Craving for some Chinese at home and have no sauces or special ingredients at hand? Then try this hot chilli fish that looks Chinese but is Indian, I've used very common spices and ingredients that any Indian kitchen pantry would have and the best thing is, it does need any sauces or Chinese spices. It definitely looks and tastes Chinese moreover the capsicum added gives a very good flavor and makes the dish too good. As I was looking out for some fleshy fishes in the market I found a big red snapper, it was so big (Check the pic of the fish here) looked fleshy and I immediately inquired about it, the fish butcher said that the fish has very few bones but is very fleshy and tastes good. So I got a kilo of it and made fish curry and this fish masala. I found that this variety of fish took a longer time to cook unlike other fishes and had very few, but strong bones that were easy to identify but not easy to remove, also the skin was so tough. So I had to steam it and then remove the flesh from it for preparing this masala. But the end result was too good. The fish pieces were chunky and well fitted the recipe, but were not as soft as the other big fish varieties like seer fish, I felt that the flesh was tasted somewhat like prawns. You can use fish fillets or any kind of fish that doesn't have much bones. I have used dry red chillies that makes the dish more flavorful and hot, just take care to de-seed them or else the dish would turn burning hot. Serve this masala with rotis, chapatis and any kind of pulao. Now lets see how to make this Indian styled chilli fish.
INGREDIENTSServes 1 person
Total Preparation Time - 30 minutes
- Fish pieces - 10 (weighed 180 grams; I used big red snapper fish pieces)
- Big onion - 1
- Capsicum - 1 (chopped into smaller pieces)
- Ginger Garlic paste - 1 spoon + 1 spoon
- Green chilly - 1 or 2 (long ones, chopped finely add according to your spice tolerance)
- Dry red chillies - 2 (de-seeded and chopped finely; I used a scissors to cut it)
- Egg - 1
- Corn flour - 5 spoons
- Maida / All purpose flour - 5 spoons
- Rice flour - 1 spoon
- Red chilli powder - 1 spoon + 1 spoon
- Pepper powder - 1 spoon + 1/2 spoon
- Cumin seeds - 1 spoon
- Fennel seeds - 1 spoon
- Food color - 2 pinches (optional; orange red or red)
- Baking soda - 2 pinches
- Lemon juice - 1 spoon + 2 spoons
- Salt - As per taste
- Oil - For deep frying
- Grind cumin seeds and fennel seeds together into a fine powder. Set aside.
- Wash fish pieces well in water and set aside.
- If your fish pieces are softer, boneless ones or if you use fish fillets you can directly fry them without steaming. I used Big red snapper fish pieces and it was tough to chop, had some bones, also the skin was rubbery so I steamed it first to remove bones & skin then used it for frying.
- Now after steaming (I used an idli pan to do this) for about 7 minutes on low flame remove from flame and remove the skin from the fish pieces, then chop it into cubes.
- To a bowl add the following ingredients and mix it up well to make a thick batter. It should not be runny or too thick.
(Batter for fish fry)
Corn flour - 5 spoons
Corn flour - 5 spoons
Maida / All purpose flour - 5 spoons
Rice flour - 1 spoon
Egg - 1 (Beaten well)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 spoon
Baking soda - 2 pinches
Pepper powder - 1/2 spoon
Red chilli powder - 1 spoon
Ground fennel seeds and Cumin seeds powder - 1 spoon
Salt - As required
Lemon juice - 1 spoon
Food color - Optional
Food color - Optional
Water - As needed
(Mix well and make a thick batter)
- Now heat a frying pan and pour enough oil to deep fry the fish pieces.
- When the oil turns hot (not smoky hot) coat the fish pieces in the batter and slide them gently into the oil. (Fry on low flame) Do not crowd the pan.
- Once they turn golden and crisp remove from flame and place on a tissue paper to absorb excess oil.
- Now to prepare the masala, heat a wide pan and pour 3 spoons of oil into it. Then add cubed onion, chopped green chillies and saute for a few minutes until it turns translucent.
- Then add one spoon of ginger garlic paste and saute on low flame. Add some salt and saute until the raw smell leaves.
- Now add the chopped dry red chillies and saute. Then add 1 spoon of red chilli powder, pepper powder and saute well. Sprinkle some water if needed.
- Add the chopped capsicum and saute for a minute. Then add some sugar and pour 1/4 cup of water and cook until the water content reduces.
- Add the fried fish pieces and saute well until it blends well with the masala.
- Finally sprinkle the reserved chopped capsicum, drizzle 2 spoons of lemon juice and remove from flame.
- Serve with chapati or roti or as appetizers.
TIP 1: Reduce the amount of spiciness if you are not a big fan of hot food. I have added dry red chillies that makes the flavor so unique. You can avoid dry red chillies according to your wish. Or you can use red chilli flakes, but take care to add little as it may become too hot. I have de-seeded the dry red chillies before adding.
TIP 2: I haven't added any sauce here, but it still tastes so good. You can add a little tomato sauce if you wish.
TIP 3: You can try the same with cauliflower, chicken and also with mushroom.