Despite soaring prices in the market, people line up outside shops to buy ‘Pulasa’, a variety of fish available from July to August each year.
“We bought Pulasa fish, weighing around 1.5kg, at ₹14,000,” says fisherman Rangababu. But for Pulasa, the most sought-after delicacy in restaurants this season, people are not shy about spending more. “Despite the exorbitant price, we will buy it and send it to our children and other family members,” says a Ratnamma woman from Kalidindi, a village in Eluru district.
Seasonal fish, also called Hilsa and Ilisa (national fish of Bangladesh), is mainly available in western and eastern districts of Godavari. Some fish lovers, who were eagerly awaiting the availability of Pulasa, have already paid the fishermen a certain amount in advance, says Sri Pavan of Gudivada.
“Preparing the Pulasa dish is an art. Only those who are expert in making fish curries can bring out the authentic flavor of this dish. The amount invested, even if it is too much, is worth it,” says Mr. Pavan.
The dish also has nutritional value, he adds. “Pulasa is rich in protein, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and carbohydrates.
Venkanna, a fisherman, says they find a variety of Pulasa fish in Siddantam, Dowleswaram and Narsapuram. Some anglers also go fishing in the Vasista, Vainateya and Gowtami rivers at different locations. Those caught in Godavari at Dowleswaram or Narsapuram taste the best, adds the fisherman.
Due to heavy flooding in Godavari this year, fishermen continue to fish in the river and its tributaries.
APSRTC officials said many customers send Pulasa fish curry via daily cargo services to their friends and family members in Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nellore and other cities.