Gilbaka Curry with “Provisions”

How do you like to eat your gilbaka curry? Some like it with rice. Some like it with roti. Me, I like it is ‘provisions’ (boil and fried eddoes, plantains and cassava). It is important that the gilbaka be fresh (tastes best). You can add green mangoes in the curry to give it that extra zing. Pepper is a must for everybody who like curry 🙂

According to the Inner Gourmet,

Gilbaka, also known as “Gillbacker” is a scaleless saltwater fish that is part of the catfish family.  It is found in the muddy sea bottoms of coastal rivers from Guyana to northern Brazil.  This sea catfish can grow to enormous sizes and is quite meaty in texture.  It is by no means a “pretty” looking fish, but it is quite delicious.  It stands up well to heavy seasonings and high temperature cooking. Gilbaka has very thick, smooth skin that is light grey in color; once cooked, it becomes dark and gelatinous.  For this reason alone, very few people enjoy eating the skin.


Onion/Garlic Seasoning
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 fresh or dried thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup water
For Curry
  • 2 lbs Gilbaka fish
  • 2 limes to soak fish
  • 1/2 cup onion/garlic seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 3 large pieces of green mango (skin on)
  • 1 small plum tomato
  • 3 tbsp canola/vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp salt (add more if needed)
  • About 1 1/2 cup boiling water


  1. Chop fish into desired size chunks.  Chop and squeeze lime juice over fish, add water and let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse fish a few times and dry each piece of fish with paper towels.
  3. Make onion/garlic seasoning by blending onion, garlic, pepper, and thyme leaves with 1/3 cup of water in a blender.  This should give you 1 cup of mixture.
  4. Add 1/2 cup onion/garlic mixture to the fish along with 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.  Leave fish to absorb seasonings for a minimum of 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  5. Chop tomato and mango and set aside.  Bring a kettle or small pot of water to a boil while you complete the next step.
  6. In a small bowl, mix curry powder and garam masala with 5 tbsp water to form a thick liquid.
  7. Heat a wide bottomed pot with 3 tbsp canola oil.  Add curry powder/masala mixture and fry until most liquid has evaporated.  Add 1/2 cup boiling water and tomato.
  8. Let mixture cook until tomatoes become soft and tender.
  9. Add the fish and enough water to cover 1/2 inch above  fish. (This was about 1 cup of boiling water for me).  Add seasoned salt and regular salt, stir gently.
  10. Let fish boil on medium heat for 25 minutes, then add green mango with skin.  Leaving the skin on will allow the mango to stay intact, otherwise it will dissolve slightly.
  11. Let curry boil for an additional 15-20 minutes until it begins to look thick and mango is completely soft.  Do not turn frequently during this period as you do not want the fish to break.
  12. Enjoy with rice or roti 🙂

See full recipe and cooking directions here: