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Preserved Fish Roe — Aatheli Garab

Preserved Fish Roe — Aatheli Garab

How to preserve Fish Roe the Parsi Way.

Preserved Fish Roe — Aatheli Garab

This is for the many readers, especially Parsis, who have written to ask how one can preserve Roe bought during the season.

I am sharing the process described by my Great Grandmother, Dosibai Wankadia.

The method used in her time is prior to the advent of the various modern cheese-presses, heat-dryers and other kitchen gadgets and therefore, use of traditional straw basket(s) and weights. The reader may use the gadgets he has, if any.

A WORD OF CAUTION TO THE READER. My Great-Grandmother informs that the salted Garab/roe available in the market is merely that —Salted. It has does not have the shelf life of the Aatheli (Preserved) Garab/Roe. The Salted Roe available in the market may be used for immediate cooking. The salted Roe has to undergo the undermentioned process before it can be preserved and retained in your larder for months.



1 ½ kg fish roe (preferably Bhing fish/Giant Herring), it should be very fresh;

Salt enough to sprinkle on and fill the sacs in the roe;

1 straw basket or as required;

1 grinding stone or heavy weights as required;


Wash the roe,

Sprinkle salt on the Roe (Sea Salt/ Sel de Mer preferred),

Next, Also fill the hollow sacs in the roe with a lot of salt (the hollow in the roe, we, Parsis, call the stomach {pait} of the roe in Gujarati);

Place all the roe in straw basket(s),

Cover the roe with a plantain/banana leaf,

Place grinding stone/ weights on the leaf to weigh it down, so as to drain all the liquid from the Roe (like one would do to make paneer/cheese),

Let the Roe discharge its water for three days,

Remove the Roe from basket(s) after three days,

Now you have Aatheli Garab (Preserved Roe) which you can use for frying or cooking .


IF you want to preserve the Roe for a months/a year or more or to PICKLE  THE ROE, you have to further process it :

Front: After removing Memebrane

After the first 3 days:

Wash the Roe well,

Remove the various blood vessels and nervous matter that are sticking to the Roe,

Separate the roe into its natural segments,

Wipe each segment dry with a soft dry cloth taking care not to break up the Roe,










Mix a little turmeric, salt and oil,

Rub the mixture all over the Roe segments,

Dry these under a light sunlight OR

Put it in a straw basket and hang it over your stove for three days OR until it is completely dry.

The Aatheli Garab may now be preserved until you require to use it.

This Garab (Roe) may now be used to make Garab Nu Achaar (Pickled Roe).



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  1. Nice knowing. Very informative. Now a days bhing (palla)roe is difficult to get.

    I prefer to freeze it. We get huge surmai roes each around 1 to 1/2 kg & quite difficult to make. Tricky…..

  2. I do accept as true with all of the concepts you’ve presented in your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for beginners. Could you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

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