At home Mom always makes fish fry with minimal ingredients, some red chilli powder and salt is all she uses to make that brilliantly tasting fried fish for lunch. You must try that easy peasy recipe, it is easier than you'd guess and it suits every fish variety. It does not consume time and only two ingredients makes it such an effortless one. But of for a few of my favorite fish varieties like Red snapper and seer fish I always make variations in flavors. Today I'll be sharing a Vanjaram fry recipe where we will be using a few more (easily available) spices and ingredients which will make it sizzling awesome. This fish fry is one of the most demanded south Indian sea food in restaurants and is pricey as it has fewer bones and too much flesh that is tasty. This one makes a good side dish for rice and my favorite dish to pair this side dish with is rasam rice ;)
Total Preparation Time - 5 minutes (plus marination time 15 minutes to 12 hours)
- Seer Fish slices - 1 big slice that was a long as my palm
- Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fennel powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1/8 teaspoon (optional)
- Maida / Corn flour / Gram flour - 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Lemon juice - 1 to 2 teaspoon per piece
- Oil - To shallow fry pieces
- Take a mixing bowl and add red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Add a few drops of water and stir until you get a thick paste. (It should be thick not runny) If you have added too much water just add some more masala and some flour (corn or maida) to thicken it up.
- Now apply this on the fish pieces using your fingers and wrap it up in a zip-lock bag or put them in a bowl and cover it. Pop it into the refrigerator and let it sit marinated for about 30 minutes or even overnight. You can fry them immediately after applying the masala also. (Do not freeze, just place them in the meat tray)
- Then remove from refrigerator and set them aside until it comes back to room temperature.
- Sprinkle some pepper powder over the fish slices. (this step is optional)
- Then place a pan on flame and pour enough oil to shallow fry the pieces.
- After it heats up place the fish pieces over the pan and switch the flame to low mode. Cook for about two minutes and flip the fish piece gently that you do not break them. fry the other side for two to three minutes and flip again. Then increase the flame and cook for a minute or two on both sides.
- Remove from flame and serve hot. Drizzle some lemon juice if you wish.
TIP 1: You can grind equal quantities of ginger garlic and shallots and use it along with the masala. Use half a teaspoon of this paste for each fish piece.
TIP 2: All purpose flour or corn flour helps the masala adhere to the fish well. I prefer corn flour as it gives a crispy texture to the fish pieces.
TIP 3: Handle the fish pieces gently and take care not to over fry the pieces as it will make it dry and lose the moisture content. The succulent nature will be gone and the fish will become hard.
TIP 4: The spices can be adjusted as per taste and the size of your fish pieces.