Bangda Chilli Fry – Soupy Mackerel Stew – Bagra Stew

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Mackerel Chili Fry is a dish made of fish that is easy to make and delicious too. Served with pav, rice, or chapatis, it makes a perfect light meal!

Mackerel are fish that are found in the oceans worldwide and eaten as lunch or dinner meals.

Of course, there are many different species worldwide, and over here the Indian mackerel which is silvery grey in colour, is called Bangda in Marathi or Bhangra in Hindi.

Although Mackerel has a strong flavour, is oily and the flesh has quite a fishy taste, it is quite nutritious too.

This mackerel chilly fry tastes delicious! It is quite easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. It gives the mackerel a yummy spicy and sweet taste that makes your mouth water, probably much more than the fried mullets do.

Why not try this soupy Bangda Chilly fry at home and treat your family to a delicious meal served with chapati or rice or pav?

What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Mackerel Fish Chilli Fry?

All you need to make this bangda chili fry are mackerels, oil, tomatoes, onions, green chilies, water, and salt to taste.

How To Make Mackerel Chilli Fry?

Making mackerel chilly fry is easier than making bombil fish pickle and tastier than frying mullets.

Start by cleaning and washing the mackerels. We cut the mackerel into 3 parts – head, body, and tail. And if you’re wondering, yes we eat heads, most of our relatives do. Most of our culture does. And if you can’t take it from me, take it from my sis Abby – she says the fish heads and eyes are the yummiest parts of the fish!

Cut the mackerel into 3 parts.
We cut the bangda or mackerel into 3 parts

Now, cut the tomatoes into wedges and the onions into fine slices. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the cut tomatoes and onions and fry until the tomatoes soften and the onions are glassy; as this gives them a sweeter taste.

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Then add in the green chilies, water, and salt and mix well. Lastly, add in the mackerel pieces and cook until done.

In a kadhai add onion, tomatoes and chillies to saute.
After the onions and tomatoes are cooked add the chilies
Add Bangda to the kadhai and let it cook for few minutes.
Cook for a few minutes

Your fish is ready in less than 20 minutes. Doesn’t it look delicious, the spiciness of the chili and the sweetness of the onions give the dish an amazing flavour!

Serve the mackerel gravy.
Simply yummy mackerel
Serve Bangda with soupy gravy.
Serve with a lot of soupy gravy

Try some of this delicious mackerel chilly fry with rice, pav, or chapatis!

Bagra stew or mackerel chilly fry in a white plate.
Simple mackerel soup gravy
bangda chilly fry or mackerel stew in a plate.

Tasty Mackerel Chili Fry – Soupy Bangda Fish Stew

Mackerel Chili Fry is a fish dish that is easy to make and delicious too. This fish stew that's ready in under 20 minutes is wholesome and filling.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine East Indian, Indian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 782 kcal
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  • 6 Mackerel
  • 2 Tablespoon Oil
  • 2 Tomatoes Chopped in wedges
  • 2 Onions Finely sliced
  • 4 Green Chillies – Fresh
  • 200 ml Water
  • 0.75 teaspoon Salt Or 1 teaspoon Sea salt


  • Cut the tomatoes in wedges and slice the onions fine.
  • Clean and wash the mackerels. Cut each fish into 3 parts – head, body & tail.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onions and tomatoes.
  • Stir fry for about 5 mins until the onions are glassy and the tomatoes soften.
  • Add in the green chilies, salt, water and mackerels.
  • Cook for about 10 more mins until the mackerels are done.

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  • Frying the onions till glassy adds a certain sweetness to the dish.
  • The green chillies provide a lovely spiciness that makes your mouth water.
  • We use regular cooking oil, but sometimes we use olive oil or even mustard oil for more flavour. It’s really up to you which you choose.
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Stuff You Might Want to Use

The Fry Family
Stainless Steel Spoon
Serving Plate

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 782kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 91g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 212mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 1978mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 5mg

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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Cooking Tips And Tricks

  • Fry the onions till glassy as this adds to the sweetness of the dish.
  • The green chillies provide a lovely spicyness that makes your mouth water.
  • You can add a bit of ginger garlic paste if you want to.
  • We use regular cooking oil but you can opt for olive oil or even mustard oil for more flavour.
  • Mom uses this recipe to cook sardines and a few other fish too!
  • If you want a simple fish fry, try fried pakat or fried mudskippers.

Things We’re Asked About Mackerel Chilli Fry

How Long Can You Store Mackerel Chilly Fry?

Mackerel chili fry can be stored in an air-tight container in a refrigerator for about 2-3 days and in a freezer for 3 months. Thaw before eating and reheat.

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Even fresh mackerel fish can be stored in the freezer for months. In this case, thaw before cooking.

Are Mackerel Bones Edible?

Some of the smaller bones are edile, however, the backbone can be removed by lifting it from the head to the tail. Also, it depends on the way it is cooked. We usually just chew whatever bones are left in the fish the way we chew the chicken bones from the soup.

Is Mackerel A Good Fish To Eat?

Yes, mackerel does have a few nutritional benefits, from fatty oils to magnesium, from iron to omega 3 fatty acids, and more. Mackerels are very wholesome fish meat, but it’s better to ask your nutritionist for that info.

What Does Mackerel Taste Like?

Mackerel has quite a ‘fishy’ fish taste . It is strong, oily, flavourful, and has a slight sweetness to it.

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Easy Mackerel (Bangda) Chilly Fry.
Image of raw bangda and the gravy made by onion, tomatoes and chillies.
Soupy Bangda (Bagra) Chilly Fry.
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