How to fry Mudskippers – निवटी फ्राय

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Fried mudskippers or nivtya are a tasty fish that can be served with dal, rice, and salad for a perfect meal!

Mudskippers or mudfish as they are known in English are called Nevti (निवटी) in Marathi, or newties as we East Indians call them. This amphibious fish can live in both water and on land and are found in mudflats or coastal wetlands or marshlands like Gorai creek, Marve creek, and even Sewri mangroves in and around Bombay, India.

These mudfish are available in plenty but only during a certain season. You usually get them around March or April, so do buy some when you can, and remember, they are sold alive, so be prepared for the wriggling and jumping when you get back home and plan to cook them.

These mudfish are quite delicious when fried. So, why don’t you try our Nivti fish fry recipe (निवट्या फ्राय) and let us know how it turned out?

What Ingredients Do You Need To Fry Nevties?

All you need to fry mudskippers is salt, turmeric or haldi, and some chili powder, almost the same ingredients you use to fry pakat. You’ll also need oil for frying and you can add garlic as well.

How To fry Mudfish?

When you buy mudfish from your local bazaar or fish market, the mudskippers are usually alive.

Once you get them home, place them in a vessel that can be covered as they tend to jump out. Add salt to the vessel and cover it, they will then die.

I have a video of my dad cleaning them, that I’ll put up sometime. You can see them jumping around trying to escape.

See their wings of the mudfish.
See their wings

Below you can see two mudfish that jumped out and tried to escape.

Two mudfish on a thali.
Look at their beady eyes staring back at you

Once the salt has made them stop moving, you can wash them in water and also scrub them a little to remove any excess mud. Pass them through water at least 2 to 3 times.

See the underside of the newtie on the right.
See the underside of the newtie on the right
Salt added to the mudskippers in a toap.
Add salt to the mudskippers

Then add more salt for taste and also add turmeric and chili powder. Mix well and allow the fish to marinate for a little while.

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Turmeric added to mudskippers.
Add turmeric
Masala being added with a spoon to nevties.
Add masala
Mudskippers marinating in masala.
Marinate the mudskippers for awhile

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the nivties or nevties to the pan. Sometimes we add garlic slices as this helps to absorb any extra oil and it also adds to the taste.

Fry the newties.
Fry the newties
Sometimes we add garlic for more flavor.
Sometimes we add garlic for more flavor
Hands slicing garlic on mudskippers in a frying pan.
Just slice the garlic in

Fry on one side for about 7 minutes and then turn them and fry on the other side as well for the same time on a medium flame.

Dont you just love frying mudskippers.
Dont you just love frying mudskippers
Turn over the mudskippers and fry the other side.
Turn over the mudskippers and fry the other side

And finally, your fried mudskippers are ready to be eaten! Don’t they look delicious? Serve with fresh mint and lime and you are good to go.

Nevties ready to eat.
Nevties ready to eat
Fried mudskippers with lime and pudina.
Fried mudskippers with lime and pudina

It’s a perfect meal when served with some rice, dal, and a refreshing salad. Of course, sometimes we serve it with pav or chapatis too!

Fried nevties or mudskippers.
Fried nevties or mudskippers
Fried nevties or mudskippers.

How To Fry Mudskippers – निवटी फ्राय

Fried mudskippers (nivtya or newties) ar tasty fish that can be served with dal, rice, and salad for a perfect meal!
4.75 out of 5 Stars by 4 readers!

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 48 kcal
Dairy free icon on Abbysplate website.
Gluten free icon on Abbysplate website.
No added sugar icon on Abbysplate website.
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Kill The Mudskippers

  • 2 Tablespoon Salt To kill

Cook The Mudskippers

  • Water To wash
  • 35 Mudskippers or mudfish
  • 4 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt To cook
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • 2 Garlic pods Sliced


  • Place the newties in a vessel and add salt to kill them.
  • Cover the vessel with a lid, and when they stop moving wash them with water a few times.
  • Add salt, turmeric and chili powder and allow the mudfish to marinate for a while.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the mudskippers for about 7 minutes on each side on a medium flame.
  • Add garlic slices to the frying pan for a better flavour.
  • Serve with fresh mint and lime!

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  • Use salt to kill the nevtis if you buy live ones from the fish market.
  • Remember to cover the lid as they tend to jump.
  • Add garlic while frying for added flavour. 
  • Grill or fry the newties with masala for best taste.
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Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1379mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 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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Newtie masala fry.
Newtie masala fry

Cooking Tips & Tricks

  • Mudskippers can be eaten whole, even the heads. They’re delicious!
  • Use salt to wash them.
  • Mudskippers are best eaten fried or grilled.
  • Top with fresh mint and serve with lime.
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FAQ’s About Mudskippers

What are Mudskippers?

Mudskippers are amphibious fish found in wetlands and mudflats that live in water and on land. They are called nivtya or nevtya, or Nivti (निवटी) in Marathi. Of course, we East Indians call them nevties or newties.

Do Mudskippers taste good?

Yes, although they look a bit weird, mudfish taste delicious. They can be grilled or fried and are eaten whole, even the heads.

How Long can mudfish be stored?

The raw fish can be stored in a freezer for 1 to 2 months. If you wish, you can coat them in salt before freezing. Cooked mudfish can be stored in a refrigerator in an air-tight container for 2-3 days and in a freezer for a month.

If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.

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