Chettinad cuisine is well known for its flavors and specially for their freshly ground spices they use in their recipes. Today am going to share with you a basic Chettinad fish masala that has so many aromatic and flavorful spices in it. We usually make fish fry using very few ingredients like, the red chilli powder and salt as it is the simplest way to enjoy fish fry, and sometimes we add some lemon juice or other masalas for variations, but the Chettinad fish fry has a variety of spices used in it that makes the fish fry taste really awesome and I bet you would not have tasted any fish fry better than this. This is just the basic masala powder, but when making the fry you must add some shallot paste, ginger garlic paste along with this powder and apply on the fish pieces, set them aside for few minutes and then fry them to get the complete authentic Chettinad fish fry. This masala needs time to prepare and so you can prepare this in advance and store them in containers and use when needed, this will ease your work. I usually prepare this fry very rarely because it needs some extra effort, but then when I started to prepare this masala in larger quantities and store them, my work went a lot easier and now I make it very often. You can either opt to make fresh masala or make in large quantities and store them for future use. Vegetarians can use the same masala to roast baby potatoes. Now lets see what's required and how to proceed.
INGREDIENTSMakes masala for 4 to 5 fish pieces
- Cumin seeds / Jeera - 2 grams (1 spoon)
- Fennel seeds / Sombu - 2 grams (1 spoon)
- Coriander seeds / Dhania seeds - 6 grams (2 spoons)
- Peppercorns / Milagu - 2 grams (1 spoon)
- Dry red chillies / Kaaindha Sivappu Milagai - 6 to 8
- Turmeric powder - 1/4 spoon
- Salt - 2 grams (Optional)
- Take a pan and place on flame, now add all the above said ingredients (except salt) and dry roast just for 30 seconds.
- Remove from pan and set aside until it cools down to room temperature.
- Now add all the ingredients to a blender (see that the blender jar is dry) and grind well into powder, add turmeric powder, salt (optional) and grind again.
- Sieve the ground spice mixture to get the fine powder. Grind the rest again. Only if the powder is fine it will stick to the fish pieces.
- Store or use!!
TIP 1: You can make this in large quantities and store in airtight containers and use in future.
TIP 2: While making the Chettinad fish fry, make a paste of shallots, ginger and garlic and add to the required amount of this powder then apply this paste on fish pieces and fry them. Recipe coming soon.
TIP 3: You can add salt to the masala powder or avoid it. Adding salt helps the masala powder to get ground into a very fine powder and also adding them helps increase the shelf life of the masala.
TIP 4: If your powder is not fine enough then sieve the masala and use only the fine powder, or else it will not stick well to the fish pieces.
TIP 5: You can also grind the masala without dry roasting first. Dry roasting helps enhance the aroma and flavor and also increase shelf like.
TIP 6: Do not over roast the ingredients it will affect the flavor. Color change is not needed, roast only for 30 seconds or until you can smell the aroma. Remove immediately from flame.
Aromatic Chettinad Fish Fry Masala is now ready!!