How to boil and store Gaboli (Fish Roe/ Fish Eggs)

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A delicacy among Indians and East Indians, the fish eggs or roe is the Indian version of caviar, and called gaboli in Marathi. Usually sourced from the hilsa or illish fish, it’s easy to store them for use in the winter months.


The monsoons come around in India, and spawning season is upon us. That’s when we get to eat one of our favorite foods, gaboli.

What is gaboli? Gaboli is a local term for fish roe or fish eggs. It’s usually sourced from the illish fish (hilsa or palla) and is turned into curries or cutlets. It’s also eaten fried with chutney or fried with masala.

Fisherlady removing the roe from the palla or hilsa fish.
Kusum, our favorite fisher lady in Poinsur cutting palla fish to get the roe out
1.5 inch pieces of fish roe on a chopping board.
We cut the roe into 1.5 inch pieces

But one thing we also do, is buy an excess of this Indian caviar and store it for the winter months. Yep, it’s expensive, but a lot cheaper than sturgeon fish caviar or beluga caviar. So why not?

Whether you’re eating keto or gluten-free or avoiding fatty foods, boiled fish roe are a perfect fit!

How To Boil and The Gaboli (Fish Roe)

Storing gaboli at home is really easy. Simply boil the fish roe with salt and water. Then chop it, or leave it whole, add it to a container along with the salt water, and freeze. It’ll last for months.

Large pieces of roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish in a pot.
This is after boiling the gaboli

Just make sure you add the salt water along with the roe. This prevents the fish roe from getting freezer burn or tasting funny.

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5 or 6 pieces of roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish in a pot.
Do you love fish roe?
Chopped 1.5 inch pieces of gaboli/roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish on chopping board.
Frozen fish roe called gaboli in a tupperware box.
Our frozen gaboli

This pic is from the last batch my mom froze in July and thawed in January to make fish vindaloo for my brother and sis-in-law. They only come down from the UK maybe every two years, and storing the fish eggs gives them a chance to enjoy Indian caviar when they’re here.

Frozen fish egg (roe) thawing in a tupperware box.
Thaw the frozen roe
Chopped 1.5 inch pieces of gaboli/roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish on chopping board.

How to boil and store Gaboli (Fish Roe / Fish Eggs)

Abby
A delicacy among Indians and East Indians, the fish eggs or roe is the Indian version of caviar, and called gaboli in Marathi. Usually sourced from the hilsa or illish fish, it's easy to store them for use in the winter months.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Meal Prep, Side Dish
Cuisine East Indian, Indian
Servings 20
Calories 1 kcal
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Gluten free icon on Abbysplate website.
No added sugar icon on Abbysplate website.
Offal icon on Abbysplate website.
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Ingredients
  

  • 5 Roe
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 l Water

Instructions
 

  • Add the gaboli (fish roe or fish eggs) to a pot.
  • Add salt and enough water to cover.
  • Boil for 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Allow to cool before chopping into pieces.
  • Move to a tupperware box and cover with the leftover water.
  • Freeze for months till you want to eat.
  • Months later, after thawing, either boil and eat plain, or add to your favorite gaboli dish. (I'll add recipes to the blog in a bit.)

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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 1kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.01g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 0.5mg | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.03mg

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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Frozen fish eggs or gaboli thawing in a tupperware box.
Thaw the gaboli

Whether you thaw the fish roe a month later or 6 months later, remember to reheat it after thawing. You can either boil the fish eggs and eat them plain, or add to your favorite gaboli dish. (I’ll add fish roe recipes to the blog in a bit.)

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What recipes can you make with Gaboli Fish Eggs?

Apart from eating it plain to savor the texture and taste, you can actually make quite a few things with fish eggs. Fried gaboli, roe vindaloo, roe curry, roe cutlets, etc. I’ll post the recipes as soon as I can.

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Pinterest image of 1.5 inch pieces of roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish in a pot.
Pinterest image of pieces of roe of illish / palla / hilsa fish in a pot.

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