • Add oil to a pan and fry the coated fish roe for about 7 to 8 minutes on each side.
  • Allow to cool before serving.
  • Fried fish eggs are an Indian delicacy that goes well with masoor dal and simple white rice. You'll love eating Indian caviar!

Please click to rate the recipe! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.02g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

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Fried gaboli (Indian caviar) on a green plate.
Fried gaboli (Indian caviar)
See the tiny hilsa fish eggs in the half eaten roe piece.
See the hundreds of tiny fish eggs

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Pinterest image of how to fry pala fish roe.
Pinterest image of how to fry pala or hilsa fish roe.
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