This crispy battered fried fish is a North Indian delicacy. Its fish and its fried and its crispy - whats not to love???
It is made with simple ingredients - but, the combination of all the things makes it a treat. Ofcorse the fiery red color adds to the 'eating with the eyes' bit. Its the addition of carom seeds (ajwain) which gives the fish unique taste.
you can use any firm fish to make these - I have used tilapia here. But, cod and salmon can be used to. Boneless fillets of king fish (surmai) can also be used.
6 boneless skinless fillets of tilapia (this roughly about a pound and half)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
1 teaspoon black or white peppercorns
2 teaspoons chilli powder - you can add more if you want heat
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
3 drops of red food coloring - optional
3 tablespoons yogurt
4 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
2 tablespoons rice flour
salt to taste
oil for frying
chopped cilantro for garnish
2 teaspoons chaat masala
Cut the fish fillets into 1 inch pieces. I used a mortar and pestle to grind the spices as I wanted a small bite in the fish - but, you can use a spice grinder for that purpose. Make a coarse powder of the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and the pepper. In a mixing bowl add the coarse powders along with ginger and garlic paste. To this add the chilli powder, salt, chickpea flour and rice flour. Mix them well. Add the yogurt and the red food color (if using) and make a thick well mixed paste. To this add the fish pieces and coat each piece with the paste. Let it sit and marinade for atleast an hour.
In a karahi or wok or fryer add oil and let it heat up. You know the oil id hot when you add a drop of the paste and it comes up sizzling. Turn the temperature to a medium. Add not more then 5 fish pieces at a time. Fry for about 7 to 8 minutes (Tilapia fillets are thin - but, if you are using salmon or a thick fillet like cod - the cooking time may vary and will be in the range of 10 to 12 minutes). Remove on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. When it looks a bit dry - remove onto serving plate and sprinkle with some chaat masala. Repeat the process till all the pieces are fried. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro/coriander and serve.