The Indian mackerel (Rastrelliger kanagurta) is an important food fish commonly used in Kerala cuisine. It is known as Kanankelut in Tamil and Bangadei in Kannada. In Kerala its season starts in August and continues till December.
Mackerel is one of the highly recommended oily fish for a healthy diet Ayala meat is rich in protein (Average 21.21%) Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids occur in high quantities in this fish. It Mackerel fish is very effective in regulating hormonal levels and also improves the elasticity of blood vessels and capillaries. It helps in lowering cancer-causing agents and thus prevents the risk of many cancers. It is beneficial in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Mackerel fish even lowers high blood pressure levels. It helps in treating migraine headaches, arthritis conditions. It even enhances memory by improving the activity of the brain.
It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Trace minerals include zinc and copper. Antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 is also found.
Many tasty preparations such as ayila curry, ayila –coconut milk curry, ayila fry etc. can be made out of this fish. Belly bones are to be removed.
A word of caution; Mackerel causes allergic reactions to some individuals. Such persons should avoid the consumption of this particular fish and seek medical attention.